Penn State Football: Why Coach Paterno Won't Get Win No. 401 Against Ohio State

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Penn State Football: Why Coach Paterno Won't Get Win No. 401 Against Ohio State
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images
Penn State coach Joe Paterno won his 400th game last week.

Congratulations to coach Paterno on reaching his 400th career victory last Saturday against Northwestern.

The man who has been the head Nittany Lion since the Johnson administration became the first FBS coach to reach 400 wins. He’s a true model of loyalty and consistency.

That being said, it’s hard to imagine Penn State winning No. 401 for Joe Pa Saturday in Ohio Stadium.

PSU has only beaten Ohio Sate once in Columbus since they joined the Big Ten in 1993. That came two years ago when Terrelle’s Pryor’s fumble on a quarterback sneak paved the way for the Blue and White’s game-winning drive.

They arrive in Columbus a different team than they were a month ago.

An embarrassing loss to Illinois dropped the Nittany Lions to 3-3 and 0-2 in the Big Ten. They have since run off three straight wins including climbing back from a 21-0 deficit last week against Northwestern.

PSU scored 35 straight points, led by quarterback Matt McGloin’s four touchdown passes.

OSU coach Jim Tressel, who mentioned he saw the first quarter of the game on television and caught the rest on the radio en route to a high school game, said he didn’t exactly expect PSU to give up last week.

“When it's 21-0 they're not going to fold the tent. That's just not how they're made,” Tressel said. “You’re going to have to play 60 minutes to compete with them.”

McGloin, a former walk-on, has eight touchdowns (seven passing, one rushing) in the last three games against Minnesota, Michigan and Northwestern.

Those three defenses aren’t exactly elite, something the OSU defense, ranked third in the nation in scoring defense, clearly is. The “Silver Bullets” will also have starting linebacker Ross Homan back in the fold as he seems to have recovered from his foot injury.

 

Prediction

Oddly enough, OSU is 2-4 after bye weeks under Tressel. That seems to be more of just a “huh” stat instead of stat-revealing issue.

The fact is that that in six home games this season, the Buckeyes have beaten their opponents by an average score of 47-11.

Throw in the fact that the game will start at 3:30, which equates to an even livelier Horseshoe crowd. The game will not be decided where an Ohio State-Penn State game usually is (in the trenches) but somewhere else (through the air). Terrelle Pryor tortures the Nittany Lion secondary to the tune of three touchdown passes while the Buckeye defense initiates McGloin into the Big Ten.

The Final: 34-10 Ohio Sate

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