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Staff Predictions: No. 13 Penn State vs. No. 2 Ohio State

Riding the high from Saturday’s decisive 45-17 White Out victory, No. 13 Penn State (6-1, Big Ten 3-1) stays in State College for arguably its biggest game of the season: a Big Noon matchup with No. 2 Ohio State.

Encouragingly, Penn State had impressive showings across the roster last week. Quarterback Sean Clifford earned Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week honors for his 295-yard, four-touchdown performance. Freshman running back duo Nick Singleton and Kaytron Allen combined for 156 rushing yards and two touchdowns. Linebackers Curtis Jacobs and Abdul Carter boasted 22 tackles between the two of them. Even the tight ends showed up.

But things aren’t going to be easy for the Nittany Lions this week, as most of our staffers believe the team will fall at home to the Buckeyes.

Rico Gore (1-0): Ohio State 24, Penn State 10

Let’s just face the facts here. As much as I love Penn State, and I will be there supporting it to the best of my ability, there’s little to no chance it pulls off the win. The best that we fans can hope for is a decent game that isn’t embarrassing like Michigan was. The Nittany Lions need to not get rocked. Not so much because it helps the team’s chances with a bowl game, but because constantly getting destroyed by big teams doesn’t look good for recruits. I think there is enough fight to make it a good game but not enough fight to pull off the win.

Luke Brown (2-1): Ohio State 34, Penn State 20

Every aspect of this Penn State group will be put to the test against one of the best teams in the country this Saturday. Will Manny Diaz disguise a plan to stop the fourth-ranked offense in the country? Will Sean Clifford step up and outscore future first-rounder CJ Stroud? How will James Franklin respond to critics this weekend?

All of these questions and more will be answered, but Ohio State is simply more talented than Penn State. We’ll see how interesting the game will be, but I believe the more talented team will win this weekend.

Nolan Wick (6-1): Ohio State 41, Penn State 28

Ohio State is scary. The Buckeyes are ranked second in total defense and fourth in total offense for all FBS teams. That offense is led by quarterback CJ Stroud, who is currently the favorite to win the Heisman. Stroud has plenty of weapons and the means to beat any team in the nation. Ohio State nearly lost to Notre Dame in week one, but it has blown out every opponent since then.

Saturday’s Stripe Out will definitely be Ohio State’s toughest game so far, as Penn State usually puts up a good fight against the Buckeyes. Even though I think the Nittany Lions will score four touchdowns and play a good game in a raucous environment, it still won’t be enough to beat Ohio State.

Brendan Wagner (0-0): Ohio State 31, Penn State 17

Both teams are coming into this game off huge momentum-boosting blowouts, creating a high-energy environment prior to kickoff. Ohio State’s high-powered offense will start fast and early, quickly putting points on the board. The tough Penn State defense will slowly start to figure things out and slow down the Ohio State offense, helping the Nittany Lions back into the game. However, a long touchdown pass by CJ Stroud late in the game will seal the deal.

Joe Lister (7-0): Ohio State 45, Penn State 13

Looking at the facts, I can’t see Penn State coming out of this one on top. CJ Stroud is one of the best players in the nation (28 touchdowns to four interceptions is insane), and Ohio State is one of the best teams in the nation. Looking at how the Nittany Lions performed against Michigan, the only other ranked team faced this year, things aren’t looking good. Still, I can’t quite shake the idea that there’s a potential upset here.

Adam Babetski (6-1): Penn State 24, Ohio State 21

If the goalposts aren’t at the bottom of Shaver’s Creek by the end of the night, I’ll be upset.

Matt Brown (6-1): Ohio State 36, Penn State 29

Penn State took care of business by blowing out Minnesota during the White Out Saturday, and now it faces the toughest test of the season in Ohio State. Don’t get me wrong. I want Penn State to win, but I just don’t think it’s going to happen. I think Ohio State is the best team in the nation, led by Heisman favorite CJ Stroud and star wide receivers Jaxon Smith-Njigba and Marvin Harrison Jr.

If Penn State wants to win this game, the defense is going to have to have the best game of the season. The Nittany Lions will have to limit the scoring, and Sean Clifford’s offense needs to keep scoring, whether it’s touchdowns or field goals. It will be a close game, but I think Ohio State will sadly come out on top.

CJ Gill (3-1): Ohio State 35, Penn State 28

I would love to pick the Nittany Lions in this one, but the Buckeyes have too much talent to lose this Saturday. Penn State has struggled to defend the run over the last two weeks, so if Ohio State can establish the run and play action, it could be a long game for the Nittany Lions. I might have more faith in James Franklin’s squad if this was the White Out. Thanks a lot, FOX…

Brady Miller (3-1): Ohio State 45, Penn State 30

The Nittany Lions looked good last week against a Minnesota team that didn’t have its starting quarterback. Penn State’s secondary will be faced with its toughest test of the season against Heisman front-runner CJ Stroud. I think Penn State puts up a fight for a while but will ultimately not be able to keep up with the high-powered offense of the Buckeyes.

Mikey DeAngelis (6-1): Penn State 30, Ohio State 26

I believe in miracles! This is going to be Sean Clifford’s legacy game. He’s going to silence the haters and have the game of his life against Ohio State. Do I fully believe everything I’m saying right now? No! That being said, I’m trying to keep the faith.

Aidan Conrad (3-1): Penn State 31, Ohio State 27

Ohio State comes into Saturday ranked as the No. 2 team in the nation. They have NFL talent all over the field. Scouts are glued to the TV every week to watch these guys play. The spread to this game is massively in favor of the Buckeyes. In no world does Penn State have a chance in this game, right? WRONG. The Nittany Lions will shock the nation and come out on top.

Sam Fremin (6-1): Ohio State 31, Penn State 30

I think Penn State actually matches up better with the Buckeyes than Michigan, as crazy as that sounds. That’s not to say James Franklin has the better squad, just that with a couple of big plays, an upset may not be entirely out of reach. Still, how can you bet against Ohio State?

Frankie Marzano (6-1): Penn State 24, Ohio State 21

Sean Clifford will have a legacy game this weekend. Book it.

Ryan Parsons (5-2): Penn State 27, Ohio State 26

It feels like the Nittany Lions are due. I have no other reasoning. I picked them to lose last week, so please don’t call me a homer. It’s time for Penn State to become E L I T E.

Gabe Angieri (7-0): Ohio State 31, Penn State 17

I’ll be generous and say Penn State will cover the spread. Ohio State is just a different breed, folks. It’s ranked No. 2 in the country for a reason.

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Posts from the all-student staff of Onward State.

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