1. Ezekiel Elliott has 2,975 career rushing yards, good for 10th best at Ohio State. Zeke needs 25 yards to pass Carlos Snow (2,999 yards) for 9th place; 102 yards to pass Pepe Pearson (3,076 yards) for 8th place; 224 yards to pass Carlos Hyde (3,198 yards) for 7th place; 226 yards to pass Keith Byars (3,200 yards) for 6th place; and 241 yards to pass Braxton Miller (3,215 yards) for 5th place (assuming that Miller gains no yards rushing against Penn State).
Buckeye Player Ranking -Yards Rushing- Yards to Surpass Braxton Miller 5th 3,215 241 Keith Byars 6th 3,200 226 Carlos Hyde 7th 3,198 224 Pepe Pearson 8th 3,076 102 Carlos Snow 9th 2,999 25 Ezekiel Elliott 10th 2,975 0
2. Michael Thomas has 1,230 yards receiving, good for 25th best at Ohio State. Thomas needs 39 yards to pass Reggie Germany (1,268 yards) for 24th place; 48 yards to pass Buster Tillman (1,277 yards) for 23rd place; 57 yards to pass Anthony Gonzalez (1,286 yards) for 22nd place; 60 yards to pass Brian Stablein (1,289 yards) for 21st place; 190 yards to pass Bobby Olive (1,419 yards) for 20th place; and 200 yards to pass Brian Hartline (1,429 yards) for 19th place.
Buckeye Player Ranking Yards Receiving Yards to Surpass Brian Hartline 19th 1,429 200 Bobby Olive 20th 1,419 190 Brian Stablein 21st 1,289 60 Anthony Gonzalez 22nd 1,286 57 Buster Tillman 23rd 1,277 48 Reggie Germany 24th 1,268 39 Michael Thomas 25th 1,230 0
3. Michael Thomas has 84 career receptions, good for 23rd best at Ohio State. Thomas needs 4 receptions to pass Anthony Gonzalez (87 receptions) for 22nd place; 5 receptions to pass Buster Tillman (88 receptions) for 21st place; 7 to pass Brian Hartline (90 receptions) for 20th place; 8 receptions to pass Bobby Olive (91 receptions) for 19th place; and 13 receptions to pass Brian Stablein (96 receptions) for 18th place.
Buckeye Player Ranking Total Receptions Recs to Surpass Brian Stablein 18th 96 13 Bobby Olive 19th 91 8 Brian Hartline 20th 90 7 Buster Tillman 21st 88 5 Anthony Gonzalez 22nd 87 4 Michael Thomas 23rd 84 0
4. Cardale Jones has 2,021 career passing yards, good for 21st best at Ohio State. Cardale needs 109 yard to pass John Borton (2,129 yards) for 20th place; 232 yards to pass Tom Tupa (2,252 yards) for 19th place; 328 yards to pass Cornelius Greene (2,348 yards) for 18th place; 417 yards to pass Kirk Herbstreit (2,437 yards) for 17th place; and 424 yards to pass Rex Kern (2,444 yards) for 16th place.
Buckeye Player Ranking -Yards Passing- Yards to Surpass Rex Kern 16th 2,444 424 Kirk Herbstreit 17th 2,437 417 Cornelius Greene 18th 2,348 328 Tom Tupa 19th 2,252 232 John Borton 20th 2,129 109 Cardale Jones 21st 2,021 0
5. Joey Bosa has 39.5 career TFL's, good for 11th best at Ohio State. Bosa needs 1.5 TFLs to tie A.J. Hawk (41.0 TFLs) for 10th place; 3.5 TFLs to tie John Simon and Jerome Foster (43.0 TFLs) for 8th place; 4.0 TFLs to tie Matt Wilhelm (43.5 TFLs) for 7th place; and 5.0 TFLs to tie Ryan Shazier (44.5 TFLs) for 6th place.
Buckeye Player Ranking Career TFLs TFLs to Tie Ryan Shazier 6th 44.5 5.0 Matt Wilhelm 7th 43.5 4.0 John Simon 8th 43.0 3.5 Jerome Foster 8th 43.0 3.5 A.J. Hawk 10th 41.0 1.5 Joey Bosa 11th 39.5 0
6. Joey Bosa has 22.5 career sacks, tied for 5th best at Ohio State with Vernon Gholston. Bosa needs 0.5 sacks to tie his uncle, Eric Kumerow (23.0 sacks) for 4th place; 2.5 sacks to tie Matt Finkes (25.0 sacks) for 3rd place; and 5.0 sacks to tie Jason Simmons (27.5 sacks) for 2nd place. Mike Vrabel holds the Ohio State record with 36.0 career sacks.
Buckeye Player Ranking Career Sacks Sacks to Tie Mike Vrabel 1st 36.0 13.5 Jason Simmons 2nd 27.5 5.0 Matt Finkes 3rd 25.0 2.5 Eric Kumerow 4th 23.0 0.5 Vernon Gholston 5th 22.5 0 Joey Bosa 5th 22.5 0
7. Both Ohio State and Penn State have among the best defenses in the country:
Category Ohio State Penn State Total Defense 19th (300.2 ypg) 10th (275.7 ypg) Rushing Defense 56th (152.7 ypg) 26th (117.0 ypg) Passing Defense 9th (145.7 ypg) 13th (158.7 ypg) Scoring Defense 21st (17.3 ppg) 11th (14.3 ppg)
However, while Ohio State's offense is also elite, Penn State's is borderline pathetic:
Category Ohio State Penn State Total Offense 27th (460.0 ypg) 105th (344.3 ypg) Rushing Offense 17th (230.0 ypg) 86th (157.3 ypg) Passing Offense 64th (230.0 ypg) 100th (187.0 ypg) Scoring Offense 28th (36.8 ppg) 93rd (25.2 ppg)
Some key match-ups to watch: Penn State's defense gives up just 117.0 yards per game on the ground, while Ohio State's offense nearly doubles that output with 230.0 yards per game. Buckeye running back Ezekiel Elliott by himself averages 139.2 yards per game rushing.
Somewhat surprisingly, Ohio State has the nation's #9 pass defense, surrendering only 145.7 yards per game. Penn State's pass offense generates only 187.0 yards per game through the air, and Nittany Lion quarterback Christian Hackenberg is one of the worst in the nation (95th) with a passer efficiency rating of 120.3.
Penn State has allowed 19 sacks so far this season, or 3.17 per game (112th in FBS). However, after surrendering 10 sacks in their season opener against Temple, Penn State has given up just 9 sacks in the last 5 games, or 1.8 per game (would rank 61st in FBS).
Ohio State is 11th in the nation in forcing sacks, with 19 on the season, or 3.17 per game. Although defensive end Joey Bosa is the main threat, his counterpart on the other end of the line, Tyquan Lewis, leads the Buckeye defense with 5.5 sacks on the year.
Ohio State is the epitome of a balanced offense. The Buckeyes average exactly 230.0 yards per game on the ground, and 230.0 yards per game through the air.
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