The two best teams in the Big Ten conference are pitted to play each other this Saturday night. Despite their dominance on the field, both teams are ineligible for post season play because of NCAA sanctions dubbing this marquee match-up the Probation Bowl. Even though Ohio State is 8-0 and ranked 9th in the country, Penn State is the hottest team in the Big 10 thanks to head coach Bill O’Brien and a much improved senior QB Matt McGloin.
After a devastating 0-2 start, Penn State has quickly silenced its critics by reeling off five straight wins in unprecedented fashion. First year head coach Bill O’Brien has his high octane offense in full speed. The Nittany Lions have come out of the gates fast boasting a combined 66-0 first quarter score against all opponents and 170-69 score during the five-game winning stretch. In O’Brien fashion, he turned QB Matt McGloin from one of the conference’s worst quarterbacks to one of the best. Through seven games, McGloin leads the conference in passing with a 14-2 TD/INT ratio while passing for a career high of 1,788 yards. McGloin’s numbers are impressive thanks to exceptional play by sophomore WR Allen Robinson (8 TDs, 563 receiving yards), a candidate for the Biletnikoff Award, and redshirt freshman TE Kyle Carter (1 TD, 364 receiving yards), a candidate for the John Mackey Award.
On the other side of the ball, Penn State’s defense is anchored by seniors DT Jordan Hill, LB Gerald Hodges and LB Mike Mauti (both LBs have been selected as Butkus Award semi-finalist). The defense is ranked 13th in the country allowing a stingy 15.7 points per game.
This Saturday, Ohio State is gunning to make it 9-0, however, the Buckeyes will face a true test in Happy Valley. The game will undoubtedly be the Big 10 Game of the Year.
Penn State (5-2; 3-0 Big Ten) v. Ohio State (8-0; 4-0 Big Ten), Saturday, Oct. 27, 2012, 5:30 p.m. (ET), Beaver Stadium, University Park, PA. Penn State fans are encouraged to wear white.