COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Ohio State football could be facing its toughest opponent for the year when the Buckeyes meet Penn State this Saturday at Ohio Stadium.
For one week, Penn State was ranked in the College Football playoff picture. That came to an end when the Nittany Lions lost to Minnesota on November 9.
Penn State (9-1, 6-1 Big Ten) will be looking to get back in the playoff picture however, with a big win on the road against Ohio State.
That’s a task will be even larger considering the Buckeyes get back star defensive end Chase Young for the first time since he was suspended two games.
Ohio State is coming off another blowout win against Rutgers.
Buckeyes quarterback Justin Fields threw for a career-high 305 yards and matched his best with four touchdown passes as Ohio State romped over Rutgers 56-21 on Saturday.
Ohio State coach Ryan Day says he has seen improvements from Fields during each game of the season.
“Every week I think he gets a little better in each area. So, it goes all the way from the run game, identifying where he’s going to go with the ball, because you have to make a decision on every run play. In passing, it’s protection, it’s identifying coverage, it’s going through protections, it’s understanding down and distance, it’s throwing it away, anticipation, you know, all of them.”
Ohio State (10-0, 7-0 Big Ten) posted its 16th straight win over the last two seasons. The Buckeyes had been outscoring opponents by over 42 points per game, the biggest margin in the nation.
The win keeps the Buckeyes on the path toward a possible national championship with major games coming in the final two weeks of the regular season against No. 9 Penn State (9-1) and No. 14 Michigan (8-2).
The Buckeyes versus Penn State game will also be on the big stage as ESPN, Fox Sports, and the Big Ten network all plan to host their morning kickoff shows from Columbus before the matchup.
Day says he wants his players to enjoy the experience of playing in such a big game.
“Time waits for nobody, and you have to grab onto this thing and hold on as tight as you can, because this is a special opportunity for all of us, and we have to make sure we understand that.”