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VIDEO: James Franklin Postgame vs. Ohio State

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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Head coach James Franklin addresses the media following Saturday's 31-24 (2OT) setback to No. 13 Ohio State in Beaver Stadium.

VIDEO: Postgame Player Interviews - Ohio State

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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Several Nittany Lions address the media following Saturday's 31-24 (2OT) setback to No. 13 Ohio State in Beaver Stadium.

2014 Photo Blog - Penn State vs. Ohio State

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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Welcome to GoPSUsports.com's coverage of the 2014 football season. Check back often for an inside look at the Penn State's primetime matchup against Ohio State.

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2014 Game Blog - Penn State vs. Ohio State

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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Welcome to GoPSUsports.com's live, interactive coverage of the 2014 football season. Tune in for live blog coverage from all 12 games on the schedule. The Nittany Lions meet rival Ohio State under the lights in Beaver Stadium.



Live Blog 2014 Game Blog - Penn State vs. Ohio State
 



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2014 Gameday Preview - Nittany Lions Host Buckeyes

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Game Blog: Penn State vs. Ohio State

Game Notes | Gameday Central | Ohio State Scouting Report | Coach Franklin Wednesday

Press Conference Roundup | Coach Pry Q&A | Player Q&A Video | White Out History

Penn State to Team with Best Man Tim Campaign

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The Nittany Lions (4-2, 1-2) return home on Saturday for a primetime Penn State White Out contest against Ohio State (5-1, 2-0). Kickoff is set for 8 p.m. with television coverage on ABC.

10462710.jpegPenn State and Ohio State first met in 1912 and have met annually since the Nittany Lions joined the Big Ten Conference in 1993. The two schools will continue to meet on a yearly basis as members of the East Division. The Buckeyes own a 16-13 edge in the all-time series.

The Lions return to action following their second and final bye week of 2014. Penn State's defense headlined the first six games of the season by playing at a consistently high level. The Lions are ranked among the top units in the country in three of the four major statistical categories. Penn State is No. 1 in rushing defense (60.8 ypg), No. 6 in scoring defense (15.2 ppg) and No. 6 in total defense (283.3 ypg). Penn State is No. 1 in the Big Ten in all three of those categories.

Sophomore quarterback Christian Hackenberg continues to rank among the top signal callers in the Big Ten. He is leading the conference in passing with 272.8 passing yards per game. Wide receiver DaeSean Hamilton has opened his Nittany Lion career with a Big Ten best 7.2 receptions per game. Hamilton is averaging 93.3 yards per contest. The Lion freshman is just 131 yards shy of Deion Butler's freshman record of 691 yards (2005 season).

Ohio State improved to 5-1 overall and 2-0 in the Big Ten with a 56-17 win over Rutgers in Ohio Stadium last Saturday. The No. 12 Buckeyes rank second in the Big Ten and fourth nationally in scoring offense at 46.5 points per game and have topped the 50-point mark in four straight games entering this week's game. Ohio State also is second in the conference and ninth in the NCAA in total offense at 533.8 yards per game.

A team and fan favorite and one of the most iconic scenes in college football, the stage is set for the 2014 Penn State White Out. All fans are encouraged to sport white attire to ensure a Penn State White Out for the primetime clash. The official White Out T-shirt can be purchased at the Penn State Bookstore and the GoPSUsports.com online store. A Penn State Football Letterman's Club tunnel will take place when the team takes the field. At the end of the third quarter, the Penn State Chapter of Uplifting Athletes will present a check to the Uplifting Athletes Organization.

Additionally, Penn State and The National Football Foundation (NFF) & College Hall of Fame announced on Thursday that they will jointly honor Shane Conlan with an NFF Hall of Fame On-Campus Salute, presented by Fidelity Investments, during Saturday's game. Among one of the all-time greats at "Linebacker U," Conlan starred from 1983-86. He will become the 23rd member of the Penn State football family to be inducted into the Hall of Fame.

Get primed for the 30th meeting between the Nittany Lions and Buckeyes. Welcome to the Gameday Preview for the week seven matchup against Ohio State.

