Picks and Predictions: What You Need to Know About Penn State-Ohio State

Will Penn State rebound from an overtime loss in Week 1 to upset Ohio State?
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Penn State hosts Ohio State for a very different Whiteout game, though the Lions have more on their minds. Penn State is trying to avoid its first 0-2 start since 2012 while maintaining a path to the Big Ten title.

Though they're 12-point underdogs, the Lions have a case to make for the upset. Will they? Here's our pick.

No. 3 Ohio State (1-0) at No. 18 Penn State (0-1)

When: 7:30 p.m. Saturday

Where: Beaver Stadium


Radio: Penn State Sports Network

Betting Line: Ohio State is a 12-point favorite

Series History: Ohio State leads 21-14

Last Meeting: Ohio State 28-17

About the Lions: Penn State has plenty of questions to answer, starting with its offense. The Lions scored on their opening drive of the season and totaled 488 yards but looked unsure with elements of the passing game against Indiana. The offense also has to adjust with new starting back Devyn Ford, whom teammates said has bounced back from the accidental touchdown he scored against the Hoosiers. Still, a once-deep position will face Ohio State with questions. Likewise at receiver, a group that showed some first-game jitters and needs junior Jahan Dotson to be its alpha playmaker. Ohio State coach Ryan Day is fretting about the matchup challenge tight end Pat Freiermuth poses, but Penn State needs to generate offense elsewhere. It also looks to tune a special teams group that missed three field goals (albeit one from 57 yards), mishandled two kicks and was called for an illegal hit on punt coverage.

About the Buckeyes: During the Fox Sports pregame show, Urban Meyer predicted that all 11 Buckeyes offensive starters would be drafted. He might not be far off. Quarterback Justin Fields led a 52-point surge against Nebraska, completing 20 of 21 passes for 276 yards and two touchdowns. Fields also led the Buckeyes in rushing attempts (15), making Penn State's scouting work that much more difficult. Indiana's receivers made some exceptional plays on their game-tying drive in the fourth quarter, but they're not in Ohio State's class. Chris Olave and Garrett Wilson are the top-liners, but watch for newcomer Jaxon Smith-Njigba. And Ohio State's pass defense held Nebraska to 160 yards, another alarm bell for the Lions.

The Pick: Penn State will play better, and cleaner, than it did against Indiana. Its defense has the chops to curb some of the Buckeyes' skill players, particularly if the front four can pressure Fields without allowing him to scramble. And quarterback Sean Clifford, who nearly carried Penn State to a second-half win, has a score to settle for that one. That will get Penn State close, but it won't be enough.

Ohio State 24-21

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