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Buckeyes look to tame Nittany Lions

Mike Greco • Nov 11, 2010 at 5:29 PM

Five things to watch:

1. OSU holds a narrow 13-12 advantage, including 8-6 in Columbus.

2. The Buckeyes are first in the Big Ten in pass defense at 150.2 yards per game, followed by Penn State at 189.6.

3. OSU ranks first in kickoff returns with an average of 25.8, while the Nittany Lions are second at 24.5.

4. The Buckeyes lead the conference (first nationally) in turnover margin at +13 and PSU is tied for eighth at minus 2.

5. PSU is fourth in sacks against at nine an the Buckeyes 10th with nine.

OSU wins 24-10.

COLUMBUS — What a difference for The Ohio State University and Penn State University last Saturday.

It was a quiet day Buckeyes, who didn’t win or lose, because of a bye-week. They were busy preparing for the Nittany Lions.

It was an exciting Saturday in State College.

Penn State rallied against Northwestern, scoring 35 unanswered points to down the Wildcats 35-21.

And coach Joe Paterno gained his 400th career victory — the only FBS coach to have achieved that mark.

It should be a big-time atmosphere in Columbus Saturday. ESPN Game Day is making the trek to Ohio Stadium.

The game is significant, because the Buckeyes are fighting for at least a share of the Big Ten crown. They, along with Michigan State, Wisconsin and Iowa, all have one loss.

It will take some doing for the Nittany Lions to sneak into the race with two losses.

If nothing else, Penn State wants to play spoiler.

The series is close, but the road team has won the last three meetings.

OSU captured a 37-17 win in Happy Valley in 2007.

Penn State, behind a backup quarterback and helped by a Terrelle Pryor fumble, gained a 13-6 win in 2008.

The Buckeyes went back to State College last season and recorded a 24-7 win.

OSU, 14-1 in November games since 2005, rebounded from its loss to Wisconsin Oct. 16 with impressive wins over Purdue 49-0 and Minnesota 52-10.

The depth chart, as of Nov. 3, listed linebacker Ross Homan as a starting linebacker. He missed the last two games with an injury.

Meanwhile, Penn State has won three straight since losing to Illinois 33-13 Oct. 9.

Sophomore Matthew McGloin has played in three games (he will make his second start Saturday) and thrown for 551 yards on 41-of-70. He came off the bench to lead Penn State to five straight scoring drives against Northwestern.

Senior Evan Royster has rushed for 734 yards with two straight 100 games. He is the school’s career rushing leader with 3,652 yards.

Senior linebacker Chris Colasanti leads the team and is second in the Big Ten with 83 tackles, an average of 9.2 per game.

Last season, the Buckeyes lost to Purdue, 26-18 and finished the season with a six-game winning streak.

OSU established the run with five straight 200 plus yard rushing games, including 228 against the Nittany Lions.

I can see that happening again this season, but as usual, Pryor is the wildcard. He is 27-4 as a starter and ranks fifth nationally in passing efficiency (165.2).

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