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Pregame Reading:
What to Watch For - Penn State
10354231.jpeg1. Defensive coordinator Bob Shoop and the Penn State defense look to make opponents one-dimensional on offense. In a way, the Nittany Lions strive to play complementary defense, using rushing defense to set up effective passing defense, blitzing opportunities and forcing turnovers. But that process begins with defending the run. Through six games, the Nittany Lions are No. 1 in the nation against the run (60.8 ypg). Opponents have tallied just 2.0 yards per rush on 182 attempts against the Lions this year. Penn State's stout play against the run has been a huge part of the unit's collective success. Penn State is ranked No. 6 in scoring defense (15.2 ppg) and total defense (283.3 ypg). Senior linebacker Mike Hull has been the catalyst on the defensive side of the ball. Hull is second in the Big Ten in tackles per game at 10.7.

2. Sophomore quarterback Christian Hackenberg enters the second half of the season as the Big Ten's leader in passing yards per game. A healthy passing game begins with an effective ground game. With the second bye week in the books, Penn State will remain committed to a balanced attack on the offensive side of the ball. Hackenberg talked earlier this week about how a strong outing from Bill Belton, Zach Zwinak and Akeel Lynch can lead to opportunities down the field in the passing game. Wide receivers Geno Lewis and DaeSean Hamilton head into the week averaging 16.0 and 13.0 yards per reception, respectively.

3. Head coach James Franklin has said it since spring practice that Sam Ficken has arguably been the most consistent player for the Nittany Lions. Ficken's senior season has gotten off to a strong start. Ranked sixth in the nation with 2.0 field goals per game, Ficken has connected on 12 of his 14 field goal attempts and all 13 of his extra point attempts. His two misses were both blocked at the line of scrimmage. Additionally, Ficken has 15 touchbacks on 31 kickoffs this season. 

What to Watch For - Ohio State
10462681.jpeg1. The Ohio State offense enters the week having scored 50 or more points in four-straight games. Efficiency is a big reason for the offensive output from the Buckeyes. Quarterback J.T. Barrett is the conference's leader in total offense (333.0) and passing efficiency (182.1). The redshirt freshman has thrown for 20 touchdowns and just five interceptions in 2014. Barrett has led Ohio State on a touchdown drive during its first possession in each of the last four games.

2. Ohio State's defensive line headlines the Buckeye defense. Tackle Michael Bennett and end Joey Bosa are the two names to watch for when Ohio State's defense is on the field. Bennett is a disruptive player in the middle of the defensive line. A member of the watch lists for the Bednarik, Outland, Nagurski and Lombardi Award, Bennett has 12.0 career sacks. Bosa enters the game as the Big Ten's leader in tackles for loss (1.50 per game) and fumbles forced (0.50).

3. Head coach Urban Meyer has always placed a big emphasis on special teams play. The Buckeyes enter the weekend rated No. 1 in the Big Ten in kickoff coverage. Ohio State is also ranked in the third of the Big Ten in punting, kickoff returns and punt returns. Dontre Wilson is the lead returner for Ohio State. Wilson is averaging 9.7 yards per punt return and 22.7 yards per kickoff return.

The Final Word:
Saturday evening will mark Penn State's third and final primetime game of the 2014 season. The Nittany Lions play host to their seventh all-stadium Penn State White Out. The history of Penn State White Outs stretches back to the 2004 season when the first student section white out took place when the Nittany Lions hosted No. 9 Purdue on Oct. 9. Beaver Stadium hosted student white outs in 2005 (Ohio State) and 2006 (Michigan) before the first all-stadium Penn State White Out took place on Sept. 8, 2007 (Notre Dame). Since 2007, the Lions hosted full stadium Penn State White Out games against Illinois (2008), Iowa (2009), Alabama (2011), Ohio State (2012) and Michigan (2013). Kickoff is slated for 8:14 on Saturday night with Brad Nessler, Todd Blackledge and Holly Rowe on the ABC broadcast.


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Penn State White Out History in Beaver Stadium

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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Always a fan favorite, Beaver Stadium will play host to a full stadium Penn State White Out on Saturday under the lights when the Nittany Lions collide with Ohio State (8 p.m. on ABC).

