Big-game Beanie -- Ohio State running back Chris "Beanie" Wells said he's made for big-stage games like Saturday night's clash with No. 3 Penn State. Wells has a strong big-game track record and wants to carry the team, but will his right foot hold up? He has been extremely sore after several games despite increasing his carries total. Penn State has looked a little vulnerable against the run in recent weeks, so Wells could have a big night.
Terrelle Pryor and Daryll Clark -- The two quarterbacks lead their teams into Saturday night's unofficial Big Ten championship game, and neither man has lost as the starter. Pryor quieted his doubters in the locker room and in the stands with an efficient and effective performance last week at Michigan State. Clark has triggered the Spread HD offense for eight games but faces an Ohio State defense playing its best football of the season. ( Source: ) ESPN: What To Watch ESPN's Lisa Salters previews Penn State at Ohio State Source: ESPN/FanDome
Going to the game Pryor excels when he's pushed October 25, 2008 Source: Columbus Dispatch - "...starting for Ohio State, it's clear that Pryor plays best when he has a chip on his shoulder...No matter how the chip gets there...By game time, it has grown into a tree. And then he goes out and chops it down..."
5 key factors October 25, 2008 Source: Columbus Dispatch
Ten Pressing Questions: Penn State at Ohio State October 25, 2008 Source: Bucknuts
Buckeyes, Paterno fight back against critics, odds October 24, 2008 Source: ESPN
Penn State defense confident October 25, 2008 Source: Columbus Dispatch - "...'I don't know if we knew how serious the game was going to be,' Gaines said. 'Our schemes are a little different this year. We've learned from our mistakes....'...Penn State is undersized at some spots but compensates with speed..."
Analysis from former OSU star Robert Smith and must-see EA Sports simulation of the game from Thursday's "College Football Live." Source: Bucknuts First Place On the Line Saturday Night in the Horseshoe October 21, 2008 Source: OSU Official Site - "No. 10 Ohio State welcomes No. 3 Penn State to Ohio Stadium; Buckeyes have won five of the last six meetings with the Nittany Lions ...This Homecoming matchup of the Big Ten leaders will be televised by ABC. In a show of Buckeye pride, all fans are asked to wear scarlet to this nationally televised game at Ohio Stadium as part of the “Scarlet Fever” promotion..."
Ohio State Game Notes (PDF)
OSU Cumulative Season Statistics
Malcolm Jenkins Interview Source: Big Ten Network Head Coach Jim Tressel spoke with the media today and discussed the upcoming game against the Penn State Nittany Lions in Ohio Stadium. Tressel also updated us on the injury status of several players, as well as a few other interesting topics. October 23, 2008 Source: The Ozone
Personnel Report October 23, 2008 Source: The Ozone - "OSU Head Coach Jim Tressel said today that cornerback Chimdi Chekwa will most likely be available for the Penn State game on Saturday. Chekwa suffered a shoulder injury in the MSU game and his status for this weekend has been vague all week...Tressel also reported that running back Daniel "Boom" Herron will play this week after sitting out last week while recovering from a concussion...A player who has been practicing and playing will not be a full strength on Saturday due to a string of injuries this season, but will probably see game action (is) Defensive lineman Todd Denlinger...Along the offensive line, Steve Rehring has now replaced Ben Person as the starter at right guard..."
met with the media Wednesday evening to preview Saturday night's game with No. 3 Penn State at Ohio Stadium. October 22, 2008 Source: OSU Official Site
Jim Tressel Press Conference 10/21 Source: Big Ten Network Tressel, Paterno Field Questions At Big Ten Teleconference October 21, 2008 Source: Bucknuts - "Ohio State head coach Jim Tressel and Penn State head coach Joe Paterno participated in this week's Big Ten coaches teleconference earlier today. Here is a review of the session..."
Transcript from Coach Tressel Weekly Press Conference October 21, 2008 Source: OSU Official Site - "...As we move forward, we understand the difficulty of the challenge. Penn State's an excellent football team. I think anyone that's watched them play knows that, number one, they're veteran laden across the board, very talented offensively, defensively and special units. If you look at the Big Ten statistics or the national statistics, you see Penn State at or near the top in many, many of the categories...Daryll Clark has got a lot of people around him and he's doing a great job of directing them and making plays for them and making sure they're doing what they're supposed to do. Their special units are as good as always. Their kicker and punter are veterans, both lefties, both been there, doing it for multiple years. Their coverage people are very good. They're very dedicated to special teams...Their return men, obviously, are scary. Williams has two kickoff return touchdowns, he has a punt return touchdown. Great acceleration. He's an up-the-field guy. He's not a guy that's going to run around you, while he could, though, with his speed, he puts his foot in the ground and he goes north and he's very, very dangerous..."
