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Ohio State, Penn State Rank 2-3 in Current Win Streaks; Nittany Lions’ 16-0 Home Win Streak is No. 3

by on September 23, 2018 12:00 PM

As if The Game needed any more hype.

But here it is:

When Ohio State visits Beaver Stadium for a Saturday night Whiteout, they’ll be bringing the nation’s second-longest winning streak to campus, with nine W’s in a row.

No. 1 is UCF, at 16 games.

And guess who is No. 3?

Yep, Penn State, with an eight-game winning streak.

BTW, the Nittany Lions also own the nation’s No. 3 current home winning streak, at 16 straight in Beaver Stadium. Alabama is first, with 21 consecutive homefield wins, followed by USC, with 18.

I wrote in-depth about the Nittany Lions’ 16-game streak in Beaver Stadium the day after they got No. 16 by whomping Kent State; read about it by clicking here.

Neat to know about that streak: during it, PSU has outscored the opposition by a margin of 671 to 266. And the attendant rise in attendance means about $1.3 million more a game in revenue for Penn State compared to five years ago.

How important is that 16?

You decide. Know this: When James Franklin tweeted his weekly admonition/recitation of “Ohio St, Ohio St, Ohio St” on Sunday morning, he did 16 of ’em.

ONE STREAK WILL END

Now, about those current winning streaks, six days before you hear about it from Chris and Herbie:

The Buckeyes have won nine games in a row, dating back to the 48-3 trouncing of Michigan State in The Horseshoe on Nov. 11, 2017. Ohio State’s last loss came the week before, when they got thrashed at Iowa, 55-24.

And the week before that was Oct. 28, in that epic 39-38 Buckeye win over second-ranked Penn State at The Horseshoe. Penn State led 14-0, 28-10 and then 38-27 in that game — that eight-point lead coming with just 5:18 left in the game against No. 6 Ohio State. But J.T. Barrett threw two TD passes in the final 260 seconds to get the win.

If the Buckeyes had not fallen at Iowa the next week, their current winning streak would be seven games longer, at 16. Their last loss before Iowa was on Sept. 9, 2017, when Baker Mayfield and Oklahoma planted a 31-16 loss on the Buckeyes.

THE POINT(S) OF THE PSU STREAK

Penn State has won its last eight games since falling 27-24 to No. 24 Michigan State Nov. 4, 2017, on a walk-off 34-yard field goal by the Spartans’ Matt Coghlin. Until then, it looked like the Nittany Lions might weather a three-and-a-half storm delay at Spartan Stadium. As if you need me to tell you: The Ohio State-Michigan State losses came on back-to-back weekends.

During the Nittany Lions’ eight-game streak (four wins in 2017, four in 2018), they have outscored the opposition by 414 to 159 points — an average score of about 52 to 20. By quarter, it breaks down this way:

First quarter — 84 to 43

Second quarter — 104 to 30

Third quarter — 100 to 31

Fourth quarter — 119 to 55

Overtime — 7 to 0

Pretty dominating. But not totally #unrivaled.

THE BUCKEYES’ STREAK

Over its nine-game streak, Ohio State has won by a margin of 400 to 139 points — an average score of 45.5 to 16.5.

And that streak includes wins over Michigan State, Michigan, Wisconsin (Big Ten title game), USC (Cotton Bowl) and most germane — and I don’t mean Joe Germaine, the former Buckeye QB — a convincing 40-28 victory over No. 15 TCU two weeks ago on the road at Jerry’s World.

Penn State’s path to eight straight wins has been much easier than Ohio State’s string, with the only real competition coming from Washington in the Fiesta Bowl (a 35-27 win) and from Appalachian State, who the Nittany Lions beat 45-38 in overtime in the 2018 season-opener. The other victories have come, in order, against Rutgers, Nebraska, Maryland, Kent State, Pitt and Illinois — hardly college football’s equivalent of the 1927 Yankees.

No matter. What’s winning streak past is prologue. Numbers aside, we do know this:

By 11 o’clock on Saturday night, at least one winning streak will be whited out.



Mike Poorman has covered Penn State football since 1979, and for StateCollege.com since the 2009 season. His column appears on Mondays and Fridays. Follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/PSUPoorman. His views and opinions do not necessarily reflect those of Penn State University.
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September 23, 2018 5:00 AM
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