5. The Buckeyes have faced better competition
The season is still young but there has been plenty of action thus far. Division play is just getting underway in the Big Ten as the non-conference schedule is wrapping up so it’s safe to recap each side’s performance in the early goings. Each team has won out so far but one has looked much better than the other.
The Nittany Lions have had a rough start to the season. It all began in Week 1 when they were on the ropes against Appalachian State. From start to finish, the Lions just couldn’t shake Appalachian State as they struggled to keep a lead even on their own home field.
At halftime, the score was tied between them but that’s only where it gets worse. The Lions hopped out to a 14-point lead after the third quarter. This should have put the game in hand for them as they should have gotten the rust off by then and controlled the game but that wasn’t the case. The Lions allowed 28 points in the fourth quarter which forced overtime. Somehow they ended up willing themselves through to victory.
In their most recent contest, the Nittany Lions faced Illinois to open Big Ten play. This game had a chance to be as ugly as their first, but they found a way to actually pull away in the end. The Lions only led Illinois by four points at halftime. Their struggles extended to the third quarter where their offense stalled again as they scored just once. They went into the fourth quarter still only up four points but thanks to a 35 point onslaught the Lions ended up winning by nearly 40 points.
The Buckeyes have easily taken care of business in every game this season especially against the teams they’re supposed to beat up on. This team is simply too well built to take games off and it shows against every opponent. The difference between the Lions’ path and the Buckeyes’ is that the Bucks have played against a ranked opponent.
The Buckeyes played against a top 15 team in the nation in TCU. This game was also played on the road in enemy territory in Texas. The Bucks laid down the law against TCU and won the game whilst showing off plenty of great attributes along the way. They should their ability to battle back from adversity after being down at halftime and also their ability to play even better after their best defensive player Nick Bosa left with injury.
There’s a big difference between handling opponents and barely getting by lesser foes. The Nittany Lions may still have an undefeated record which has them feeling big and bad at ninth in the nation but their road has been slight. They have not faced a real opponent and have struggled greatly in games against weaker teams mostly by beating themselves. Expect the Buckeyes to serve them a rude awakening this weekend.