Nader Abdallah, Marcus Freeman and Rory Nicol spoke to OhioStateBuckeyes.com at Jim Tressel's press luncheon.
Offensive Notes: OSU Improving, Or One-Week Aberration? October 22, 2008 Source: Bucknuts - "Did Ohio State's offense finally play up to its potential last week against Michigan State, or was that just a fortunate week for the unit? And what do OSU's offensive players think about the fact that the Buckeyes are shooting for their record third-straight outright Big Ten championship? Is this week's game against Penn State extra important for OSU's Terrelle Pryor and Rory Nicol? (Read about) that and much more..."
Defense and Defensive Line Gets Boost from Unexpected Source October 22, 2008 Source: The Ozone - "The OSU defense has suddenly gotten very effective over the last four weeks. Has defensive coordinator Jim Heacock seen the light and turned the OSU defense loose? Check out our thoughts on that on Columns and Features. ..."
Preparing for Penn State's offensive line October 22, 2008 Source: Cleveland Plain Dealer - "...Penn State's offensive line is very impressive. When they're on, they play fast and look athletic, which is what OSU coach Jim Tressel has wanted his offensive line to do more of this year. 'Their offensive line does a great job of climbing to the second level,' said OSU linebacker James Laurinaitis.'They get good movement on the D line and they've done a good job of climbing to the linebackers.' That's been an issue at times for Ohio State's defensive line, the inability to tie up linemen and let Laurinaitis and Marcus Freeman and Ross Homan run free. USC's linemen were in the face of the OSU linebackers all day..."
and discussed the upcoming game against the Penn State Nittany Lions. They also talked about the improvements that the team has been making and how important these last two home games are to the seniors on the team. Source: Bucknuts
October 20, 2008 Source: OSU Official Site - "Four members of the Ohio State football team addressed the national media this afternoon via teleconference to preivew Saturday night's showdown between No. 10 Ohio State (7-1, 4-0 Big Ten) and No. 3 Penn State (8-0, 4-0 Big Ten) in the Horseshoe (8 p.m. ET/ABC)..."
Buckeyes Prep For Rare Home Night Game Vs. Penn State October 21, 2008 Source: Bucknuts - "We share a ton of perspectives as No. 10 Ohio State prepares to host No. 3 Penn State Saturday with first place in the Big Ten on the line (8 p.m., ABC). We look at the ramifications of this game on the Big Ten race as well as the run to the league's automatic BCS bowl berth and much more...This marks the first time that PSU (8-0, 4-0) and OSU (7-1, 4-0) have met this late in the season as unbeaten teams within the conference. It is also the first time in 10 years that these annual rivals have met as top-10 ranked opponents..."
Ohio State set to host Penn State in Big Ten showdown October 19, 2008 Source: Associated Press - "The Big Ten lacks a championship game. The Penn State-Ohio State game, however, probably will end up deciding who wins the title. 'It's either ours or Penn State's world and we'll find out next week,' Buckeyes guard Jim Cordle said. 'We like our chances with the momentum we've got going into it.'...'I don't know what the nation is going to think, but we made a statement for ourselves,' receiver Brian Robiskie said. 'As big of a game as this was and to do what we did, it definitely helps your confidence.' The victory kept the Buckeyes (7-1, 4-0 Big Ten) atop the conference standings along with the undefeated Nittany Lions, who are coming off a 46-17 win at home against Michigan. Ohio State was ranked No. 10 Sunday in The Associated Press poll, trailing No. 3 Penn State. Michigan State fell out of the Top 25 after being No. 20 last week, but was among the teams getting votes. The stakes alone will be big Saturday night at Ohio Stadium without a story line that will likely be rehashed all week and during the nationally televised game..."
The New Border War: Ohio State vs. Penn State October 20, 2008 Source: Bucknuts - "On the eve of the next Ohio State-Penn State match-up this Saturday (8 p.m., ABC), we have an in-depth look at the history of this rivalry between two of college football's great programs. OSU now leads the all-time series 12-11. That includes a spotless 7-0 mark in Ohio Stadium since the Lions joined the Big Ten in 1993..."
