Buckeyes vs. Nittany Lions.
Ohio State at Penn State preview capsule
TV: ABC with Brent Musberger and former OSU quarterback Kirk Herbstreit. Lisa Salters works the sidelines.
RADIO: Ohio State Radio Network (WHBC-AM 1480, WKNR-AM 850, WAKR-AM 1590) with Paul Keels, Jim Lachey and Marty Bannister.
ODDS: OSU is a 3 1/2-point favorite.
THE SERIES: Through 22 games, each program has 11 wins. Penn State is 5-3 at home. A Buckeye win would equal the school’s longest winning streak against Penn State at two games. OSU’s last win in Happy Valley came in 2003 in a 21-20 game.
THEY’RE FROM PENN STATE: Hoover High School graduate Todd Blackledge led Penn State to a national football title. John Aniston, who plays Victor Kiriakis on “Days of Our Lives,” and Tom Verducci of Sports Illustrated are graduates. Salters, the sideline reporter, played on the women’s basketball team. Former U.S. Secretary of Defense William Perry is a graduate.
THE COACHES: Jim Tressel is looking for his 206th win and his 71st at Ohio State. He is 42-10 against the Big Ten, 4-2 against Penn State. There aren’t too many who can refer to the 54-year-old Tressel as “Jimmy” and 60-something Offensive Coordinator Joe Daniels as “Joey.” Penn State Head Coach Joe Paterno did both this week. Paterno is in his 42nd season at Penn State. The 1950 Brown University graduate is 369-123-3.
HOW IT WILL GO: OSU is hoping to throw a Beanie Bag at Penn State’s defense and ride Chris Wells to the end zone a couple of times. Wells is coming off his best game of the season with 221 yards against Michigan State. If the Buckeyes are able to get more than 100 yards against the ninth-ranked run defense in the country, they will win. The Nittany Lions’ two losses came on the road against Michigan and Illinois, and both teams hit them hard in the running game. Penn State LBs Dan Connor and Sean Lee are among the best in the country. They lead a defense that’s allowed just 16 TDs in their last 14 games. If Buckeye QB Todd Boeckman is rattled by the crowd and throws interceptions, OSU is in for an upset. Ohio State needs to take the crowd out of the game before halftime. To do that, one of the best defenses in the country can’t allow QB Anthony Morelli time to throw.
PORTER’S PICK: Keep an eye on WR Derrick Williams. He has hurt OSU in the past. The Buckeyes will have a tough time moving the ball, but so will Penn State. Ohio State 16, Penn State 10