Published October 25, 2012
No. 9 Ohio State (8-0, 4-0 Big Ten) at Penn State (5-2, 3-0), 5:30 p.m. (ESPN)
Series Record: Tied 13-13.
WHAT'S AT STAKE
Maybe the unofficial Big Ten title. Neither team can play in the postseason thanks to NCAA sanctions. It hasn't kept either from putting together impressive first seasons under new coaches. For Bill O'Brien's Nittany Lions, this would be the biggest victory of what has been a remarkable turnaround.
Penn State QB Matt McGloin vs. Ohio State's secondary. McGloin has developed into one of the best passers in the Big Ten, a testament to O'Brien's system and coaching. McGloin is second in the Big Ten in yards passing (1,788) and touchdown passes (14). The Ohio State defense has given up lots of big plays, but cornerbacks Travis Howard and Bradley Roby have talent and have combined for five interceptions.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Ohio State: QBs Braxton Miller and/or Kenny Guiton. Miller left the Purdue game last week with a head injury but he's been practicing and both he and coach Urban Meyer say he's ready to go. Still, Meyer said Guiton, who led the Buckeyes' to an overtime victory, is ready to play.
Penn State: RB Bill Belton. Injuries and the departure of Silas Redd have forced the Nittany Lions to shuffle running backs. Belton, who missed three games with a sprained ankle, seems to be the best of the bunch. He ran for 103 yards and three TDs last week against Iowa.
FACTS & FIGURES Penn State has outscored opponents 66-0 in the first quarter. ... Penn State has the second-ranked passing offense in the Big Ten. Ohio State is No. 2 in rushing in the conference ... Ohio State RB Carlos Hyde has run for 545 yards and nine touchdowns, despite missing nearly three games with a knee injury. ... The Buckeyes have won their last two trips to State College by a combined 61-24. ... Penn State LBs Gerald Hodges and Michael Mauti are finalists for the Butkus Award.