Currently, Ohio State is ranked first in the country and in the Big Ten East. Penn State is second in the Big Ten East. Both teams have yet to lose a conference game. This weekend, however, that will change – hopefully in Penn State’s favor.
“I think we’re resilient. I think we have found ways to be successful each week, different ways of doing it. We’re getting better,” said Head Coach James Franklin of the squad’s progress this season.
This past week’s rout of Indiana (W, 29-7) gave the Nittany Lions and Penn State fans great confidence going into what is arguably one of the hardest games Penn State will play this season. Senior defensive end Carl Nassib (West Chester, Pa.), a former walk-on, was just named as having the most sacks in the country this past week. Junior quarterback Christian Hackenberg (Palmyra, Va.) ran for two touchdowns and threw for two more against Indiana. Those are some impressive statistics that Penn State has in its favor this week.
Sophomore linebacker Jason Cabinda (Flemington, N.J.) expressed his excitement about this weekend.
“It’s going to be a fight. It’s going to be a battle of the fronts and it’s going to be a physical game. I think we’re ready and we’re really excited about it.”
Likewise, sophomore offensive lineman Andrew Nelson (Hershey, Pa.) spoke highly of his teammates’ capabilities and strengths.
There has been some talk of returning star running backs freshman Saquon Barkley (Coplay, Pa.) and junior Akeel Lynch (Toronto, Can.) to the field for the battle this weekend. Both running backs provide threatening speed and quick thinking skills that allow them to blow by any opponent.
Likewise, redshirt freshman kicker Joey Julius (Hummelstown, Pa.) will return as the team’s starting kicker this weekend. Julius was pulled from the Indiana game after missing two extra points. Franklin confirmed this at the press conference stating that Julius is “our guy.”
This weekend marks the 30th time Penn State and Ohio State will duke it out. Of the 29 previous competitions, Penn State has won 13 times and Ohio State has won 16. A close margin, confidence runs high among the Nittany Lions and Penn State fans this week. Although Ohio State may be ranked first in the nation statistically, Penn State is ranked first the hearts of all team members, students, fans, and alumni. Hustle and heart beats numbers any day. Tune in to the game in Columbus at 8 p.m. this Saturday to watch the Lions crush the Buckeyes.