Halloween Eve Showdown at ‘The Shoe’! #20 Penn State invades #5 Ohio State tonight

Ohio State, a winner of five consecutive games, hosts Penn State in a primetime, Halloween Eve game at Ohio Stadium that ABC will televise to a national audience. Kickoff is set for 7:44 p.m.

Ohio State is asking Buckeye Nation to “Scarlet the Shoe” by wearing scarlet to the game to match the team, which will debut a color rush of “red” in an all-scarlet uniform.

Ohio State and Penn State are meeting for the 29th consecutive year and for the 37th time in a series that originated in 1912. The average margin of victory in the last five Ohio State/Penn State games is six points. Ohio State has won four consecutive games over Penn State, eight of the last 10 and leads the all-time series in wins, 21-14.

THE BASICS


No. 20 Penn State at No. 5 Ohio State • Saturday, Oct. 30 • When: 7:30 p.m. • Where: Ohio Stadium • TV: ABC

• Radio: 97.1 The Fan

QUICK HITTERS

  • Ohio State has won 22 consecutive Big Ten Conference games. This is the longest streak in the Big Ten since Ohio State’s national-record 30-game conference winning streak from 2013-15.
  • The Buckeyes are on a school-record tying streak of six consecutive games of 500-or-more yards of total offense (2017 and 2020 were the other two years). A seventh would be a first for Ohio State.
  • Ohio State’s offense is on pace to set several single season records in 2021 and currently leads the nation in both scoring (49.3 points/game) and total offense (559.3 yards per game).
  • While the offense gets many of the headlines, Ohio State’s defense is allowing just 11.0 points per game over the last four games.
  • Ohio State limited Indiana to less than 100 yards rushing (48) and passing (80) last week. The last time for that to happen: 2019 vs. Miami and Maryland. The 128 total yards allowed was the fewest since allowing 66 to Maryland in 2017.
  • Ohio State and UTSA (Texas-San Antonio) lead the nation with five defensive touchdowns. Ohio State has four “pick-6s”: Cam Martinez, 61 vs. Tulsa; Ronnie Hickman 41 vs. Akron; Denzel Burke, 23 vs. Rutgers; and Craig Young, 70 vs. Maryland. Haskell Garrett has a 32-yard fumble return TD vs. Minnesota.

NOTES TO KNOW

RECEIVING RECORDS

  • Senior WR Chris Olave and senior TE Jeremy Ruckert are each nearing school touchdowns receiving records.
  • Olave has 30 career receiving touchdowns and needs five to break David Boston’s 23-year-old school record of 34, set between 1996-98.
  • Ruckert has 12 career receiving touchdowns and needs just two to topple Jake Stoneburner’s school mark for tight ends of 13, set between 2009-12.

50 BURGERS

  • Ohio State, in its five-game winning streak, is averaging 54.4 points per game and is seeking a fifth consecutive game with 50-or-more points scored.
  • Ohio State has scored 50-or-more points in four consecutive games twice before this current stretch, in 2014 and 2017. Penn State snapped the streak each time, limiting the Buckeyes to 31 and 39 points in 2014 and 2017, respectively. The Buckeyes did prevail, though, in both games.
  • A fifth-consecutive 50-pointer would tie Michigan for most in Big Ten history. The Wolverines had five consecutive games of 50-plus points in 1903: vs. Albion, Beloit, Ohio Northern, Indiana and Ferris State. All five games came within a 14-day span.

STROUD STRIVING 

  • Quarterback C.J. Stroud, a five-time Big Ten Freshman of the Week, is second nationally in passer efficiency rating (192.7), seventh in yards per game (327.5) and sixth in touchdown passes (22). Over the last three games – wins vs. Rutgers, Maryland and Akron – he’s completing 75.2 percent of his passes for 1,002 yards, 14 touchdowns and no interceptions.
  • Stroud is the first quarterback in school history to have back-to-back five-TD games without throwing an interception.
  • Stroud’s favorite targets have been WRs Olave, Garrett Wilson and Jaxon Smith-Njigba. They have combined for 97 receptions, 1,674 yards and 17 touchdowns.

