Ohio State football: 5 reasons the Buckeyes will beat Penn State

STATE COLLEGE, PA - OCTOBER 22: Marcus Baugh /
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LINCOLN, NE – OCTOBER 14: Wide receiver K.J. Hill
LINCOLN, NE – OCTOBER 14: Wide receiver K.J. Hill /

3. The Nittany Lions haven’t faced an offense as good as the Buckeyes’ since their loss in the Rose Bowl last season.

Penn State’s consolation prize for being left out of the playoffs last season was a spot in the Rose Bowl. Not bad for being the odd man out. Their opponent was the USC Trojans who were also on the brink of making it into the playoffs via eight game win streak to finish the season. The Nittany Lions ended up losing to the Trojans in a game that took over a hundred points to decide.

The Rose Bowl also marked the last competent offense that the Nittany Lions have faced. Aside from Northwestern, the Nittany Lions have faced opposing offenses that hail from the bottom half of the spectrum. In fact, USC was the best offense that the Nittany Lions ended up playing last season.

The Nittany Lions are set to go up against a revamped Buckeye offense that is looking better and more complete than it has in a while. At any rate, this offense is far better than the offense that showed up in Happy Valley last season.

An offense that was once very limited and one dimensional has grown into the multi-facet spread offense that the Bucks have always wanted. This offense is complete with a quarterback whose confidence is at an all-time high, receivers with size/speed who can make plays, and a duo of top notch running backs.

The Bucks rank third in the country in total offense while leading the Big Ten in total and scoring offense. Much of this success can be attributed to the consistency of quarterback J.T. Barrett but also the additions of offensive coordinator Kevin Wilson and quarterbacks coach Ryan Day. The playbook is much more open this time around including the clear effort made to integrate the great wealth of talent in the receiving corps into the offense.

J.T. Barrett is currently leading the Big Ten in passing touchdowns by a long shot with 21 total. He also leads all quarterbacks in the conference in rushing yards and is sixth in rushing touchdowns among all players in the conference. If Barrett puts up a quality performance in this game on the big stage, he could return to the Heisman conversation. Beating up the team of a fellow Heisman candidate would be the icing on the cake.

The Bucks rank second in the Big Ten in rushing offense behind running back duo of true freshman J.K. Dobbins and Mike Weber. Dobbins is leading the conference in yards per attempt and is second in the conference in rushing yards. Receivers Parris Campbell, Johnnie Dixon, K.J. Hill, Terry McLaurin, Binjimin Victor, and Austin Mack make up a deep receiving corps. Eight different receivers have caught two or more touchdown passes this season.

Stagnant offensive play has become a thing of the past for the Bucks. After beginning the season like last season ended, the Bucks looked dead in the water. Now, the offense is firing on all cylinders with nothing held back. As long as this momentum on offense continues against the Nittany Lions then it will be all systems go from here on out.