Stakes are riding high as both Ohio State and Penn State come rolling off of big wins this past Saturday. No. 3 Penn State is looking to defeat No. 9 Ohio State in Columbus, OH for the first time since being in the Big Ten.
However, Terrell Pryor is looking to prove the hype and the critics wrong, and he made sure to do that against MSU. After a painful display against Purdue in which his offense did not score a single point, a huge and convincing win was needed to put them back on the road to recover any hopes of a run at the National Championship.
But can they pull it off against this Penn State powerhouse with the Big Ten championship and a National Title bid in the balance?
When you put these teams on paper, the only weakness in either team is the Buckeyes' offense, which is averaging only 297 yards per game, dropping from last year's average of 393. There is no question the Buckeyes have a peculiar offense.
Match that up with the current Penn State defense, which is allowing only 282 yards a game, and you have yourself a standstill. Another interesting comparison is the scoring margin, with Penn State's massive 30-point average margin over Ohio State's average of nine.
There is no doubt about Daryll Clark liking to put up the big numbers. This Penn State offense has proved that when you put the right players in the right spot, good things can happen...such as averaging 466 yards per game. Clark's "Spread HD" really came into High-Def Saturday when they ran the table, getting 39 unanswered points against Michigan.
My advice to OSU: Don't let these guys click, because when they do, so does the scoreboard. So I suspect Jim Tressel and Co. will be watching the first quarter of the Penn State-Michigan game about a thousand times this week, maybe more.
Likewise for Penn State, Pryor put on a resilient running game against Michigan State, and the Penn State defense, with monsters Maurice Evans and Aaron Maybin, will be studying his every route. Where Pryor needs to improve is in the air; this Saturday he threw the ball only 11 times, completing seven.
Besides one pass for 56 yards, he was 6-of-60. Expect to see Penn State's defense putting eight in the box and forcing that ball into the air. This is where Ohio State is lackluster and needs improvement. Penn State's pass rushing is one of the best in the country and they will try to exploit that weakness in Ohio State's offense.
On paper, both of these teams have outstanding defenses, with Penn State allowing, on average, 12 points per game, just under Ohio's 15. OSU is the first team, and probably the last team on Penn State's schedule that actually has a chance at shutting down Clark's offense, so I have to ask you, what happens when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object?
***This is my first article! Please be nice and share in discussion and debate. Thanks a bunch and I hope you enjoyed the read!