PITTSBURGH (Sports Radio 93-7 The Fan) – In what (on paper) looks to be Penn State’s final test of the college football regular season, No. 2 Penn State travels to No. 6 Ohio State Saturday Afternoon for a critical road game that could have national title implications for the Nittany Lions.
Here are five things to watch for during Saturday’s game.
- Can Ohio State Control Saquon Barkley? – The junior running back currently leads the nation with 1,478 all purpose yards and is currently one of the top contenders for the Heisman Trophy. The Buckeyes enter Saturday’s game as the 15th best team in the nation against the run. Whichever side wins this battle could very well win the game.
- Can Penn State Control J.T. Barrett? – The Buckeye quarterback not only is one of the best (if not THE best) in the Big 10, but since week 2 of the college football season, Barrett leads the nation in QBR rankings and has completed over 70 percent of his passes, while tossing 18 touchdowns. Barrett will lead Ohio State into Saturday’s game with an offense that has totaled 500 yards in five straight games. If Barrett finds a hole in the Nittany Lions’ defense, he could lead the Buckeyes to a huge upset win.
- PSU O-Line vs. OSU D-Line? – Yes it sounds cliché, but this game could very well be won in the trenches. The offensive line for Penn State needs to keep the defense of Ohio State in check long enough to give Trace McSorley time to throw the football. This could very well happen as Penn State looked much better in their win over Michigan as they were able to control two of Michigan’s main defensive threats.
- Tyler Davis – Specials teams aren’t sexy. But in what could be a close game, they could be key Saturday evening. All eyes could be on Penn State kicker Tyler Davis. Davis has made just 6 of the 13 field goals he’s attempted this season. That’s just 46.2 percent. In a game that could come down to a field goal, the Nittany Lions will need Davis to be on his game Saturday.
- Rest and Relaxation – Ohio State got plenty of that last week as they were on a bye week. It came at a great time as the bye gave them a free film session of Penn State who was playing against Michigan. Penn State also displayed some new looks in that game against Michigan that Ohio State got a free look at. A well rested Buckeye team could be too much for Penn State to handle, especially in Columbus where they haven’t won since 2011.