Coaches adjust thinking on QBs October 21, 2008 Source: Columbus Dispatch - "Tressel, Paterno let dual-threat players run their offenses...It's no stretch to say that Joe Paterno and Jim Tressel are two of the more control-minded coaches in college football. So why would they turn their offenses over to throwing/running/sometimes free-wheeling quarterbacks this season?...'They're playing the guy they believe gives their team the best chance to win,' said (Kirk) Herbstreit, a college football analyst for ESPN and ABC...Although it might seem to be a radical departure for Paterno and Tressel, both did similar things a few years ago. Tressel turned his offense over to the playmaking Troy Smith, who went on to win the Heisman Trophy in 2006. Paterno gave the ball to Michael Robinson, who rose to Big Ten MVP in 2005...But look around the country, Herbstreit said. Coaches are doing cannonballs into the dual-threat pool. In this week's Bowl Championship Series top 10, five teams are led by dual threats..." Penn St. gets up-close look at Terrelle Pryor October 21, 2008 Source: Associated Press - "The loser in the Terrelle Pryor recruiting sweepstakes gets his first up-close look at Ohio State's freshman phenom. Penn State coach Joe Paterno doesn't have any regrets or hold any grudges. 'No, no. Everybody's got to do what they got to do. You're dealing with a kid who's got to make a life for himself,' Paterno said Tuesday outside Beaver Stadium. 'You're dealing with people's lives. It's working out for him fine. I hope we beat him, but you know how that goes,' Paterno said. As if Saturday's game at the Horseshoe between the unbeaten No. 3 Nittany Lions (8-0, 4-0 Big Ten) and the No. 10 Buckeyes (7-1, 4-0) needed another storyline..."
Does Pryor hear critics? He just May October 20, 2008 Source: Canton Repository - "Terrelle Pryor is adamant that he doesn't listen to his critics on television. Ohio State's freshman quarterback, however, seems to know exactly what ESPN analyst Mark May is saying about him. For the second time this season, Pryor mentioned of comments that May made regarding the young quarterback's abilities. Those doubts and questions only seem to fuel Pryor's fire to prove his worth each week. 'I don't listen,' Pryor said after leading the Buckeyes offense to four touchdowns in a whipping against previous No. 20 Michigan State, 45-7. 'People don't know me and people don't know what I can do. Everyone thinks that I'm overrated. Wait and see. The time will come and you'll find out.' The time has come. Ohio State gets a second chance to salvage its national title hopes this weekend against No. 3 Penn State...'That's always the challenge ... to become a good team, you have to play well every week,' Head Coach Jim Tressel said. 'We didn't have many penalties. Did we turn it over? (No). We've got to keep that up. I don't know where our team is. We'll find out Saturday night against the Nittany Lions.'..."
Series Record: The Buckeyes lead the series with Penn State 12-11. Ohio State has won the last two games played in the series, 28-6 in 2006 in Columbus and 37-17 last season at Penn State. Ohio State has an 8-5 advantage in all games played in Columbus and a 10-5 advantage in games since Penn State began Big Ten football participation in 1993. Ohio State is 7-0 vs. Penn State in Ohio Stadium since the Nittany Lions joined the Big Ten in 1993.
At the Shoe: Joe Paterno is 1-8 in his trips to Ohio Stadium, the lone win 19-0 in 1978.
TALE OF THE TAPE: 2008 Totals OSU Offense PSU
26.9 Pts/gm 45.4
322.2 Total yds/gm 482.1
182.1 Rush yds/gm 234.6
41.2 Carries/gm 40.8
4.4 Yds/carry 5.8
140.1 Pass yds/gm 247.5
21.5 Pass att/gm 29.0
10.1 Yds/completion 14.1
OSU Defense Allows PSU
13.4 Pts/gm 11.8
265.4 Total yds/gm 263.2
97.1 Rush yds/gm 103.9
27.6 Carries/gm 34.8
3.5 Yds/carry 3.0
168.2 Pass yds/gm 159.4
34.5 Pass att/gm 29.9
8.7 Yds/completion 10.2 Penn State Report Card (8-0)
W, 66-10 Coastal Caro.
W, 45-14 Oregon St.
W, 55-13 at Syracuse
W, 38-24 Temple
W, 42-29 Illinois
W, 20-6 at Purdue
W, 48-7 at Wisconsin
W, 46-17 Michigan
BUTTERY FINGERS Penn State fumbled three more times Saturday, bringing its season total to a staggering 19. But they stayed right on their average — losing one of three. They’ve lost just six of those 19 fumbles.
IN NIGHT GAMES: Ohio State is 6-1 in home night games (games starting 5 p.m. or later local time) since 1959 and 32-13 in night games all-time.
