Penn State and Ohio State aren’t exactly friendly neighbors in the Big Ten.
Ahead of Saturday’s most important game in college football, the only matchup featuring Top 10 teams in Week 13, several Nittany Lions and Buckeyes players began jawing back and forth and shoving near the sideline inside Ohio Stadium – pre-game chatter indicative of rivals.
Many of Penn State’s skill players are shirtless on a bitter day in Columbus, perhaps a macho way of saying they aren’t backing down as a 19 .5-point underdogs against the nation’s second-ranked team.
Players had to be separated by team personnel after things appeared to get physical:
Tell me again how Ohio State and Penn State aren’t rivals.pic.twitter.com / (SOfRC0hJ)
– Patrick Murphy (@_Pat_Murphy)November 23, 2019
Ohio State’s wide spread comes after back-to-back games that came down to one point in the final seconds against the Nittany Lions. Regardless of the line, both teams expect a war to the final whistle.
Good news for Penn State? Wideout KJ Hamler is expected to play after being questionable all week following last week’s injury vs. Indiana.
“Obviously a great challenge going on the road in a venue that holds over 100, 000, ”Penn State coach James Franklin said. “We obviously know home-field advantage that comes from those type of environments. Probably the most talented roster we’ve watched on tape definitely this year, maybe since we’ve been here. It’s going to be a great challenge. I know our guys are excited about it. ”
Today marks the return of impact defender Chase Young. Young sat against Rutgers and Maryland via suspension, but is back for the biggest game of the year to date in Columbus.
“He’s been practicing,” Buckeye coach Ryan Day said. “He wasn’t really involved in the game plan the last couple weeks but he has been practicing. And Larry (Johnson) has been doing some extra work with him on the field, drill-wise, but now he’s right back to practicing with the defense. ”