The only top 10 matchup on Saturday’s slate of college football featured two Big Ten teams that make filing your taxes feel exhilarating. Watching Ohio State and Penn State exchange punts for three-plus hours made me yearn for raw broccoli just because I felt myself getting backed up. The Buckeyes won, 20-12, but don’t be fooled by the final — this was not a close game.
If those programs make up two-thirds of the conference’s elite, Michigan shouldn’t need any advanced scouting.
Going into the contest, James Franklin thought his Nittany Lions had talent on par with the Buckeyes, but forgot that it’s hard to score points when your QB is handcuffed to the radiator. Drew Allar never had a chance, finishing 18-for-43 for 191 yards and a TD on the day, yet was 10-for-31 for 118 before padding stats in garbage time.
The Penn State QB was only slightly outplayed by Kyle McCord, who racked up 286 yards and a touchdown simply due to a plethora of opportunities. Marvin Harrison Jr.’s career-high 11 catches for 162 yards and a score was all the offense Ohio State needed, and it was all they were going to get.
Ryan Day took a knee at the end of the first half due to the ineffectiveness of his offense much to the displeasure of those in attendance at the Horseshoe, but the boos were misguided. There was zero reason to take an unnecessary risk as the only offense to fear was offense itself because McCord was the only person capable of getting Penn State into the endzone.
If not for a defensive holding penalty that negated a scoop-and-score, the Nittany Lions would’ve made the Buckeyes sweat for a quarter of two. Alas, it was called back, and the much-heralded matchup slogged forward, devoid of entertainment.
If you’re looking for takeaways about these two clubs, it’s the same as it always is: Penn State isn’t ready for primetime, and Ohio State’s season doesn’t start until Nov. 25. That’s it. That’s all I’ve got. I’m going to take a nap like the rest of the people who were fortunate enough to sleep through Big Ten football.
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