OSU NCAA Rankings:
#4 in Turnover Margin (+1.50)
#9 in Net Punting (38.86)
HOMECOMING GAMES: Ohio State’s record is 63-18-5; Tressel’s Teams At Homecoming:
2001: Wisconsin 20, Ohio State 17
2002: Ohio State 50, San Jose State 7
2003: Ohio State 19, Iowa 10
2004: Ohio State 30, Indiana 7
2005: Ohio State 35, Michigan State 24
2006: Ohio State 44, Minnesota 0
2007: Ohio State 24, Michigan State 17
LARGEST OHIO STADIUM CROWDS:
Attendance Date Opponent
1. 105,708 11-18-06 Michigan
2. 105,565 9-10-05 Texas
3. 105,539 11-23-02 Michigan
4. 105,456 11-20-04 Michigan
5. 105,453 11-10-07 Illinois
6. 105,449 11-3-07 Wisconsin
7. 105,443 10-28-06 Minnesota
8. 105,378 10-11-08 Purdue
9. 105,287 10-20-07 Michigan State
10. 105,286 11-15-03 Purdue
11. 105,267 10-21-06 Indiana
Last Ten OSU Penn State Meetings Date Away/Home Line O/U 10/27/07 - PSU 17 OSU 37 OSU -3 O 39.5 09/23/06 PSU 6 - OSU 28 OSU -16.5 U 42 10/08/05 OSU 10 - PSU 17 PSU 4 U 41 10/30/04 PSU 10 - OSU 21 OSU -7 U 34.5 11/01/03 - PSU 20 OSU 21 PSU 7.5 O 37 10/26/02 PSU 7 - OSU 13 OSU -4.5 U 49.5 10/27/01 OSU 27 - PSU 29 PSU 6.5 O 41.5 09/23/00 PSU 6 - OSU 45 OSU -12.5 O 39.5 10/16/99 OSU 10 - PSU 23 PSU -11.5 U 48 10/03/98 PSU 9 - OSU 28 OSU -15 U 47 Last Time Out... October 21, 2008 Source: Buckeye Sports - "Ohio State faces Penn State this weekend in a showdown of top-10 teams...Last Time Out: Ohio State’s game at Penn State was one of three primetime road tests the Buckeyes faced in 2007, and the top-rated Buckeyes passed with flying colors in a dominant 37-17 victory over the Nittany Lions..."
Penn State Offensive Line Scheme Challenges OSU Defensive Line to Make Plays October 22, 2008 Source: Bucknuts - "The Penn State offense averages 45.4 points per game, best in the Big Ten. The Penn State offense averages 234.6 rushing yards per game, best in the Big Ten. Those are gaudy numbers, and as you probably know, offense starts up front with the offensive line. How do they do it? When it comes to offensive line play, probably not the way you think. Check out the-Ozone report now..."
PENN ST - Season Statistics Rushing Passing Total Statistic PPG Half FD TOP ATT YDS RYPA COMP ATT PCT YDS PYPA ATT YDS YPP YPPT
All Games 45.4 26.4 21.6 31:75 40.7 234.0 5.7 17.5 29.0 60.3% 248.1 8.6 69.7 482.1 6.9 10.6
Opp Def Avg. 31.3 16.0 20.3 30:81 38.3 178.1 4.6 18.1 30.4 59.6% 216.1 7.1 68.7 394.2 5.7 12.6
Off Road Games 41.0 24.0 16.0 34:01 39.3 174.7 4.4 18.7 31.7 58.9% 278.3 8.8 71.0 453.0 6.4 11.0
All Games 11.7 7.2 12.6 28:24 34.7 103.9 3.0 15.6 29.9 52.3% 159.4 5.3 64.6 263.2 4.1 22.4
Opp Off Avg. 22.5 11.9 17.9 29:18 35.8 141.4 4.0 17.4 30.9 56.4% 205.3 6.6 66.7 346.8 5.2 15.4
Def Road Games 8.7 4.3 7.3 25:98 32.7 93.3 2.9 13.3 29.7 44.9% 144.3 4.9 62.3 237.7 3.8 27.4
OHIO ST - Season Statistics Rushing Passing Total Statistic PPG Half FD TOP ATT YDS RYPA COMP ATT PCT YDS PYPA ATT YDS YPP YPPT
All Games 26.9 14.6 17.9 32:23 41.2 182.1 4.4 13.9 21.5 64.5% 140.1 6.5 62.7 322.2 5.1 12.0
Opp Def Avg. 23.9 12.5 19.0 30:44 36.8 155.3 4.2 18.2 31.6 57.6% 207.2 6.6 68.4 362.5 5.3 15.1
Off Home Games 29.4 15.8 18.6 32:00 40.8 197.4 4.8 14.0 22.4 62.5% 145.0 6.5 63.2 342.4 5.4 11.6
All Games 13.4 6.4 15.5 27:76 27.6 97.1 3.5 19.1 34.4 55.6% 168.2 4.9 62.0 265.4 4.3 19.8
Opp Off Avg. 25.0 12.9 17.9 29:55 35.1 137.6 3.9 18.5 30.9 59.6% 213.7 6.9 66.0 351.3 5.3 14.0
Def Hme Games 9.6 4.0 14.2 27:99 25.8 76.4 3.0 20.0 36.4 54.9% 165.4 4.5 62.2 241.8 3.9 25.2
Crunching the Numbers: PSU at Ohio State October 22, 2008 Source: Buckeye Sports - "We compare the Ohio State defense's ability to score as opposed to that of the Penn State defense in Columbus, look at the teams' rankings in several statistical categories, count night games at Ohio Stadium and much more in this week's Crunching the Numbers..."
