What's ahead for No. 4 Ohio State
A look at what's ahead, directly and into the future, for No. 4 Ohio State...
THIS WEEK: vs. Penn State (4-2, 1-1) at 8 p.m. Saturday. The Buckeyes are aiming to get to 8-0 and win their 20th straight game. Ohio State won last year's game in Happy Valley; Penn State has won in two of its last three trips to Columbus.
KEY MATCHUP: The Buckeyes are feeding Carlos Hyde behind a veteran, powerful offensive line and daring opponents to stop him; Hyde has run for 317 yards and five touchdowns in the last two games. Penn State is allowing just 3.1 yards per rush to opponents on the season.
ON THE OTHER SIDE: Ohio State has not allowed a 100-yard rusher in 2013. The Nittany Lions haven't been a great running team, at just 3.9 yards per carry, but freshman Christian Hackenberg has the passing offense averaging 293 yards per game and the Buckeyes pass defense remains a question mark.
WELL RESTED: For the third consecutive game, the Buckeyes face a team coming off a bye week.
COMING SOON: Next week, the Buckeyes are at hapless Purdue for a noon BTN kickoff. Ohio State is off the weekend of Nov. 9, and if the Buckeyes beat Penn State and Purdue they'd come out of that bye week with a chance to clinch the division title and a spot in the Big Ten Championship Game at Illinois on Nov. 16.
LOOKING AROUND: The biggest games with Ohio State-related BCS implications this week are No. 3 Oregon vs. No. 12 UCLA and No. 5 Missouri vs. No. 21 South Carolina. No. 1 Alabama, No. 2 Florida State and No. 8 Baylor are all heavily favored in their games. Looking ahead to next week, Florida State plays No. 7 Miami in a battle of unbeatens, and on Nov. 7 Oregon is at No. 6 Stanford and Baylor plays Oklahoma.