October 27, 2020

Game Preview: Ohio State at Penn State


The No. 3-ranked Ohio State Buckeyes go on the road for the first time in 2020 when they face No. 18 Penn State in a prime time Big Ten East Division showdown Saturday night at Beaver Stadium.

READ MORE: Sunday’s Lookahead

ESPN’s College GameDay will be in State College and ABC will broadcast the game with Chris Fowler, Kirk Herbstreit and Maria Taylor on the call.


No. 3 Ohio State at No. 18 Penn State • Sat., Oct. 31 • When: 7:30 p.m. • Where: Beaver Stadium • TV: ABC • Radio: 97.1 The Fan



  • Saturday will be the 36th all-time meeting between Ohio State and Penn State and the 27th since the Nittany Lions joined the Big Ten in 1993.
  • The Buckeyes lead the series 20-14 and are 8-6 in games played in State College.
  • Since 2014, five of the six games have been decided by 11 points or less and three of them featuring fourth-quarter comebacks.
    • In 2016, Penn State scored 17 unanswered points in the fourth quarter to win 24-21. The following two years, in 2017 and 2018, Ohio State rallied from fourth quarter deficits of 10 points or more and won by one point each time. Last year, the Buckeyes’ 11-point win over Penn State was its smallest over a Big Ten opponent all season.



  • Justin Fields and Garrett Wilson each picked up weekly awards following their performances last Saturday against Nebraska.
  • Fields was named to the Davey O’Brien National Quarterback Award Great 8 list and will be among the nominees for the National Quarterback of the Week award, which is announced on Wednesday.
  • Fields was also named the Co-National Performer of the Week by the College Football Performance Awards. He shared the honor with Wisconsin quarterback Graham Mertz.
  • Wilson, following a seven-catch, 129-yard performance last Saturday, is on the honorable mention list for the Earl Campbell Tyler Rose Award Player of the Week.


  • The Buckeyes have scored more offensive touchdowns since 2012 (595) than any other team in the country.
  • In the Ryan Day era (2017-present), Ohio  State has scored 40 or more points in 25 of 43 games (58 percent) and 30 or more 32 times.
  • Only four teams – Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Ohio State and Alabama – have scored 30+ points in at least 70 percent of their games since 2017.


  • Via @ESPNStatsInfo, Ohio State is 29-5 since 2012 against Associated Press Top 25 teams and has won 16 consecutive games over ranked Big Ten opponents (including conference championship games).
  • That’s the longest streak in the AP poll era (1936).
  • In that span, the Buckeyes are 9-0 on the road with wins over Michigan State (2012, 2014), Michigan (2015, 2019), Penn State (2018), Oklahoma (2016), Minnesota (2014), Wisconsin (2016) and Northwestern (2013).



Since the start of the 2012 season, Ohio State has a 34-3 record in “true” road games (excluding neutral site contests). Its .918 road winning percentage is second only to Oklahoma.


Six Buckeyes made their first career starts last week vs. Nebraska: OG Harry Miller, WR Garrett Wilson, DT Tommy Togiai, DT Antwuan Jackson, SAF Marcus Hooker and CB Marcus Williamson.


Justin Fields has nine games with a passing and rushing touchdown since the start of last season. That’s more than twice as many as any other Big Ten player over that span.


According to Pro Football Focus – College (@PFF_College), Ohio State’s offensive line recorded the highest overall grade in week eight. The unit includes two new starters: Harry Miller and Nicholas Petit-Frere.


  • Ranked No. 8 in the Associated Press poll prior to last week, Penn State dropped a 36-35 overtime decision to Indiana last Saturday.
  • The Nittany Lions’ offense is directed by fourth-year junior Sean Clifford, who accounted for four touchdowns last week (three passing, one rushing). In addition to 238 yards passing, he also led the team with 119 yards on the ground.
  • Shaka Toney, a defensive end, leads the front of Penn State’s defense while cornerback Tariq Castro-Fields patrols the back. Toney had two sacks, seven tackles and one QB hurry last week while Castro-Fields finished with five tackles and a pass breakup.