Game Data: Penn State at Ohio State October 23, 2008 Source: Bucknuts - "We have the pertinent information, depth charts and a prediction on Saturday's showdown between No. 3 Penn State and No. 10 Ohio State Saturday at Ohio Stadium (8 p.m., ABC)..."
Football Preview - Penn State at Ohio State Source: Big Ten Network
2008 Penn State Game Preview October 23, 2008 Source: Buckeye Planet - Analysis and more, including: ...The obvious weak link in the offense for the Lions since their highly successful 2005 campaign has been the QB position...Enter an Ohio product, Daryll Clark, who had to earn the job in a very close and spirited competition with backup Pat Devlin (#7). He has responded by waking the echoes of Michael Robinson, pounding the ball on the ground and firing the ball to receivers with equal ferocity. He's been a menace for opposing defenses this season, and has accounted for 19 TDs, and that's without playing late in several games where the score was out of reach. He has not been explosive in the passing game, as he has not topped 250 yards through the air in a game, but he has been very consistent, averaging about 20-25 attempts per game and throwing for 175-225 yards on average, completing a very high percentage (over 60% 6 times, over 70% twice). He has also thrown a TD pass in every game except the Purdue game 2 weeks ago, and has been picked off only 2 times in 180 pass attempts. ...Penn State Nittany Lions Offensive Preview...Defensive Preview..Special Teams Preview..." (more) Mark Brennan of FightonState.com and Adam Jardy of BuckeyeSports.com preview Penn State @ Ohio State Source: Fox Sports
Ohio State vs. Penn State Preview October 22, 2008 Source: The Ozone - "Tony Gerdeman's preview of the OSU vs. Penn State game...The Nittany Lion offense...(is) one of the most explosive and balanced offenses in the Big Ten, averaging 231 yards passing and 195 yards rushing in conference play. Penn State runs a spread attack, which allows them to attack wide with receivers, and inside with running backs..."
Penn St.-Ohio St. Preview October 22, 2008 Source: ESPNU - "Led by Clark and running back Evan Royster, who leads the Big Ten in yards per carry (7.7), the Lions have the 12th-ranked offense in the nation (482.1 ypg), but they'll have a bit of history to overcome in Columbus. Penn State hasn't won at Ohio Stadium in 30 years, and is 0-7 there since joining the conference. The Lions have also lost 10 straight on the road to AP Top 25 opponents dating to Oct. 12, 2002. Two of those losses have been to No. 1-ranked Ohio State teams, and Clark is thrilled at the opportunity to start a college game in his home state for the first time..." (video analysis)
Penn State at Ohio State Matchups
QB RB WR OL DL LB DB ST Coach Overall
Key individual matchup: "Penn State WR Derrick Williams vs. Ohio State CB Malcolm Jenkins
...The most intriguing aspect of this one-on-one matchup will be the frequency with which Ohio State elects to cover Williams with Jenkins. Williams is Penn State's home run hitter, capable of generating big plays as a ball carrier, as a vertical route-runner and on runs after the catch. Jenkins isn't as quick and explosive but he's smooth, tough and savvy enough to keep Williams in check in man coverage. The Buckeyes like to mix in a lot of zone coverage and it also will employ Jenkins as a safety in nickel and dime personnel packages. Clark needs to recognize those scenarios and make it a point of emphasis to get Williams the football when he sees them developing. Simply put, it's unlikely the Nittany Lions will leave Columbus with a victory if Williams is bottled up."
Preview: #10 Ohio State vs. #3 Penn State October 24, 2008 Source: Eleven Warriors - ...Through the air, Penn State will go the senior triumvirate of Deon Butler, Jordan Norwood and Derrick Williams. The three received adequate amounts of hype as freshman when they burst onto the scene and helped the team to that BCS bowl bid following the 2005 season...Butler and Norwood have doubled-up Robo and Hartline’s numbers, and Williams is dangerous in the backfield as well as in the return game...Tackle Jared Odrick is solid and the ends feature Maurice Evans and his 12.5 sacks of a year ago and Aaron Maybin and his 10 sacks of 2008..."
Game Preview: No. 3 Penn State October 23, 2008 Source: Buckeye Sports - "No. 9 Ohio State continues its 2008 football season Saturday by hosting No. 3 Penn State in just the second-ever Big Ten night game in Ohio Stadium. BuckeyeSports.com previews the game with notes on the Nittany Lions' key players to watch and a breakdown of the team's offensive and defensive units. ..."
