Originally written on isportsweb.com  |  Last updated 11/18/11

The Rundown:

The Penn State Nittany Lions (8-2, 4-1 Big Ten) continue their quest at a Big Ten Championship game berth when they travel to Ohio State to face the Buckeyes tomorrow afternoon.

The Lions hold sole possession of first place in the Leaders Division of the Big Ten, with the winner of the division to meet the winner of the Legends division in the title game on December 3rd.

Those hopes took a hit last weekend when the Lions lost 17-14 at home to Nebraska in its first game without Joe Paterno in some 60 years. The loss forces Penn State to win out its two remaining games to earn a berth in the championship game.

Standing in the way are the Ohio State Buckeyes and freshman quarterback Braxton Miller. Also standing in the Lions’ way is Ohio Stadium, where the Lions have won just once since joining the Big Ten (in 2008) in 1995.

The Horseshoe also brings a sort of house of horrors for Penn State quarterback Matt McGloin, who threw two interceptions in last years game at Ohio State. McGloin was named Penn State’s starter after Tom Bradley took over for Paterno last week.

McGloin will have to overcome last years demons while facing another stout Buckeye defense, allowing just 18 points per game, good for 4th in the nation.

Ohio State’s quarterback will face the same type of distress as Miller faces Penn State’s outstanding defense, led by Nagurski finalist Devon Still and Co. The Lions have forced __ turnovers this season, and are allowing just 17 point per game.

Key Players:

  • Braxton Miller, QB, Ohio State: The true freshman has an impressive win on his resume already, with a wild win against Wisconsin. Penn State has struggled somewhat with containing dual-threat quarterbacks this season, with Illinois’ Nathan Sheelhasse and more recently against Nebraska’s Taylor Martinez. If Miller can use his legs as effectively as his arm, the Lions could be on upset alert in the ‘Shoe.
  • Matt McGloin, QB, Penn State: Expect the Buckeyes to crowd the box to stop the Lions’ running game and Silas Redd, which leaves play open in the passing game. It’s up to McGloin to hit on some passes early to take the pressure off the running game. If he can do so, the Lions will leave with just one game standing between them and the Big Ten title game.
  • Devon Still, DT, Penn State: The Nagurski Finalist has wreaked havoc on the nation this season and Saturday should be no different. If Still and Co. can clog Boom Herron and the Buckeyes running game, the Lions will be able to get after and pressure the young Miller and force him into some mistakes.

Key Matchup:

  • Penn State’s special teams vs. Ohio State’s special teams: Often in rivalry games like this featuring two outstanding defenses, a special teams play turns the tide of the game. Both the Lions and Buckeyes have great kickers, and punt returners, whoever makes a play could turn the tide of this game.

Prediction: Penn State 14 Ohio State 13

  • I like Matt McGloin to overcome his Ohio Stadium struggles and lift the Lions over the Buckeyes with a last minute drive. The Lions will play with more urgency the rest of the way knowing they need to win out to earn a berth in the Big Ten Championship game, which starts this week with a win at Ohio State for the first time since 2008, the year the Lions last went to the Rose Bowl.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Ronda Rousey knocks out Bethe Correia in 34 seconds

Von Miller earns dismissal from NFL’s drug program

Ian Kennedy watches birth of daughter on FaceTime before start

Matt Williams wants Bryce Harper to stop getting ejected

Five most underrated players in the NFL

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Larry Lucchino stepping down as Red Sox CEO

Las Vegas Mob Museum to open FIFA corruption exhibit

Does NFL have a motive to settle with Tom Brady?

Big Ten coaches opposed to 9-game conference schedule

Winners and losers of the 2015 MLB trade deadline

Hill arrested for reckless driving, clocked going 107 mph

Danny Garcia beats Paulie Malignaggi, remains undefeated

Bobby Wagner, Seahawks agree to contract extension

Blount won't talk about reported failed conditioning test

Greg Hardy helps pay Cowboys fans to fly anti-Eagles banner

Report: 7-foot Aussie center to join Kentucky's 2015 class

Eagles trade CB Brandon Boykin to Steelers

Jack Del Rio: Crabtree ‘stood out’ at first Raiders camp practice

Browns owner: ‘We haven’t given up on Johnny Manziel’

Junior Seau’s daughter will speak at Hall of Fame induction

Golden State Warriors: the rich get richer

NFL, Brady could settle to avoid appeal documents going public

Miguel Herrera apologizes for costly Philly airport fight

College Football News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Five most underrated players in the NFL

Five potential NFL salary cap casualties this preseason

Winners and losers of the 2015 MLB trade deadline

Pirates do Pirates at deadline: Neat little moves

Mets acquire Cespedes from Tigers

Ranking the NFL’s 32 head coaches

Five worst baseball trades since 2000

Examining the state of the NFL

Puig: Broke out of slump by playing baseball video games

Braves dump risk, exchange it for risk

David Price traded to Blue Jays

The indefensible Hulk Hogan

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker