Big Noon Live: Ohio State takes lead vs. Penn State in defensive battle


No. 7 Penn State is taking on No. 3 Ohio State (FOX and the FOX Sports app) in the biggest game of the Big Ten football season so far.

What’s at stake? Quite a lot.

Penn State vs. Ohio State: Who has the most at stake?

Penn State vs. Ohio State: Who has the most at stake?

A loss won’t necessarily eliminate either team from the national championship picture, but it would make the road much more difficult because even getting to the Big Ten championship game is a difficult task coming out of the Big Ten East. Both Penn State and Ohio State still have to play No. 2 Michigan, and if one of the three doesn’t win out, the division could come down to tie-breakers. 

But that can all be examined later.

For now, the Nittany Lions enter the contest having rolled over every opponent, though it should be noted that they haven’t had a serious test. The Buckeyes, on the other hand, already own big wins over Notre Dame and Maryland.

Ohio State has beaten Penn State six times in a row and has not lost at home to the Nittany Lions since 2011.

“We’re trying to find a way to get a win this week,” Penn State coach James Franklin said earlier this week. “This is a really important game. Why? Because of how we handled the previous six.”

Scroll below for live in-game analysis on every key moment in the game.

No. 7 Penn State vs. No. 3 Ohio State

4:16 2Q: Penn State held to field goal

After seemingly getting something going, another missed third down conversion (now 0-for-6) forces the Nittany Lions to kick a field goal to cut it to 10-6. It was a decent response to the earlier touchdown, but the playcalling has been a bit uneven, as Drew Allar is just 5-of-13 and dropping back too many times for a team averaging more than five yards per carry.

7:31 2Q: TOUCHDOWN BUCKEYES!

Talk about a swing. Ohio State went from nearly giving up a touchdown to scoring one, as Miyan Williams punched it in to cap off a 13-play, 61-yard drive that featured 10 runs. Sure the flags helped, but that’s one of those ‘sigh of relief’ scores for the home side as they get the crowd back into things.

Miyan Williams punches in TD to give Ohio State lead

Miyan Williams punches in TD to give Ohio State lead

9:20 2Q: A huge play, a huge flag

What a momentum shift both ways, as a flag brought back Curtis Jacobs’ long scoop-and-score for PSU. Instead of going up 10-3, now the Nittany Lions have to defend another red-zone opportunity against the Buckeyes. Mark that one down as Kyle McCord being a little rattled after seeing his fumble go the other way (even if it was called back).

12:48 2Q: Big loss for Penn State?

Chop Robinson’s day appears to be done as he walks off with trainers sans helmet. You hate to see that, and it would be a massive loss for the Penn State defense moving forward.

13:01 2Q: It’s been a punt-o-rama!

Penn State has yet to convert a third down, and you can look closely at Drew Allar’s 3-of-10 passing as a chief reason why. He’s been all over the place despite entering as a really good intermediate passer this season. Both teams are averaging more than 6 yards needed to convert against stingy defenses, and it’s showing amid this punt-fest at the ’Shoe.

1:09 1Q: Defense ruling the day

On third-and-1, Penn State went shotgun with a quick pass despite having success in the run game. It looked like James Franklin was going to go for it on fourth down, but some confusion led to a quick timeout. Neither passing game has been able to muster much so far.

3:07 1Q: Is pressure getting to McCord?

After starting the game with five consecutive completions, Buckeyes QB Kyle McCord is now 1-of-7 with plenty of passes sailing high. His pocket is getting a little tight and that’s leading to some happy feet and a few air mails to his receivers. Instead of settling in, the young signal-caller is perhaps starting to feel the weight of this B1G East clash.

5:05 1Q: Another loss for Ohio State

Tough loss for OSU’s defense as Ja’Had Carter was carried off while putting no weight on his ankle. The Syracuse transfer was a nice depth option on the back end, so this loss hampers a unit that was already without Denzel Burke.

5:15 1Q: All tied up!

Nicholas Singleton had two big chunk plays on the ground for Penn State off either side of his two tackles, but much like their counterparts in scarlet and grey, things stalled out as they approached the red zone. Still, the Nittany Lions leveled it up at 3-3 with a 40-yard field goal from Alex Felkins amid signs of life from the visiting offense.

7:51 1Q: Sack attack!

The extra man got home for PSU’s defense, sacking Kyle McCord. Both defenses have asserted themselves early in this first quarter. Both teams are averaging around four yards per play, which, in the context of facing the top two defenses in FBS this season, is actually not bad at all despite four stalled drives after kickoff.

9:29 1Q: Allar struggling

It was back-to-back three-and-outs for Penn State’s offense as Drew Allar began just 1-of-5 to start the game. OSU’s defensive line has gotten some pressure without bringing an extra defender, and Allar just hasn’t had the time to throw.

10:49 1Q: Ohio State strikes first, leads 3-0

After a quick three-and-out by Penn State, an impressive opening drive by Ohio State set the tone early. Given the depth chart at running back, perhaps it wasn’t a huge surprise that Ryan Day opted to go to the air early and often, with QB Kyle McCord going 5-of-8 for 49 yards and making several nice throws between the numbers. PSU can take solace in stiffing up defensively in the red zone, but it was the home side that struck first for a 3-0 lead.

Pregame injury update from FOX’s Bruce Feldman

Ohio State RB TreVeyon Henderson is not expected to play while CB Denzel Burke has been officially ruled out for the Buckeyes. WR Emeka Egbuka warmed up and is expected to be a game-time decision, but did not take reps with Marvin Harrison Jr. and company when the first team offense was on the field. Some big losses for the home team ahead of this Big Ten East clash against Penn State.

PREGAME SCENE

What might happen to Jim Harbaugh in wake of Michigan’s latest scandal? Bruce Feldman broke it down …

Bruce Feldman gives an update on Jim Harbaugh and the sign-stealing allegations at Michigan

Bruce Feldman gives an update on Jim Harbaugh and the sign-stealing allegations at Michigan

Violent hands? Urban Meyer explained what that means in his latest “Urban’s Playbook,” with some help from LaVar Harringon and Orlando Pace.

Urban Meyer, LaVar Arrington and Orlando Pace preview the game

Urban Meyer, LaVar Arrington and Orlando Pace preview the game

Not sure how this guy got in …

Ohio State coach Ryan Day spoke with Jenny Taft about his depth at running back, and how his defense needs to “win the line of scrimmage” against Penn State.

Ohio State coach Ryan Day talks with Jenny Taft

Ohio State coach Ryan Day talks with Jenny Taft

Former Heisman Trophy winner and Ohio State QB Troy Smith had some very simple advice for his Buckeyes — and it involved a whole lot of Marvin Harrison, Jr.

Former Ohio State legend Troy Smith joins ‘Big Noon Kickoff’

Former Ohio State legend Troy Smith joins 'Big Noon Kickoff'

Speaking of Ohio State stars, Smith wasn’t the only former Buckeyes star in the house.

James Franklin stopped by to talk about his team, which he believes is the deepest he has ever had.

James Franklin joins show to discuss his Nittany Lions

James Franklin joins show to discuss his Nittany Lions

How many Tom Rinaldi’s does it take to put together a fun pregame segment? How about two!

Tom Rinaldi sits down with Tom Rinaldi, DL coach of Southeastern Louisiana

Tom Rinaldi sits down with Tom Rinaldi, DL coach of Southeastern Louisiana

Country star Walker Hayes took us on a tour behind the scenes at Alabama.

Alabama superfan Walker Hayes discusses his loves for the Tide

Alabama superfan Walker Hayes discusses his loves for the Tide

“The Bear” broke down the Big Ten East, which has a huge day today!

Matt Leinart proved to be a man of his word, dressing up for the show after losing a bet with Brady Quinn on last week’s Notre Dame-USC game.

And of course, Urban Meyer is always a big deal in Columbus.

PREGAME READING

Penn State is still looking to build on that 2016 magic: A wild comeback against Ohio State in 2016 remains James Franklin’s greatest win. Seven years later, the Nittany Lions honor that moment, while also chasing the next step. Check out the story from Michael Cohen.

Ohio State vs. Penn State kicks off a Big Ten cage match that includes Michigan: This weekend’s Big Noon matchup opens a three-team Big Ten East round-robin that means these are essentially playoff games. Bryan Fischer has the story.

Can Dallan Hayden carry the load for the beat-up Buckeyes?: Injuries are a concern for the Buckeyes heading into Saturday’s showdown against Penn State, particularly at the running back position. Dallan Hayden might be asked to give a similar or better performance than he gave last week. Laken Litman has the story.

Ohio State needs offensive line to step up: Ohio State vs. Penn State is essentially a CFP play-in game, and the contest will likely be won in the trenches. Read more from RJ Young.

Penn State vs. Ohio State, USC vs. Utah: What we’re watching in Week 8: Can Penn State finally topple Ohio State? Can USC bounce back? Our college football experts break down the big Week 8 games. Read more.

Does Penn State have all the pieces? How James Franklin built for this moment: All the little program-building details, from culture to process to on-field talent, could finally be in place for Nittany Lions to be title contenders. Read more.

PREGAME NUMBERS TO KNOW

Top 2: Penn State and Ohio State have the top defenses in the FBS this season based on a yards-per-play basis.

11: The Nittany Lions have the longest active winning streak in the Big Ten and their longest since the 1998-99 season.

15: Penn State has won every game this season by this many points or more.

40: Penn State is the only FBS team averaging more than 40 PPG and holding opponents under 10 PPG this season.

2016: The last time Penn State beat Ohio State.

10: The number of wins by the Buckeyes over the Nittany Lions in the last 11 meetings.

6-0: Record for Ohio State for the fifth time in the last six seasons. The only exception was a 5-1 start in 2021.

308.0: The Buckeyes have the No. 1 passing offense in the Big Ten this season.

[More numbers to know in Week 8 games]

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And more reading around the sport …

Week 8 wagering: Chris “The Bear” Fallica shares predictions for his favorite Week 8 matchups. Read more.

The FOX Sports 2023 midseason All-America team: Halfway through what has been a wildly entertaining 2023 college football season, it’s time to recognize those who have stood out above the rest. Read more.

Is Michigan No. 1? ‘We’ve still got a lot more to prove,’ LaDarius Henderson says: Michigan offensive lineman shares thoughts on team’s lofty goals, what it’s like playing for Jim Harbaugh, and more! Read more.

NFL Draft: 10 elite defensive prospects to watch in Week 8’s marquee matchups: Penn State-Ohio State, USC-Utah feature well-known offensive standouts, but they’re also loaded with future NFL stars on defense. We break down the best. Rob Rang has the scouting report.

Bryan Fischer is a college football writer for FOX Sports. He has been covering college athletics for nearly two decades at outlets such as NBC Sports, CBS Sports, Yahoo! Sports and NFL.com among others. Follow him on Twitter at @BryanDFischer.



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