Big Ten Game of the Week: Penn State (8-0) at Ohio State (7-1) October 22, 2008 Source: College Football News - "Why to watch: It’s statement time for the two superpowers of the 2008 Big Ten...the world revolves around Penn State and Ohio State, and for the BCS and the national title chase, this will be a key piece of the puzzle...Why Penn State might win: Can Pryor actually throw under pressure? He was terrific against Michigan State, completing 7-of-11 passes for 116 yards with a touchdown, but that game was all about Beanie and the running game. He’s about to face a pass rush like he hasn’t seen, and that includes the USC game...Why Ohio State might win: Can Penn State actually play when it’s getting slugged in the mouth? QB Daryll Clark isn’t likely to be under too much pressure, Ohio State doesn’t have much of a pass rush, but the big runs both from him and backs Evan Royster and Stephon Green will be kept to a minimum by James Laurinaitis and a Buckeye linebacking corps...Who to watch: Wells has ripped off games of 106 yards, 168, 94, and 140 yards...What will happen: Ohio State usually doesn’t do well when it has to deal with the higher ranked teams of similar or better talent. This will be the exception. This is a fantastic Penn State team...but for the first time all year, Clark will have to come through in the clutch, and he won’t be able to do it...CFN Prediction: Ohio State 23 … Penn State ..." (more)
Ohio State vs. Penn State October 23, 2008 Source: CBS Sportsline - "Penn State put an end to one long skid last weekend, halting a nine-game losing streak to one Big Ten nemesis to stay at the forefront of the national championship picture...Clark is the Big Ten's second-highest rated passer (152.7) and has accounted for 19 total touchdowns...but Clark - a native of Youngstown, Ohio - may not have been given the reins had Pennsylvania native Terrelle Pryor chosen to play at Penn State rather than Ohio State..." Jason Horowitz and Spencer Tillman preview the game. Source: CBS Sportsline
Buckeye Extra Gameday October 24, 2008 Source: Columbus Dispatch - "BuckeyeXtra.com delivers all you need to know about the Buckeyes’ upcoming game. Click here for everything from the top story and key factors to player spotlights and game predictions...."
NO. 3 PENN STATE (8-0, 4-0) vs. NO. 10 OHIO STATE (6-1, 3-0) October 22, 2008 Source: Big Ten Network - "After getting pummeled by then-No. 1 USC...Five wins later, the 10th-ranked Buckeyes have a chance to make up for that prime-time failing and undo a lot of heartache when they get yet another shot at proving they can win a marquee game. Redemption could come in the form of No. 3 Penn State on Saturday night at a rockin', scarlet-draped Ohio Stadium..."
Penn State Official Site
Cumulative Season Statistics
Joe Paterno, Head Coach Ass't Coaches & Team Roster Source: Penn State Official Site
Penn State Game Notes (PDF)
Evan Royster One-on-One Source: Big Ten Network Lions vs. Buckeyes: A homecoming for two QBs October 24, 2008 Source: Philadelphia Inquirer - "When Terrelle Pryor and Ohio State host Penn State tomorrow, it will be an odd homecoming of sorts for the Buckeyes quarterback. A product of Jeannette, Pa., the freshman sensation will be facing the team from his native state that he once spurned. He will be taking on the friend and Nittany Lions coach now entrusted with stopping him. And he will be opposing a quarterback who was cast aside during his ballyhooed recruitment but still somehow assisted in the process. While Penn State's Daryll Clark is returning to his home turf, Pryor's first meeting with the Lions is the story as the Big Ten's top teams clash in a game with conference and national-championship implications. Pryor, though, says he doesn't see the added significance. 'I don't care,' he told reporters after the Buckeyes crushed Michigan State, 45-7..."
Mane man: QB Clark's versatility has revived the Nittany Lions' offensive roar October 22, 2008 Source: Cleveland Plain Dealer - "With the ability to break tackles and gain tough yards with his legs and an accurate arm to activate the passing game, Penn State quarterback Daryll Clark (17) has been a revelation this season for the undefeated Nittany Lions...'He's talented,' Ohio State senior linebacker Marcus Freeman said. 'You wonder why you haven't seen him the past couple years. As he goes, that offense goes.'..."
Penn State: Williams knows weight of hype October 23, 2008 Source: Columbus Dispatch - "The Sporting News, in its preseason issue, labeled Williams the "biggest underachiever" in the Big Ten...Back in a prolific spread offense this year, Williams has lined up and contributed in more ways than ever. He had a career-high 241 all-purpose yards against Illinois on Sept. 27, when he became the first Penn State player in Paterno's 43 seasons to score touchdowns on a rush, a reception and a return. He is the only player in the Football Bowl Subdivision to have returned three kickoffs for touchdowns this season. He is averaging 13 yards each time he touches the ball..."
