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Jeremy Schneider | The Blade | September 29, 2018

Ohio State vs. Penn State: Everything you need to know about the matchup between Buckeyes and Nittany Lions

Big Ten clash with big playoff repercussions

The Ohio State football team has already had a test, passing with flying colors in a 40-28 win over TCU.

But that was just the midterm. Now comes the weighted test that makes up most of the No. 4 Buckeyes grade — a night game at No. 9 Penn State (4-0) at 7:30 p.m. Saturday.

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Yes, it's only each school's second Big Ten game of the season, but with each school eyeing a berth in the College Football Playoffs, missteps are not allowed and undefeated records are helpful. It's not too much to say OSU (4-0) won't face another challenge like this until November.

PRIMETIME MATCHUP: Saturday's game is the first between top-10 teams at Beaver Stadium in nearly two decades, when Penn State beat Arizona to open the 1999 season.

Not that either team is unaccustomed to being ranked. This week marked the 29th consecutive week the Nittany Lions have appeared in the AP Top 25 poll. Ohio State? It's the 103rd straight week, the second longest active streak in college football. The Buckeyes have the nation's second longest win streak at nine games, and PSU is third at eight.

Both teams bring in dynamic offenses that have torn up their previous opponents. Penn State leads the FBS in scoring average at 55.5 points per game, while Ohio State is second at 54.5 per game.

The Buckeyes have been led by their passing game and quarterback Dwayne Haskins. OSU is putting up nearly 366 passing yards per game, with Haskins throwing for 1,194 yards and 16 touchdowns while completing 75 percent of his passes.

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Meanwhile, the Nittany Lions skew slightly more to the rush, gaining 1,100 yards on the ground and 958 through the air. Junior running back Miles Sanders leads the team with 495 yards and five TDs, but quarterback Trace McSorley is second with 235 yards and six TDs. McSorley has thrown for 768 yards and eight scores, but he's completing just more than 50 percent of his passes.

BUCKEYES OWN THE SERIES: Ohio State owns a 19-13 edge in the series, a number that jumps to 17-8 after PSU joined the Big Ten.

Ohio State won four straight from 2012 through 2015, but the last two meetings have been split, with OSU winning a thriller in Columbus last year, 39-38.

This article is written by Jeremy Schneider from The Blade and was legally licensed via the Tribune Content Agency through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to

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