A tradition stretching back to a student section white out in 2004, the Penn State White Outs have created an unrivaled atmosphere inside Beaver Stadium. Saturday will mark the seventh time the Nittany Lions will host a full stadium Penn State White Out. Take a look through a photo history of the student and full stadium white outs since the idea began in 2004.


Purdue - Oct. 9, 2004 (student section)
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Ohio State - Oct. 8, 2005 (student section)
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Michigan - Oct. 14, 2006 (student section)
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Notre Dame - Sept. 8, 2007 (full stadium)
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Illinois - Sept. 27, 2008 (full stadium)
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Iowa - Sept. 26, 2009 (full stadium)
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Michigan - Oct. 30, 2010 (student section)
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Alabama - Sept. 10, 2011 (full stadium)
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Ohio State - Oct. 27, 2012 (full stadium)
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Michigan - Oct. 12, 2013 (full stadium)
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Ohio State Week Q&A - Assistant Coach Brent Pry

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10462247.jpegUNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Penn State assistant head coach, co-defensive coordinator and linebackers coach Brent Pry spoke with the media on Thursday.  The Nittany Lions return to action on Saturday against Ohio State (8 p.m. on ABC). Take a look at a Q&A with Pry.

Q: What kind of challenges does the Ohio State offense present?
Pry:
"I think first of all, they have more team speed on offense than anyone we have seen up to this point. I would compare their team speed to what you would see at Vanderbilt out of some of the better teams in that league (SEC). At wide receiver, there is not just one or two, there are multiple guys that can run and that are dangerous after the catch. At running back, they are really quality backs that can run. They have great balance. They have great vision, particularly No. 15. And of course the quarterback is a heck of an athlete in his own right. He can throw the ball around, particularly in their system. And then he's had numerous plays, particularly in the last four weeks, where he has made scramble opportunities and turned them into big gainers. And then where he has run the ball within the running scheme, he is dangerous that way. And then they have two tight ends that are very good blockers and have a lot of range. They can cover ground and stretch the field. There is not a weak component to the guys they can get the ball to."

Q: How much more difficult is it to prepare when you are playing offense with so many components to it, like you talked about?
Pry:
"Sometimes you can isolate. When there are just one or two guys, you can bracket and hone in on one particular thing. These guys make you be very well rounded. You can't change your concentration. You have to be sound up front. You can't commit to the box too much or they will expose you on the perimeter. You can't be light in the box or they will run the football. Then the element of the quarterback running makes you guarded there. They do so much. They spread you out all over the field. They deliver the ball and get it around to all of their threats. Sometimes you can hone in on a guy or two, but these guys don't let you do that."

Q: Coach Franklin has talked about Nyeem Wartman. What is he doing well in your eyes right now?
Pry:
"Probably, there are two qualities of his that impress me the most right now. No. 1, he's got a lot of maturity. For being a redshirt sophomore, he is a mature kid. He's got a great mentality. He's got a great understanding of the position; a very good understanding of the defensive scheme. And then the second quality I'm impressed with is that he's got great knee bend and agility. For a big guy who is weighing around 240, his lateral movement is right up there in the neighborhood of Mike Hull's. He's just a really good athlete. He's physical. To be honest, there have been numerous opportunities for us to end up in the wrong thing or make the wrong call, and Nyeem sees something and makes it right. He's really a good complement to Mike Hull in the box to get us lined up the way we want to get lined up."

Q: Following up on that, how much do you think Nyeem has benefitted from playing next to Mike Hull?
Pry:
"There is no doubt. I think it is all of the guys, not just the linebackers but across the entire defense. He's one of those guys that practices the way you want a guy to practice. Nyeem certainly does that, as well. I think being a student of the game and mastering your position, I think he has learned that from Mike. I hope all of the guys are learning that you have to take to heart the techniques that are necessary for your spot, and then master those techniques. Nyeem is very vocal. He is a great communicator. He's got a lot of confidence. I thought up at Michigan, watching him play basically one-handed with that cast on, I was really impressed. He played physical. He made plays. He stuck his face in there."

