1. After a tough game against Wisconsin in week six, the Buckeyes' team stats took a major hit:
Category OSU Statistic -NCAA Rank- Scoring Offense 49.3 ppg 4th Scoring Defense 12.8 ppg 3rd Total Offense 516.5 ypg 12th Total Defense 280.3 ypg 6th Turnover Margin 1.33 / game 4th Time of Possession 34:40 / game 9th
Ohio State's scoring offense dropped by 3.9 ppg; and total offense dropped by 21.1 ypg. Scoring defense increased by 2.0 ppg; and total defense increased by 33.9 ypg. Turnover margin dropped slightly (.17 / game) while time of possession dropped considerably (1:20 per game).
2. Here's how Ohio State and Penn State stack up in the major offensive and defensive categories. The Buckeyes are top 12 in all categories, while the Nittany Lions are mediocre to bad across the board:
For the season, Penn State is gaining 10.0 more yards per game than they are surrendering; and scoring 2.0 more points per game than they are allowing.
Team Total Offense NCAA Rank Score Offense NCAA Rank Total Defense NCAA Rank Score Defense NCAA Rank Turnovers NCAA Rank Ohio State 516.5 ypg 12th 49.3 ppg 4th 280.3 ypg 6th 12.8 ppg 3rd +8 4th Penn State 391.5 ypg 82nd 30.5 ppg 61st 381.5 ypg 52nd 28.5 ppg 73rd -2 89th
On the other hand, Ohio State is gaining 236.2 more yards per game than they are surrendering; and scoring 36.5 more point than they are allowing.
Based on the above statistics, this week's game should not even be close.
3. H-back Curtis Samuel is the Buckeyes' leading receiver (29 receptions, 403 yards, 3 touchdowns); second-leading rusher (62 carries, 456 yards, 3 touchdowns); and tied for the team lead (with J.T. Barrett and Noah Brown) with 6 touchdowns. Samuel is averaging 143.2 all-purpose yards per game and 9.4 yards per touch. Samuel already has twelve plays from scrimmage of 20+ yards (5 rushes, 7 receptions).
4. Running back Mike Weber is the team's leading rusher, with 94 carries for 612 yards (6.5 average) and 4 touchdowns. At his current pace, Weber will rush for over 1,300 yards this season and easily break Ohio State's freshman rushing record (1,237 yards by Maurice Clarett in 2002).
5. Quarterback J.T. Barrett has 1,641 total yards (434 rushing, 1,207 passing), for an average of 273.5 yards per game. Barrett has 7,087 total yards for his career, which is 4th best in Ohio State history behind Bobby Hoying (7,151 total yards); Braxton Miller (8,609 total yards); and Art Schlichter (8,850 total yards). At his current pace, Barrett will end the 2016 season with 3,555 total yards on the year, and 9,001 total yards for his career.
6. Barrett has 22 total touchdowns (6 rushing, 16 passing) on the season, and a Buckeye record 89 total touchdowns for his career. Barrett is on pace to break his single-season record of 45 total touchdowns, which he set in 2014.
7. Barrett is currently 10th in career passing yards at Ohio State with 5,033. He needs 57 yards to pass Jim Karsatos (5,089 yards) for 9th place, and 260 yards to pass Braxton Miller (5,292 yards) for 8th place. Art Schlichter is Ohio State's career leader with 7,547 passing yards.
8. Barrett entered the 2016 season as Ohio State's career leader in completion percentage, at 64.2%. This season, Barrett has completed 96 of 152 passes (63.2%), which has lowered his career average to 63.9%. Barrett still maintains a sizable lead over the 2nd most accurate passer in Buckeye history, Todd Boeckman (63.4% for his career).
9. H-back Dontre Wilson has 2,752 all-purpose yards for his career, which places him 27th at Ohio State. Wilson needs 3 yards to pass Joey Galloway for 26th place; 4 yards to pass Cris Carter for 25th place; 5 yards to pass Devin Smith for 24th place; 113 yards to pass Raymont Harris for 23rd place; and 131 yards to pass Jonathan Wells for 22nd place. Ohio State's career leader in all-purpose yards is Archie Griffin with 6,559.
10. Despite limited opportunities, punter Cameron Johnston is having an All American season. Johnston has 21 punts for 1,067 yards, for an average of 50.8 yards per punt. Twelve of Johnston's punts have been inside the 20-yard line, only three punts have been returned for a total of just 22 yards, and three punts resulted in a touchback. When return yards and touchbacks are factored into the equation, Johnston has a net average of 46.9 yards per punt, which is second in FBS and only 0.2 yards behind the leader (Utah's Mitch Wishnowsky).
11. Ohio State has not had a kick-off return for a touchdown since November 27, 2010 (Jordan Hall, 85 yards, vs Michigan); has not had a punt return for a touchdown since November 22, 2014 (Jalin Marshall, 54 yards, vs Indiana); and has not had a punt block for a touchdown since October 5, 2013 (Bradley Roby, 0 yards, vs Northwestern).
12. Ohio State (6-0; 3-0 Big Ten) enters the contest as the #2 team in the country (both AP and CP), while Penn State (4-2; 2-1 Big Ten) is unranked. Penn State has no quality wins and a 49-10 loss to #3 Michigan on its résumé.
13. This year's game will be played Saturday, October 22nd, at Penn State's Beaver Stadium. Kick-off is scheduled for 8:00 PM, and the game will be televised on ABC. Ohio State enters the contest as a 20-point favorite with a 84.4% chance to win the game according to ESPN's Football Power Index Matchup Predictor.
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