Penn State-Ohio State Football Game Notes

Penn State's Robert Windsor (54) sacks the Illini quarterback during third quarter action of the Nittany Lions game with Illinois. No. 10/9 Penn State defeated Illinois, 63-24, Friday night in Memorial Stadium in the Big Ten football opener for both teams. Photo by Mark Selders

UNIVERSITY PARK — In one of the most anticipated games of the week, No. 4 Ohio State will visit Beaver Stadium to take on No. 9 Penn State in its annual Penn State White Out game Saturday night. The primetime tilt is set for 7:30 p.m. on ABC.

Penn State is also hosting ESPN’s College GameDay, as the popular pregame show visits campus for a second consecutive season and Penn State White Out game, broadcasting live from 9 a.m. to noon.

For the second consecutive season and ninth time all-time, both teams will meet while being ranked in the AP Top 10. Both schools will also put undefeated records on the line for the first time since 1998.

It will be a match-up of the highest scoring offenses in the nation, as Penn State (55.5) and Ohio State (54.5) rank first and second, respectively, in FBS. Neither team has scored fewer than 40 points in a game this season, and neither defense has allowed 40 or more points in a game. The 1-2 statistical comparisons persist at the quarterback position at the conference level. Trace McSorley is second in the Big Ten only to Ohio State’s Dwayne Haskins in points responsible for and passing touchdowns.

The last two meetings between the Nittany Lions and Buckeyes have been thrillers. A total of four points has decided the two games, and neither team leading at the start of the fourth quarter was leading at the end.

Ohio State has maintained a top-five ranking in both polls for the duration of the season. The Buckeyes will be playing in their first true road game of the season after defeating then-No. 15/14 TCU in AT&T Stadium, home of the Dallas Cowboys. Ohio State ranks tops in the conference and third in FBS in total offense averaging 599.0 yards per game.



-Urban Meyer is in his seventh season as the Ohio State head coach. Meyer began his coaching career as the tight ends coach for the Buckeyes in 1986.

-Other head coaching stops have included Bowling Green (2001-02), Utah (2003-04) and Florida (2005-10).

-This will be Meyer’s eighth match up against Penn State, as his Florida team beat the Nittany Lions in the 2011 Outback Bowl, 37-24.

-He has won three National Championships, guiding Florida in 2006 and 2008, and Ohio State in 2014.

-Meyer is 47-3 in Big Ten games at Ohio State.

-Meyer was an ESPN analyst for Penn State’s home game with Iowa on Oct. 8, 2011.

-He is a 1986 graduate of the University of Cincinnati.


-Ohio State is 4-0 overall and 1-0 in Big Ten play with a win over Rutgers in the second week of the season.

-Ohio State is playing its first true road game of the season. In Week 3, the Buckeyes faced No. 15/14 TCU in AT&T Stadium, home of the Dallas Cowboys.

-Ohio State ranks third in FBS and first in the Big Ten in total offense (599.0), and only trails Penn State (55.5) in scoring offense (54.5).

-QB Dwayne Haskins leads the Big Ten in completion percentage (75.7), passing efficiency (207.0), passing touchdowns (16), passing yards (1,194), passing yards per completion (13.72), points responsible for per game (25.5) and total offense (305.5).

-WR Parris Campbell leads the Big Ten and ranks sixth in FBS with five receiving touchdowns this season.

-The Buckeyes are among the best in converting third downs, doing so at a 58.8 percent clip to lead the Big Ten and rank third in FBS.

-DE Nick Bosa leads the Big Ten and ranks second in FBS with 1.33 sacks per game and also leads the Big Ten and ranks ninth in FBS in tackles for loss game (2.0). However, he missed the Tulane game due to injury.

-Ohio State is yielding an average of 14.0 points per game to rank fourth in the Big Ten, while it ranks sixth in total defense (323.3). The unit also has three touchdowns, which trails only Temple’s four.


-Penn State is playing its 29th regular-season game in which both teams are ranked in the AP Top 10.

-Penn State is 13-15 in the 28 previous top-10 regular- season match-ups.

-Eight of those games have been played against Ohio State. The Nittany Lions have won three.


-A tradition stretching back to a student section white out in 2004, Penn State White Outs have created an unrivaled atmosphere inside Beaver Stadium.

-Saturday marks the 11th time the Nittany Lions will host a full-stadium Penn State White Out.

-Penn State holds a 5-5 record when the full stadium wears white, including a 1-2 record against Ohio State.

-Ohio State is reclaiming its place as the most frequent Penn State White Out (full stadium) opponent with its fourth appearance in the annual game. Michigan is second with three appearances.

-This season’s game marks Ohio State’s fourth consecutive trip to Beaver Stadium as the White Out opponent and first since 2016.

-The 2016 Penn State White Out game against Ohio State was one of the most thrilling in Nittany Lion history. Grant Haley returned a field goal blocked by Marcus Allen 60 yards for the game-winning touchdown, as unranked-Penn State erased a 14-point deficit in the fourth quarter to defeat No. 2 Ohio State, 24-21.

