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NSN Staff Predictions: Will Penn State Finally Conquer Ohio State?

UNIVERSITY PARK, PA - OCTOBER 29: Penn State Nittany Lions Running Back Kaytron Allen (13) runs with the ball during the second half of the college football game between the Ohio State Buckeyes and the Penn State Nittany Lions on October 29, 2022, at Beaver Stadium in University Park, PA. (Photo by Gregory Fisher/Icon Sportswire)

Penn State-Ohio State day is finally here.

Will this be the year PSU finally slays the dragon?

Will coach James Franklin go a long way toward changing the narrative that he can’t win big games?

Or will this just be another case of Penn State not being good enough when the lights are bright?

Here’s what our staff thinks.

Logan Carney: Is this the year Penn State finally beats Ohio State? I’m going to say no.

Look, this Penn State team is extremely talented. And this Ohio State team, while also extremely talented, is beatable. However, I don’t think it’ll be Penn State who beats them.

I just cannot shake this “rivalry’s” (if you want to call it that) history. Especially recent history. Penn State is 1-10 in their last 11 meetings, with the one win due to a once in a lifetime blocked field goal. The current six-game Ohio State winning streak is the longest of the series. Since 1975, Penn State has beaten Ohio State as the lower ranked team just twice in 2005 and 2016, both of which were at home.

There’s a part of me that says this Penn State team is better than Ohio State. But there’s an even louder part that screams “Just look at how this series goes, you idiot.” And that is the part I’m listening to.

How will it go then? A close game for three quarters until Ohio State pulls away in the fourth and ices it with a two score victory.

OSU 41, PSU 31

Brandon Walker: At the beginning of the season,  I predicted that Penn State’s only loss was going to be to Ohio State. However, as I observed with teams play I see that Penn State has two advantages in this game: At quarterback and on defense. Drew Allar is a better quarterback than Kyle McCord and Penn State has the defensive backs to matchup against Ohio State’s wide receivers. I am convinced that this is the year that James Franklin finally gets over the hump against Ohio State.

PSU 31, OSU 27

Jarrod Prugar: This is 150% a must-win for James Franklin. Lucky for him, it’s also the best chance they’ve had to beat Ohio State straight up in his time at Penn State. For PSU to leave Columbus with a win, it has to pressure Kyle McCord and force him to make mistakes. It’ll also need to have a balanced offensive attack and for Drew Allar to continue playing as he has. This game should come to special teams which both teams are not the strongest. I like Penn State.

PSU 31, OSU 24

Ethan Ronan: I feel like this is finally the year where Penn State gets over the hump and enter the next great chapter in program history. This could be a game we remember for years to come. I see Penn State not only covering the moving spread (4.5) but winning in a fourth-quarter showdown.

PSU 26, OSU 21

Sure thing.

Andy Stine: I said before the season I was picking PSU to go 10-2 with losses to Michigan and Ohio State. I stuck with it, but I thought a lot about changing my mind.

This could be a low-scoring game with how good both defenses are. I think the main thing to watch is PSU’s O line vs. Ohio State’s D line. If it can protect Allar, PSU will be fine. But I’m still picking Ohio State

OSU 17, PSU 10.

AP (The Nittany Pod): PSU 24, OSU 16

TK (The Nittany Pod): PSU 24, OSU 21

Blue & White (The Nittany Pod): PSU 28, OSU 24

Me: I said all offseason and for the first month of the season that Penn State was going to lose at Ohio State and beat Michigan at home. Then I watched Ohio State play Maryland. I wasn’t impressed. I think Kyle McCord is a decent QB and better than some give him credit for, but I don’t think he’s better than Drew Allar. Penn State hasn’t had the edge in the QB matchup against Ohio State since probably 2008 when Darryl Clark went up against Todd Boeckman. Where Penn State also has the edge is in the D line vs. O line matchup. Ohio State’s tackles are shaky, and Penn State’s defensive ends are so strong that it’s not unusual for coordinator Manny Diaz to play three of them. McCord has been awful under pressure, having completed under 30% of his passes.

If Penn State can pressure McCord enough, it will win the game.

Penn State 24, Ohio State 20

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