MIDSEASON ALL-AMERICANS

  • Eight Buckeyes were named to various midseason All-American teams, headlined by first-team status for WR Olave, OT Nicholas Petit-Frere and RB TreVeyon Henderson.
  • Olave and Henderson were each named to the The Sporting News’ mid-season All-American team while Petit-Frere was named to the first-team as chosen by The Athletic. WR Wilson earned second-team honors by The Athletic.

5 FRESHMAN ALL-AMERICANS

  • An impressive total of five Ohio State players were named mid-season Freshmen All-Americans by The Athletic: CB Burke, KR Emeka Egbuka, RB Henderson, QB Stroud and DT Tyleik Williams. Burke, Henderson and Williams also were named to 247Sports’ midseason team.

BY THE NUMBERS

19

Ohio State scored a touchdown on 19 consecutive drives with Stroud at QB, excluding two at-the-half non drives, until a 2nd half punt vs. Indiana: 5 consec. vs. Rutgers; 8 vs. Maryland; 6 vs. Indiana

25

Ohio State is No. 8 nationally with 25 quarterback sacks, including 21 the last four games. Garrett (4.5), Williams (4.0), Zach Harrison (2.0), Antwuan Jackson (2.0) and Jack Sawyer (2) lead.

7-0

Ohio State’s record in games where Chris Olave and Garrett Wilson each catch a TD pass is 7-0. The duo has combined to catch 46 career touchdowns (Olave 29; Wilson 17). Olave ranks 3rd at OSU; Wilson 13th

18.6

Ohio State’s scoring defense has climbed to No. 18 nationally at 18.6 points per game. After allowing 66 points the first two games, it has allowed 64 the last five (12.8 ppg) and 44 the last four (11.0 ppg).

.966

Ohio State’s offense is No. 6 nationally in the red zone having converted on 28 of 29 attempts, including 26 consecutive, with 23 touchdowns scored (12 rushing TDs and 11 passing TDs).

Ohio Stadium 2021 photo. By Lectrician2 – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https commons.wikimedia.org.jpg

PENN STATE PREVIEW

THE NITTANY LIONS

  • The Nittany Lions rose to as high as No. 3 in the Associated Press poll earlier this season before a pair of losses in their last two outings versus Iowa and Illinois, A 20-18 setback in nine overtime sessions.
  • Quarterback Sean Clifford, a fifth-year senior from Cincinnati, is completing 64.6 percent of his passes for 1,647 yards with 12 touchdowns and five interceptions.
  • The Nittany Lions possess a talented WR in Jahan Dotson, who has caught 49 passes – most in the Big Ten – for 563 yards and six touchdowns.
  • Running back Noah Cain has the most carries on the tea, with 78. He and Keyvone Lee have combined for 473 yards and four touchdowns.
  • Penn State has the nation’s No. 6-ranked scoring defense, allowing an average of 14.7 points per game.
  • Linebacker Ellis Brooks leads the way with 55 total tackles (35 solo) and one sack. Arnold Ebiketie, a defensive end, has a team-best 5.5 sacks.

THESE TWO KNOW EACH OTHER REAL WELL

  • The average margin of victory in the last five Ohio State/Penn State games is six points.
  • Since 2014, five of the seven games have been decided by 11 points or less and three of them featuring fourth-quarter comebacks.
  • Fourteen of the 37 games in the series have been decided by a touchdown or less (37 percent).
  • Saturday will be the 37th 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 21-14 and are 12-7 in games played in Columbus.
  • Since Penn State became a member of the Big Ten in 1993, Ohio State has won 19 of 27 games vs. the Nittany Lions.

COURTESY OSU ATHLETIC COMMUNICATIONS

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