Joe Paterno Weekly Press Conference October 21, 2008 Source: Penn State Official Site - "Q. Can you compare Ohio State's offense with Illinois? How are they similar and how are they different? Paterno: I haven't really done that, to be frank with you. There are differences obviously. I think that the quarterbacks have different running styles. (Terrelle) Pryor is so smooth. The other kid is a big, strong kid that goes up the gut a lot. Pryor is on the edge so much, and when he gets on the edge, he's so dangerous. And I think there are similar tailbacks. Again, Ohio State, you've got remember, the offense I saw against Michigan State is not the one that I looked at earlier. They're just starting to emerge into what they want to do best, so it's hard for me to answer that question and feel comfortable that I know what I'm talking about..."
Penn State Football Press Conference October 22, 2008 Source: Penn State Official Site - "Deon Butler, Senior, Wide Receiver: Q: Looking at Ohio State's defense, what kind of speed do they have? A: They flow to the ball real well. I don't think there's a better linebacker in the country than (James) Laurinaitis, who does pass coverage. Sometimes I think he's a safety. He has more interceptions than the corners. All of them flow to the ball real well..."
USC-OSU game provides insights for victory
October 23, 2008 Source: Penn State Daily Collegian - "Evan Royster has seen enough of the USC-Ohio State game to know how Penn State will prepare against the Buckeyes. 'I think our speed can really be a factor against their defense,' Royster said. 'We're gonna try to come out and try to beat their safeties deep and their corners deep. We'll try to play our game and see what happens.'...linebacker Tyrell Sales...saw some aspects of USC's win over Penn State it might be able to replicate Saturday. 'They were able to get out there against Ohio State, and I don't think there's much separation between a USC and an Ohio State or even Penn State,' Sales said. ''USC went out there with a mindset they were going to get after Ohio State, and they were gonna play all out and do everything they could to win the game.'..."
Pryor's comments will haunt him October 22, 2008 Source: Penn State Daily Collegian - "...In the end, he shunned the Lions for the Bucks and created a fair amount of bulletin board material along the way. On Saturday night, his words may come back to haunt him. When Penn State's pass rushers line up across from him, you'd better believe Pryor's actions and words will be in the back of their minds. Pryor told the New York Times during his recruitment that he didn't like the State College area. He didn't like Penn State's offense. He didn't believe Penn State coaches would use him in a way that would take full advantage of his abilities. When Pryor led No. 9 Ohio State to a 45-7 thumping of Michigan State last weekend, he offered another tidbit that should light an even bigger fire under Penn State players this weekend...Pryor sounded off when asked about playing a team that recruited him from his home state of Pennsylvania. 'I don't care,' Pryor told reporters. 'I'm from Ohio now. That's still my hometown, but this is where I am now. I don't need to make Penn State happy.'...He will be facing a pass rush that ranks seventh in the nation with 23 sacks. Pryor's number two might as well be a bullseye. Penn State's front four will make him pay and make the true freshman wish he never shunned the Lions..."
Buckeyes out to gain back respect October 21, 2008 Source: Centre Daily Times - "They still haven’t lost a Big Ten game this season. They’ve won a part of the last three conference championships, and have a chance to become the first team in the Big Ten history to win three consecutive outright titles. So what, exactly, do the No. 10 Ohio State Buckeyes have to prove? A lot, they say. Penn State’s most talented and highest-ranked opponent of the season views Saturday’s 8 p.m. meeting with the undefeated Nittany Lions as an opportunity to reclaim some of the national buzz it lost with an embarrassing 35-3 loss at USC in early September. 'We’re trying to find our way back into the rankings,' cornerback Malcolm Jenkins said. 'If we could come out with a win, it would force people to respect us again.'..."
Meet Daryll Clark, Penn State destroyer October 20, 2008 Source: Dayton Daily News - "Joe Paterno can’t get all the credit...it is Daryll Clark who does much of the destruction on the field (along, of course, with the very strong defense).
We heard for years about Anthony Morelli...But not many people outside Happy Valley knew much about Clark before he took the reins this season and made the Nittany Lions into one of college football’s best offenses...Clark went to Ursuline High School in Youngstown, where he threw for 1,800 yards and 18 touchdowns as a senior. He was a second-team All-Ohio pick in Division IV. When he signed his letter of intent with Penn State, Clark was rated by Rivals.com as a three-star athlete (average, at best) as Derrick Williams and Justin King led the recruiting class in publicity..."
