Johnson: Final Thoughts Heading Into Week 5 versus Penn State

Johnson: Final Thoughts Heading Into Week 5 versus Penn State

BuckeyeWire

Johnson: Final Thoughts Heading Into Week 5 versus Penn State


Each week, we bring you some random thoughts before Ohio State takes to the gridiron. Here are some nuggets about this week’s crucial showdown with the Penn State Nittany Lions


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  • Don’t believe a word James Franklin says about this contest being “just another game”. He knows that if his team is going to play for the Big Ten title and/or the national championship that it must win this game.
  • Make no mistake about it: the loser of this contest is out of the national championship race. Wisconsin’s puzzling loss to BYU pretty much sealed the conference’s fate.
  • Ohio State’s defense will be just fine without Nick Bosa. Don’t get me wrong, his absence doesn’t make the team any better. However, the Buckeye defensive line is loaded with talent. Regardless of which d-linemen take the field, you can count on watching the OSU front four get after the quarterback.
  • Exactly how good is Penn State? That’s really tough to say. The Nittany Lions were a missed kick away from dropping the season opener to Appalachian State. Similarly, they trailed Illinois 24-21 last Friday. Yet, Penn State came up with the plays it needed to in both contests, and even turned the game with the Illini into a 63-24 laugher.
  • Speaking of the outing with App State, it’s worth noting that PSU hasn’t allowed a single point in the fourth quarter since giving up 28 points in that contest.
  • Of course, by then, it may not matter. Ohio State QB Dwayne Haskins has only appeared in the fourth quarter once this season. He completed all three of his passes for 38 yards.
  • Here’s an even more impressive stat: in situations where the game is tied, Haskins has completed 15 of 17 passes (88.2%) for 262 yards and three TD’s. His precision accuracy will be the key to getting on the scoreboard first and taking an early lead.
  • Although Penn State and Ohio State are first and second, respectively, in scoring offense, the team that makes the most plays on defense and special teams will ultimately win the contest. Will Penn State’s negative plays (fifth nationally in sacks, third in TFL’s) prevail or will Ohio State come up with a special teams play or pick six to win the contest?
  • Prediction: Ohio State treats this contest like a de facto elimination game (because it is for all intents and purposes) and takes care of business early. The Buckeyes race out to an early lead and cruise to an impressive victory. OSU 35, Penn State 24.

 

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