Big 10 Showdown Has Huge CFP Implications
The Ohio State Buckeyes play host to the Penn State Nittany Lions in a marquee matchup on Saturday afternoon. This game will have major implications in the College Football Playoff pecking order, especially if the Nittany Lions can pull off the upset. Penn State and Ohio State traditionally play competitive games. The Buckeyes beat the Nittany Lions by one point in each of the past two seasons. Penn State won by three at home in 2016.
TV: Noon ET, FOX. LINE: Ohio State -18.5; O/U: 58
Second-ranked Ohio State welcomes back defensive stalwart Chase Young from a two-game suspension. His presence solidifies the Buckeyes as a decisive on Saturday. This key Big Ten clash at home with No. 9 Penn State is one the fans have been waiting for. The unbeaten Buckeyes carry a 16-game winning streak into the game. Their national championship aspirations most likely hinge on the outcome.
A potential matchup of two undefeated teams was spoiled two weeks ago when Penn State lost at Minnesota. The Nittany Lions can still secure at least a share of the Big Ten East Division title with two more wins They get a berth in the conference championship game as well. Statistics reflect the disparity between Ohio State and the rest of the Big Ten. Evidenced by the Buckeyes leading the Big Ten in points per game over second-place Penn State at 51.5-36.8. Then you look at total yards allowed by their defenses it is Ohio State at 216.4-316.8 yards per game.
Ohio State’s road to the postseason is simple: Win this week and next week at No. 12 Michigan. Then pick up a win in the Big Ten championship game and they reach the College Football Playoff semifinals. Young’s return from a suspension for accepting a personal loan strengthens an already-strong Ohio State defense. It is a squad that leads the country in fewest points at 9.8 yards per game, total yards at 216.4 ypg, and passing yards at 126.0 yards per game. Young ranks second in FBS in sacks with 13.5 and in tackles for loss with 1.9 per game. These numbers are despite missing the last two games.
This, That, and a Dart Throw
Penn State is 9-1 on the season overall and 6-1 in the Big Ten. The Nittany Lions bounced back from its first loss with a 34-27 victory at home last week over a feisty Indiana squad. Their pass defense has faltered in the past two games and allowed a combined 711 yards. On offense, Penn State possesses the skill to challenge Ohio State. With talents like quarterback Sean Clifford, receiver K.J. Hamler (injured last week but expected to play), tight end Pat Freierrmuth and running back Journey Brown they can compete with anyone. Clifford leads the Big Ten in total offense with 282.4 yards per game (2,450 passing, 374 rushing). Hamler has 46 receptions for 791 yards and eight touchdowns. Brown has reached 100 yards rushing in the past two games. Freierrmuth caught three touchdown passes in an Oct. 26th win at Michigan State.
Ohio State is 10-0 on the season overall and 7-0 in the Big 10. After manhandling Maryland and Rutgers the past two weeks by a combined score of 129-35, Ohio State faces their first significant opponent since they hammered No. 14 Wisconsin on Oct. 26th. A quick review of the statistics confirm the Buckeyes’ dominance this season. It is highlighted by first-year quarterback Justin Fields’ 31 touchdown passes and only one interception. Fields has also chipped in 10 rushing touchdowns and he is responsible for 246 points in 10 games. Running back J.K. Dobbins ranks fifth nationally in rushing yards with 1,289. This is despite carrying the ball only 42 times in the second half all season.
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The Dart Throw: Ohio State 49, Penn State 27
College Football Trends
Ohio State Buckeyes
- Trend Over is 4-1 in Buckeyes last 5 games as a home underdog of 3.5-10.0. Hit % 80.00% (5) O/U 4|1 Push 0 W/L
- Over is 6-1 in Buckeyes last 7 games as an underdog of 3.5-10.0. 85.70% (7) 6|1 0
- Over is 4-1 in Buckeyes last 5 games as an underdog. 80.00% (5) 4|1 0
- Under is 4-1 in Buckeyes last 5 games as a favorite of 3.5-10.0. 80.00% (5) 1|4 0
Penn State Nittany Lions
- Trend Over is 8-2 in Nittany Lions last 10 games as an underdog of 10.5 or greater. Hit % 80.00% (10) O/U 8|2 Push 0 W/L
- Over is 6-1 in Nittany Lions last 7 games as a favorite of 0.5-3.0. 85.70% (7) 6|1 0
- Over is 4-1 in Nittany Lions last 5 games as a road underdog of 3.5-10.0. 80.00% (5) 4|1 0
- Under is 4-1 in Nittany Lions last 5 games as a road favorite. 80.00% (5) 1|4 0
Head to Head Meeting Trends
- Trend Nittany Lions are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 meetings. Hit % 80.00% (5) O/U Push 0 W/L 4|1
- Nittany Lions are 3-7 ATS in their last 10 meetings in Ohio State. 30.00% (10) 0 3|7
- Underdog is 4-1 ATS in their last 5 meetings. 80.00% (5) 0 1|4
- Home team is 5-1 ATS in their last 6 meetings. 83.30% (6) 0 5|1
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