Q: Can you talk about Brandon Bell and the progress he has made this year?
Pry:
"I think Brandon, he is a guy - honestly, I was excited about Nyeem and Mike coming out of camp - Brandon, I still had some question marks. We ask a lot out of that field backer. There is a certain skillset we like to see, and Brandon is a little different. He's almost geared towards the position Nyeem plays a little bit more. Brandon has done a tremendous job growing into that position. He has given us everything to his abilities that we need out there. We have the good fortune and subbing and getting into a sub group when we feel like there needs to be a little more speed or athleticism out at that spot. We can put a safety in the game. Brandon has just done a very, very good job of being a solid player at the field backer position. I'd like to see more production from Brandon. I'd like to Brandon be a little more explosive in our blitz package. There are some things where we are working towards for the second half of the season where we can get a little more production out of Brandon."

Q: When you look at this weekend, what type of an impact does a Penn State White Out have in terms of recruiting?
Pry:
"This is obviously a big recruiting weekend. Everybody as a prospect wants to come see Penn State-Ohio State, white out in a sold out stadium. That's obviously one of the great things about Penn State. When you walk into a high school and get into conversations with coaches and players that's one of the first things you talk about - Beaver Stadium and the white outs. A bunch of those guys that signed with us last February were at the Michigan game last year where it was a white out and Penn State victory in dramatic fashion. Those guys all talked about that during the recruiting process up to when we signed them. (Saying) that it was just a fantastic experience and that it was unrivaled - that there was no other gameday atmosphere that they had attended and made them as excited as Beaver Stadium did."


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VIDEO: James Franklin Practice Update - Ohio State Week

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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Head coach James Franklin provided an update to the media following Wednesday's practice session at the Lasch Football Complex. The Nittany Lions return to action on Saturday (8 p.m. on ABC) against Ohio State.






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2014 Opponent Previews - Ohio State

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10458955.jpegOhio State | Beaver Stadium | 8 p.m. | ABC

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The Nittany Lions take on No. 12/13 Ohio State on Saturday in a primetime matchup.  Get to know the Buckeyes in this week's scouting report.

Urban Meyer, who is in his third year leading the Buckeyes, owns a 29-3 record at the school and a career mark of 133-26.  The scarlet and gray are coming off a 2013 campaign in which they went 12-2, including 8-0 in the Big Ten and played in the Orange Bowl.  The Buckeyes returned 38 letterman and 10 starters.

Ohio State improved to 5-1 overall and 2-0 in the Big Ten last weekend with a 56-17 victory against Rutgers.  The Buckeyes compiled 585 yards, including 324 on the ground.  Quarterback J.T. Barrett continued a strong year, completing 19-of-31 passes for 261 yards and three touchdowns.  The redshirt freshman added 107 yards and two scores rushing.  Six different Buckeyes got at least four carries, with Ezekiel Elliott leading the way with 69 yards and a touchdown on 12 carries. Curtis Samuel added 59 yards on four carries and Rod Smith scored on a 3-yard run.  Receiver Michael Thomas caught four passes for 55 yards, while fellow wideout Evan Spencer caught a touchdown pass.  Tight end Nick Vannett caught two touchdown passes, totaling 38 yards.

The Buckeye defense allowed 345 yards and forced three turnovers.  They also totaled nine tackles for loss and four sacks.  Cornerback Doran Grant and linebacker Joshua Perry tied for a team-leading seven tackles.  Grant added an interception.  Defensive end Joey Bosa made five stops, including two sacks.  Rashad Frazier and Damon Webb each forced a fumble, with Eli Apple returning a fumble four yards for a touchdown. 

Ohio State's offense ranks second in the Big Ten in scoring, averaging 46.5 points per game and has scored at least 50 points in each of their last four games.  The Buckeyes lead the conference in total offense, averaging 533.8 yards per game.  They average 259.8 yards on the ground and 274 yards through the air, ranking fifth and third in the conference, respectively.

Replacing the reigning Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year, Braxton Miller, is not an easy task. But after Miller suffered a right shoulder injury during preseason practice, Barrett stepped up into the starting role and has not looked back.  Barrett leads the Big Ten in passing efficiency, passing touchdowns and total yards per game and ranks second in passing yards per game. The redshirt freshman has completed over 65 percent of his passes for 1,615 yards, 20 touchdowns and five interceptions.  He has also added 383 yards and four touchdowns rushing.  In his last four games, Barrett has thrown 17 touchdown passes and only one interception, with at least four touchdowns in each game.

