Welcome to the fourth edition of The OSU Cheat Sheet - a look at the upcoming opponent, what they bring to the field, what players could give OSU trouble. This way, you'll know what names to watch for on Saturday and what parts of the game could cause the Buckeyes some problems.
Hope this helps your enjoyment of another OSU victory. O-H!
Penn State Nittany Lions (4-2)
Penn State is coming off of an Overtime win against Michigan and a Bye Week. They are more than prepared for the Buckeyes. In fact, after the Michigan game, QB Christian Hackenberg was named the winner of the Capital One Cup Impact Performance of the Week. That simple sentence alone should tell you that the Penn State offense is going to give the Buckeyes everything they can handle and more.
Our defense has had some troubles in the past few weeks – and don’t get me started on bad tackling – but there is no room for error this week. Players have to wrap up their assignments, hit them cleanly, stay in the game and handle their business. This could easily turn into a repeat of 2005, a loss which made Penn State fans consider the Buckeyes to be their biggest rival. And that means the Lions will be fired up and on top of their game this week.
#14 QB Christian Hackenberg has 1,672 yards and 11 TDs already this season, with only 6 INT’s in 226 passing attempts. He’s averaging nearly 280 yards per game hitting 12 different receivers. On the bright side, he’s got 33 rushing attempts for -67 yards so we don’t have to worry about that.
#08 WR Allen Robinson is the biggest receiving threat the Lions have. He’s got 43 catches for 705 yards and 5 TDs, averaging nearly 120 per game.
#85 TE Allen Felder comes in next with 22 catches for 232 yards. While #18 TE Jesse James and #87 TE Kyle Carter are also targets, anyone on the field is a possibility.
#28 RB Zack Zwinak, senior, is one of the best in the entire B1G and the toughest rusher the Buckeyes have faced this year. He’s got 402 yards on 92 attempts with 8 TDs.
#01 RB Bill Belton, junior, runs a close second to Zwinak. On just 70 carriers he’s racked up 387 yards and 3 TDs.
With the departure of defensive coordinator Ted Roof, the defensive backs coach John Butler was promoted and so far has done a great job whipping this defense into shape and overcoming the loss of some great players since last season.
They’ve racked up 7 INTs and 4 Fumble recoveries, but aside from shutting out Kent State they’ve given up their share of points…. 40 to Michigan most recently. #40 Glenn Carson LB and #91 DaQuan Jones DT lead the team in tackles and are their biggest threats.
Penn State ranks 2nd in the B1G for Pass Defense but only 7th in defending the Rush which is a good thing since the Buckeyes RB Carlos Hyde will definitely be getting a workout tomorrow!