October 27, 2012 at 4:42 PM
Be ready for Braxton
Braxton Miller got his bell rung against Purdue, and it didn't look good for the sophomore quarterback as he left the field last Saturday. However, he was cleared to play this week and it appears he'll give it a go against Penn State. Yes, it looked bad for Miller last week, but every athlete bounces back differently, so it won't be enough for the Nittany Lions' defense to ready itself for "rebounding from injury" Braxton Miller. Penn State's defense needs to be ready for "Heisman Trophy candidate" Braxton Miller. Penn State's defense will be the toughest test of the season for Miller, and vice versa. The Lions need to come prepared if they want to contain the versatile signal caller.
Treat the 3rd quarter like the 1st quarter
The odds are stacked on Penn State's side early in the game. There will be quite the buzz throughout the whiteout crowd in Beaver Stadium come kickoff and Penn State is outscoring opponents 66-0 in the first quarter, while the Buckeyes are being outscored 56-51 this season in the first 15 minutes. However, the start to the second half for the Lions has not went as smoothly as the first in seven games. A halftime lead is certainly obtainable against Ohio State, but if the Lions want to be in first place in the Leaders Division, they can't afford a slow start out of the locker room.
This isn't your father's Penn State offense. And for current Penn State students, this isn't even your older sibling's Penn State offense. The Lions no-huddle "NASCAR" look has resulted in many points on the scoreboard this season. The Buckeyes will want it to be a high-scoring affair With Matt McGloin grasping the offense a little better each week and with Bill Belton looking fully healthy, Penn State has the ability to run with them. The Lions have proven they have the ability to control time of possession as they did so against both Northwestern and Iowa, and to slow down Miller and the opposing attack, their offense may need to milk the clock a bit to give the defense a rest.
Block to avoid blocks
If everything goes according to plan for Bill O'Brien and his offense, Penn State won't need to punt and kicker Sam Ficken will only be needed for extra points. However, there will likely be some hiccups for the Lions' offense, and when the team is forced to kick the ball — whether it's on a punt or field goal attempt — it will need to be extra weary of the Buckeyes coming after the ball. Ohio State has blocked a total of six kicks and punts this season, including a blocked extra point against Purdue last week which ended up being huge in the team's comeback victory. Penn State has struggled on special teams and a blocked kick can always shift the momentum of a game.