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Big Noon Live: Everything you need to know before Penn State vs. Ohio State


No. 7 Penn State visits No. 3 Ohio State Saturday (noon ET on FOX and the FOX Sports app) in the biggest game of the Big Ten football season so far.

What is at stake? A lot.

A loss won’t necessarily eliminate either team from the national championship, but it would make the road much tougher, as even getting to the Big Ten championship game is a tall order for the Big Ten East. Penn State and Ohio State still have to face No. 2 Michigan, and if one of the three doesn’t win, the division could come down to tiebreakers.

But all this can be examined later.

For now, the Nittany Lions enter the competition having toppled all of their opponents, although it should be noted that they have not had a serious test. The Buckeyes, on the other hand, already have big wins against Notre Dame and Maryland.

Ohio State has beaten Penn State six straight times and hasn’t lost at home to the Nittany Lions since 2011.

“We’re trying to find a way to get a win this week,” Penn State coach James Franklin said earlier this week. “It’s a really important game. Why? Because of the way we handled the previous six.”

Scroll below to find out everything you need to know ahead of this epic competition. Then come back here Saturday morning for “Big Noon Kickoff,” followed by my live analysis of every key moment in the game.

No. 7 Penn State vs. No. 3 Ohio State

PRE-MATCH READING

Penn State still looks to build on the magic of 2016: A wild comeback against Ohio State in 2016 remains James Franklin’s greatest victory. Seven years later, the Nittany Lions honor that moment, while pursuing the next step. Discover the story of Michael Cohen.

Ohio State vs. Penn State kicks off a Big Ten cage match that includes Michigan: This weekend’s Big Noon game opens a three-team Big Ten East round robin, meaning it’s essentially playoff games. Bryan Fischer has the story.

Can Dallan Hayden carry the load for the beaten Buckeyes? Injuries are a concern for the Buckeyes heading into Saturday’s showdown against Penn State, particularly at the running back position. Dallan Hayden could be asked to give a similar or better performance than the one he gave last week. Laken Litman has the story.

Ohio State needs an offensive line to step up: Ohio State vs. Penn State is essentially a CFP play-in game, and the contest will likely be won in the trenches. Learn more about RJ Young.

Penn State vs. Ohio State, USC vs. Utah: What we’re watching in Week 8: Can Penn State finally topple Ohio State? Can USC bounce back? Our college football experts break down the big games in Week 8. Learn more.

Does Penn State have all the pieces? How James Franklin constructed this moment: All the little details of building the program, from culture to process to on-field talent, could finally be in place for the Nittany Lions to be title contenders. Learn more.

PRE-GAME NUMBERS TO KNOW

Top 2: Penn State and Ohio State have the best defenses in the FBS this season based on yards per play.

11: The Nittany Lions have the longest active winning streak in the Big Ten and the longest since the 1998-99 season.

15: Penn State has won every game this season by as many points or more.

40: Penn State is the only FBS team averaging over 40 PPG and opponents under 10 PPG this season.

2016: The last time Penn State beat Ohio State.

ten: The number of wins the Buckeyes have won over the Nittany Lions in the last 11 meetings.

6-0: Record for Ohio State for the fifth time in the last six seasons. The only exception was a 5-1 start in 2021.

308.0: The Buckeyes have the No. 1 passing offense in the Big Ten this season.

(More numbers to know in Week 8 games)

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Week 8 Bets: Chris “The Bear” Fallica shares his predictions for his favorite Week 8 matchups. Learn more.

The 2023 FOX Sports Midseason All-America Team: Halfway through what has been a wildly entertaining 2023 college football season, it’s time to recognize those who stood out above the rest. Learn more.

Is Michigan #1? “We still have a lot to prove,” says LaDarius Henderson: The Michigan offensive lineman shares his thoughts on the team’s lofty goals, what it’s like playing for Jim Harbaugh, and more! Learn more.

NFL Draft: 10 elite defensive prospects to watch in Week 8 marquee matchups: Penn State-Ohio State, USC-Utah feature well-known offensive stars, but they’re also loaded with future NFL stars on defense. We break down the best. Rob Rang has the scouting report.

Bryan Fischer is a college football writer for FOX Sports. He has covered college athletics for nearly two decades at outlets including NBC Sports, CBS Sports, Yahoo! Sports and NFL.com among others. Follow him on Twitter at @BryanDFischer.



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