5:25 pm, October 21, 2023
On the heels of three consecutive punts, a long-awaited potent Buckeye drive appeared to collapse as Penn State linebacker Curtis Jacobs punched the ball away from a scrambling Kyle McCord and scooped up a perfect bounce for a 56-yard fumble recovery touchdown.
Completely unbeknownst to a jubilant Jacobs reeling up the sideline in celebration, however, the Penn State secondary was whistled for a defensive holding, giving the Ohio State offense new life and new set of downs. McCord would take full advantage, rifling a throw into star receiver Marvin Harrison Jr. at the four-yard line and later handing the ball off to Miyan Williams, who battled through initial contact and stretched across the goal line for six. 10-3 Buckeyes with just seven minutes remaining in the first half.
— FOX College Football (@CFBONFOX) October 21, 2023
4:41 pm, October 21, 2023
With a pair of college football’s best defenses taking the field Saturday, the two starting quarterbacks have produced a pair of expectedly bleak stat lines through a stingy opening quarter — Kyle McCord and Drew Allar have combined to go 10-21 for just over 100 yards.
McCord looked remarkably poised against Penn State’s vaunted secondary early, completing his first five passes to drag his Buckeyes inside the red zone. However, the Nits stiffened as they tracked back toward single digits, forcing three straight incompletions — McCord would go on to misfire on six of his next seven passes — and a field goal for the Buckeyes.
Allar, meanwhile, has been under constant duress from OSU’s ferocious front, designating most of Penn State’s meager offensive gains to Nicholas Singleton. The running back churned out 42 yards on a crucial PSU drive, resulting in a game-tying 40-yard field goal. Excluding the two field-goal drive, Penn State and Ohio State have combined for six punts and just 83 yards as we enter the second quarter tied at 3.
4:23 pm, October 21, 2023
Ohio State QB Kyle McCord appeared completely unfazed staring out at the very best defense in college football early Saturday, slicing through the blue-and-white secondary and completing all five of his opening passes.
A dump down to Chip Trayanum stretched for 19 yards inside the red zone, but with the goal line breathing down its neck Penn State’s defense finally began to match its pedigree. McCord would promptly fire three consecutive incompletions, stalling the Buckeye drive and forcing a field goal.
3-0 Ohio State after five minutes of play.
4:16 pm, October 21, 2023
College football Saturday starts with a bang in week 8, as Penn State and Ohio State tangle in a crucial Big Ten East matchup. Ohio State wins the opening toss and will begin on defense, electing to defer.
Follow live for scores, updates and everything else you need to know from Ohio Stadium
4:19 pm, October 19, 2023
It’s almost an embarrassment of riches for sixth-ranked juggernauts Penn State. Somehow, despite surging out to a 6-0 start and dominating its first three conference opponents each by three scores, there seems to be another gear to Penn State’s offense going unused, or perhaps even unneeded.
The Nittany Lion offense currently ranks second to last in FBS in explosive play rate and hasn’t completed a pass for more than 35 yards since Week 1, opting for a more methodical approach that has produced one comical press conference interaction with James Franklin and zero close games for his bunch.
Any bullets left in the Penn State chamber likely need to be fired Saturday, however, facing off against Jim Knowles’s stingy defense will be difficult. Since arriving from Oklahoma State in 2022 as defensive coordinator, Knowles has helped redefine the Buckeyes from a squad desperate for passable defense to a squad defined by it — the Buckeyes defense ranks sixth in expected yards added (EPA) and has allowed an average of fewer than 10 points per game thus far in 2023.
And as a consequence of Penn State’s more intentional approach, a notable red flag on the Nittany Lion statistical profile is their struggles on early downs, moving the chains on just 28 percent of first-and-second down snaps — the Ohio State defense, in turn, excels in this area, allowing conversions on a second-ranked 19.5 percent of snaps on first and second down. The Ohio State defense appears to have an excellent opportunity to force Penn State behind schedule and make sophomore PSU quarterback Drew Allar beat them.