-It marked the first time Penn State defeated a top-2 team since winning at No. 1 Notre Dame in 1990, and the first win at home over a top-two team since downing No. 2 Nebraska, 27-24, in 1982. The victory was also Penn State’s first over a ranked opponent since 2013.


-ESPN’s College GameDay Built by The Home Depot program will be live from Penn State on Saturday.

-This is the 18th time College GameDay has been at the site of a Penn State game.

-The popular pregame college football program will air live from 9 a.m.-noon (ET) Saturday.

-College GameDay will be appearing at a Penn State game for the third consecutive season, joining the 2017 Michigan and Ohio State contests and the 2016 Big Ten Championship Game.

-The seven-time Emmy Award-winning show is hosted by Rece Davis, who is joined by analysts Lee Corso, Kirk Herbstreit, Desmond Howard and David Pollack, as well as contributors Chris ‘The Bear’ Fallica, Jen Lada, Tom Rinaldi, Maria Taylor and Gene Wojciechowski.

-Additionally, College Football Live will originate from the set with Taylor, Howard and Pollack Friday, Sept. 28. There will also be SportsCenter segments filmed from the set Friday afternoon.

-Saturday’s broadcast marks the seventh time College GameDay has originated from Penn State and the first time it has done so in back-to-back years. It was also in Happy Valley in 1997 (Michigan), 1999 (Arizona), 2005 (Ohio State), 2007 (Ohio State), 2009 (Iowa) and 2017 (Michigan).

-Penn State is 3-3 with GameDay on campus, defeating Arizona (1999), Ohio State (2005) and Michigan (2017).


-Penn State is appearing on ABC for its second time this season and 177th time all-time, the most of any other network.

-Penn State is 102-73-1 all-time playing on ABC.




-The Penn State-Ohio State game will feature the Big Ten’s reigning Co-Offensive Players of the Week, as Nittany Lion RB Miles Sanders and Buckeye QB Dwayne Haskins shared the honor for Week 4.

-Sanders had a career-high rushing for 200 yards and three touchdowns on 22 carries at Illinois.

-Sanders also became the sixth player (nine occasions) in PSU history to have 200 rushing yards and at least three rushing touchdowns in a game. The last was Larry Johnson in 2002, who did it twice that season.

-For Ohio State, Haskins completed 21 of 24 passes for 304 yards and five touchdowns in one half of action against Tulane Saturday.



-Penn State senior running back Mark Allen and sophomore DE Shane Simmons and Ohio State sophomore DE Chase Young played together at DeMatha Catholic High School in Maryland.

-Penn State junior TE/H Jonathan Holland and junior LB Cam Brown and Ohio State sophomore QB Dwayne Haskins played together at Bullis School in Maryland.

-Penn State redshirt freshman CB Donovan Johnson and Ohio State juniors RB Mike Weber and OL Joshua Alabi played together at Cass Tech in Michigan.

-Penn State redshirt freshman WR KJ Hamler and Ohio State sophomores S Isaiah Pryor and DT Malik Barrow and freshmen CB Marcus Williamson and DT Taron Vincent all played at IMG Academy in Florida.

-Penn State junior CB Jabari Butler and Ohio State redshirt freshman QB Tate Martell and sophomore DL Haskell Garrett played together at Bishop Gorman in Nevada.

-Penn State redshirt freshman QB Sean Clifford and Ohio State junior LB Justin Hilliard and junior TB Brock Davin played together at St. Xavier in Ohio.

-Penn State sophomore OL Alex Gellerstedt and Ohio State WR C.J. Saunders played together at Dublin Coffman High School in Ohio.

-Ohio State associate head coach and defensive coordinator Greg Schiano was a graduate assistant at Penn State in 1990 and went on to coach the Nittany Lion defensive backfield from 1991-95.

-Ohio State assistant head coach/defensive line coach Larry Johnson coached 18 seasons at PSU, serving four years as a defensive ends and special teams coach and 13 years as a defensive line coach.



-QB Sean Clifford – Cincinnati/St. Xavier

-OL Alex Gellerstedt – Dublin/Dublin Coffman

-OL Mike Miranda – Stow/Stow-Munroe Falls

-OL Juice Scruggs – Ashtabula/Cathedral Prep (Pa.)

-DT Antonio Shelton – Westerville/Westerville-North

-SN Chris Stoll – Westerville/St. Francis DeSales



-Penn State national award winner and first-team All-America QB Kerry Collins has been elected to the College Football Hall of Fame as part of the 2018 class.

-Collins will be recognized for the honor during the Ohio State game as part of National Football Foundation (NFF) Hall of Fame On-Campus Salutes, presented by Fidelity Investments.

-Collins will be inducted to the Hall of Fame December 4, 2018 at the 61st (NFF) Annual Awards Dinner in New York. Collins is the 25th member of the Penn State football family to be elected.

-Linebacker Shane Conlan was the most recent player inductee in 2014, while former Nittany Lion player Bill Bowes was enshrined into the Hall of Fame as the University of New Hampshire head coach.


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