Elliott leads a host of options at running back with 531 yards and four touchdowns on 91 carries, good for an average of 5.8 yards per carry.  Elliott is also very involved in the passing game, with 14 catches for 137 yards.  Samuel, a 5-foot-11 freshman, averages seven yards per carry with a total of 251 yards and two scores. The 6-foot-3, 231-pound senior Smith has added four touchdowns and101 yards on 24 carries and also has a receiving touchdown.

In the passing game, nine different players are averaging at least one catch per game.  Thomas, a 6-foot-3 sophomore, leads the group with 21 catches for 377 yards and five touchdowns.  He averages 18 yards per reception. Six-foot-one senior Devin Smith averages nearly 30 yards per catch, with a total of 355 yards and five scores on 12 catches.  Senior Evan Spencer has added 73 yards and two touchdowns on seven receptions. H-Back Dontre Wilson, a speedy player at 5-foot-10, has caught 14 passes for 221 yards and a touchdown, while fellow H-Back Jalin Marshall, 5-foot-11, has nine catches for 97 yards and two scores.  Vannett leads the tight ends with 10 receptions for 120 yards and three touchdowns.

The Buckeye offensive line includes a senior, two juniors, a redshirt sophomore and a redshirt freshman.

Defensively, Ohio State allows 20.2 points per game, ranking fourth in the Big Ten. They also rank fifth in the conference in total defense, giving up 319.5 yards per contest.  The Buckeyes allow only 181.7 yards passing, ranking 2nd in the conference, and 137.8 yards rushing, ranking sixth.  Ohio State has forced 14 turnovers, including 10 interceptions, and rank third in the conference with a plus-five turnover margin. Eight different Buckeyes have at least one interception.

The Buckeyes boast one of the top defensive lines in the nation, led by sophomore Joey Bosa.  The 6-foot-5, 278-pound Bosa has a rare blend of power and quickness, as shown by his nine tackles for loss and 5.5 sacks in 2014.  He leads the Big Ten, averaging 1.5 TFL per game, and has forced three fumbles.  Joining Bosa is 6-foot-2, 288-pound senior tackle Michael Bennett, who has three tackles for loss, a sack and has batted down two passes. Fellow tackle Adolphus Washington has recorded 14 stops, four for loss and a sack.

At the linebacker position, Perry leads the defense with 45 tackles, including 27 solo, and three for loss. He also has 0.5 sacks, an interception and a forced fumble.  Senior Curtis Grant has 32 stops this year, with 13 solo, three for loss and a sack.  Freshman Darron Lee has recorded 27 tackles, including six for loss, two sacks and an interception.  Lee also returned a fumble 61 yards for a touchdown against Navy.

Senior Doran Grant leads the secondary. The cornerback has made 24 tackles this year (19 solo).  He also has two interceptions and four pass breakups.  On the other side of the field is freshman cornerback Eli Apple, who has two interceptions and three pass breakups.  Safeties Vonn Bell and Tyvis Powell have recorded 35 and 33 tackles, respectively, and each has an interception.

Kicker Sean Nuernberger has connected on six of his nine attempts, including a long of 46 yards.  Kyle Clinton handles the kickoff duties, averaging 62 yards per kick with 16 touchbacks.  Punter Cameron Johnston averages 44.2 yards per punt and has placed eight inside the 20-yard-line.  Dontre Wilson is responsible for kick and punt returns.  He averages 22.2 yards per kick return.


What Urban Meyer is saying about Penn State:

"Number one rush defense in the country. They are very well coached up front. They have good personnel up front."

"Obviously we have a lot of respect for that big quarterback, Hackenberg. Tremendous player. Statistically came out of the chute high with a high completion percentage."

"We did go on the road once (this year), but obviously 110,000 is different than 50,000 some. We were there (in 2012). I remember Shelley and I were both like, that's one of the top five atmospheres we ever played in. We can expect that same type of reception."


Contributions on all of the 2014 Opponent Previews provided by GoPSUsports.com Student Writer Paul Marboe.

VIDEO: Ohio State Week Player Q&A - Geno Lewis

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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - GoPSUsports.com catches up with wide receiver Geno Lewis to preview the Ohio State game.