Penn State has sights set on Buckeyes October 20, 2008 Source: Philadelphia Enquirer - "...The whole season - in terms of the Nittany Lions' lofty ambitions - comes down to this one game: Ohio State on Saturday...There will be no resting on laurels, no looking ahead. There are only the Buckeyes...'I don't look at it at all,' defensive end Aaron Maybin said Saturday after the Lions pounded Michigan, 46-17. 'If we win every game week after week, then at the end of the season we will be where we need to be. But right now, we are just focused on Ohio State.' Penn State has not won in Columbus since 1978, and that was before it was a member of the Big Ten. Since 1993, the Lions have dropped seven straight at the Horseshoe. 'It's a tough place to play," Paterno said, "but we've beaten them there.'..."
#17 Daryll Clark
Named one of the nation’s most indespensable players by the SportingNews...Led the Big Ten in pass efficiency rating for five weeks and is No. 18 nationally... Earned BIG TEN OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK (10/12) after compiling a careerbest 244 passing yards in a 48-7 triumph at Wis...Responsible for 19 TD on the season..Responsible for 24 of Penn State’s 51 plays over 20 yards (22 passing, 2 running)... PSU offense ranked No. 7 in the NCAA in scoring (45.3 ppg) and No. 11 in total offense...
#22 Evan Royster
Leads Penn State and ranks third in Big Ten and 14th in nation averaging 111 yards per game rushing... Five 100-yard rushing games on season (including career-best 174 yards vs. Michigan)...Scored six rushing TD in first two games, the first player in Joe Paterno era to do so...named BIG TEN PLAYER OF THE WEEK (9/7) after posting a then career-high 141 yards and three TD vs. Oregon State...Set career highs with 141 rushing yards, four catches for 53 yards and 194 all-purpose yards at Purdue...10 carries over 20 yards (four over 30)...10 rushing touchdowns...
#3 Deon Butler
Biletnikoff Award candidate… Leads PSU with 486 yards receiving...Averaging 16.2 yards per catch...Posted a season high eight catches for 105 yards vs. Michigan...Needs 6 catches to become school’s all-time leader in receptions...With 30 catches on pace for third straight season with 40 or more catches (47 in 2007)…Second all-time in receiving yards (2,447)… Third all-time with 18 career touchdown catches... three straight seasons with 600 or more yards...school game record 216 yards vs. Northwestern in 2006...Seven catches over 20 yards on year, two over 40...
#59 Aaron Maybin
Ranks second in the nation with 10 sacks (1.25) on the year and third with 14.5 tackles for loss (1.81)...Has a sack in seven of eight games on the year...Forced three fumbles on season, including two that resulted in PSU TD’s the last two games...Named BIG TEN DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK after recording six tackles (five solo), a career-high 3.5 tackles for loss, two sacks for minus- 13 yards, two forced fumbles and a pass break-up at Wisconsin...Made one of the key plays of the game, stripping QB Allan Evridge at the UW 16 with 1:32 left in the first half...Helped force a season high four turnovers against the Badgers...
#18 Navorro Bowman
Leads Penn State with 71 tackles on the season (40 solo)...Penn State’s leading tackler in six games...double-digit tackles in four games...Tied a career high with 11 stops vs. Michigan...named BIG TEN DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK (9/21) after posting career highs of 11 tackles, three sacks, five tackles for loss and an interception vs. Temple...Posted a team-high 10 tackles and forced a fumble vs. Illinois...Tied for the team lead with eight tackles and added a tackle for loss in a 48-7 win at No. 24 Wisconsin...Helped hold the Badgers to seven points, 21.8 points below its season average entering the game, and 148 rushing yards, well below their season average of 210.6 ypg entering the contest...
Total Offense Total Defense
No. 3 Penn State (8-0) at No. 10 Ohio State (7-1):
OSU +2.5 10/21/08 Line Opened: OSU +1.5
“Scarlet Fever” Fan Theme Set for Tilt with Penn State Saturday October 20, 2008 Source: OSU Official Site - "All Buckeye fans attending the game are encouraged to wear scarlet for the primetime national television broadcast on ABC...Scarlet rally towels, courtesy of Nationwide Insurance, will be distributed to the first 80,000 fans...Following the game, 40,000 copies of an Ohio State football commemorative issue of Sports Illustrated “Game Breakers” will be handed out at Ohio Stadium exits...The Penn State game is homecoming for Ohio State. Information on festivities can be accessed at http://homecoming.osu.edu..."
ESPN's College GameDay program, hosted by Chris Fowler, Kirk Herbstreit and Lee Corso, will broadcast this Saturday morning from the Ohio State campus before that evening's Ohio State-Penn State football game at Ohio Stadium. The set will be located on the south driveway of St. John Arena, and the show will air from 10-noon. For more details, go to www.CollegeGameDay.com