Conversely, Saturday offers the ultimate test — Penn State ranks first in FBS for EPA/pass — for an Ohio State aerial attack that has looked improved after facing early criticism. Buckeye quarterback Kyle McCord notably struggled against Indiana in Week 1, throwing zero touchdowns, an interception and misfiring often in a tightly-contested first half. McCord rallied in the second half to help OSU pull away and has impressed ever since, surpassing 250 passing yards in all but one game and tossing 11 touchdowns to zero picks.
Even an improved McCord still projects to struggle against a Penn State defense that has held opposing quarterbacks under 130 yards in its last three games. Production from Ohio State’s inconsistent run game, currently averaging 4.3 yards per carry, will be crucial for the Buckeyes in order to secure the home W.
3:11 pm, October 19, 2023
Columbus has served as the center of the college football world since 1994 — at least in the eyes of ESPN’s College GameDay crew. Rece Davis has led his traveling troupe to Ohio Stadium 23 times, comfortably the most of any ground in the country, and the Buckeyes also lead FBS in GameDay appearances (58) and GameDay wins (39).
— College GameDay (@CollegeGameDay) October 14, 2023
Penn State’s navy blue against the red-and-white turf inside the “Shoe” offers another sense of familiarity for the College GameDay crew, with the Nittany Lions being the opponent of choice for nine of their 23 appearances in Columbus. Accomplished GameDay veterans in their own right, Penn State has appeared in 25 spotlight clashes and has won three of its last four, most recently a 35-21 Rose Bowl victory over Utah.
2:24 pm, October 19, 2023
What began as an evenly-contested rivalry upon Penn State’s entry into the Big Ten in 1993 — Ohio State held a narrow 5-4 advantage through the teams’ first nine annual meetups — has evolved into Buckeye brutality since the new millennium. Ohio State coach Ryan Day has continued this dominance since taking the reins late in the 2018 season, posting a perfect 4-0 record against the Nits and defeating his Happy Valley rivals by at least two scores each time.
In fact, Penn State has only managed to beat the Buckeyes once this decade, triumphing in a 2016 whiteout classic where PSU actually trailed 21-7 before leaning on the powerful legs of Saquon Barkley, and a crucial blocked field goal turned touchdown, to complete its comeback 24-21.
Here’s a look at the last ten editions of the Penn State-Ohio State rivalry:
|Oct. 26, 2013||Columbus, Ohio||#4 Ohio State||Penn State||63-14|
|Oct. 25, 2014||State College, Pa.||#12 Ohio State||Penn State||31-24|
|Oct. 17, 2015||Columbus, Ohio||#1 Ohio State||Penn State||38-10|
|Oct. 22, 2016||State College, Pa.||Penn State||#2 Ohio State||24-21|
|Oct. 28, 2017||Columbus, Ohio||#6 Ohio State||#2 Penn State||39-38|
|Sept. 29, 2018||State College, Pa.||#4 Ohio State||#9 Penn State||27-26|
|Nov. 23, 2019||Columbus, Ohio||#2 Ohio State||#8 Penn State||28-17|
|Oct. 31, 2020||State College, Pa.||#3 Ohio State||#18 Penn State||38-25|
|Oct. 30, 2021||Columbus, Ohio||#5 Ohio State||#20 Penn State||33-24|
|Oct. 29, 2022||State College, Pa.||#2 Ohio State||#13 Penn State||44-31|
2:20 pm, October 19, 2023
Fanatics across the Buckeye State will be up bright and early Saturday morning, with over 105,000 set to pack Ohio Stadium for a crucial noon kickoff against Penn State. Here’s how you can watch all the rivalry action:
- Date 🗓️: Saturday, Oct. 21
- Time ⏰: 12 p.m. ET
- Location📍: Columbus, Ohio
- TV 📺: FOX