Finally, the week that has been circled on Ohio State’s football calendar has arrived.
After five weeks of dominating overmatched opponents, the No. 6-ranked Buckeyes will find out against Penn State on Saturday how much they truly have improved since their humbling loss to Oklahoma.
Last October, Penn State stunned Ohio State 24-21 on a blocked field goal returned for a touchdown. That was the first big win of James Franklin’s tenure in State College and it propelled the Nittany Lions to the Big Ten championship.
Now Penn State is ranked No. 2, a status solidified by its 42-13 rout of Michigan on State College on Saturday. Ohio State was off last weekend.
Asked if revenge would be used as motivation, Meyer hedged about whether he would make it a priority. But he figured his players would.
“You figure you're dealing with youngsters,” Meyer said in his weekly press conference Monday. “Is revenge a motivator? Sure it is.”
Penn State’s offense is led by running back Saquon Barkley, the Heisman Trophy front-runner.
"He's the best all-purpose guy we've faced maybe in my career." Meyer said.
Meyer also heaped praise on the Nittany Lions’ defense, which controlled Ohio State last year.
“Their defensive line is not read-and-react,” Meyer said. “They come after you."
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Meyer said the three Buckeyes injured against Nebraska on Oct. 14 — left tackle Jamarco Jones, defensive end Jalyn Holmes and receiver Parris Campbell — will play Saturday.