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Penn State-Ohio State Preview Capsule

AP - Sports

Penn State (4-2, 1-1) at No. 4 Ohio State (7-0, 3-0), 8 p.m. (ABC)

Line: Ohio State by 14.5.

Series Record: Ohio State leads, 14-13.

WHAT'S AT STAKE

Penn State is 12-6 under head coach Bill O'Brien, but this would qualify as their signature victory. The Buckeyes have won 19 in a row under second-year coach Urban Meyer and need to win to remain in the thick of talk about Leaders Division, Big Ten and national championship talk.

KEY MATCHUP

Penn State freshman QB Christian Hackenberg against Ohio State's defense. The Buckeyes are coming off a 34-24 win over Iowa in which the defense didn't play particularly well. So the defensive unit should be angry and motivated. Hackenberg has been spectacular so far for the Nittany Lions, leading the Big Ten in completions and passing yards per game (279). He'll face some heat. How will he respond?

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Penn State: WR Allen Robinson, 10th in the nation with 7.2 receptions per game, is Hackenberg's favorite target. RB Bill Belton, Lions' leading rusher, can take some of the pressure off Hackenberg. DT DaQuan Jones leads the Big Ten with 8.5 tackles for loss.

Ohio State: QB Braxton Miller is coming off one of his best games in three years as a starter (22 for 27, 222 yards and two TDs, rushing for 102 yards). LB Ryan Shazier leader of the defense, with CB Bradley Roby (ejected from Iowa game for targeting but available to play vs. Penn State).

FACTS & FIGURES: The Nittany Lions won the last meeting in Columbus, 20-14, in 2011. ... Ohio State's 19-game win streak is longest in nation; only once before (1967-69, 22 in a row) have the Buckeyes had a longer streak. ... O'Brien was offensive coordinator and Ohio State DL coach Mike Vrabel an OLB/DL from 2007-2010 with New England Patriots. ... Teams have alternated wins in the last five meetings. ... Penn State is 15-9 the week after a bye. ... Four key Buckeyes are from Pennsylvania: WR Corey Brown (Upper Darby), FS Corey Brown (Monroeville), RB Jordan Hall (Jeannette) and DE Noah Spence (Harrisburg). ... Only Ohioan on PSU roster: freshman WR Luke Vadas (Hunting Valley).

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