COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio State is coming off a blowout victory over Iowa, but the players are ready to put that game in the rearview mirror.
After all, a trip to one of the most intimidating stadiums in all of College football looms in week nine for the second-ranked Buckeyes.
Which is why players like wideout Emeka Egbuka can’t wait to battle against Penn State. The No. 13 Nittany Lions will be the Buckeyes toughest test this to date. Especially since Ohio State has only beat on Big Ten opponent with a winning record.
So there’s no denying the Buckeyes want to prove their ranking is legit.
“All of our minds are focused on Penn State right now,” Egbuka said. “We have a feeling this is going to be our hardest game of the season.”
Penn State (6-1) is undefeated at home in 2022, but haven’t defeated Ohio State in Beaver Stadium since 2016. Egbuka plans on keeping the streak going, so he’s anticipating an intense week of practice leading up to the matchup.
“Just playing in Happy Valley, that’s a place traditionally known to be a hard place to win, no matter what they’re ranking is at the time,” he said.
The former five-star prospect was still in high school when the Buckeyes last played in the colossal venue. And Egbuka can’t wait to experience the atmosphere.
The Washington native will be welcoming all of the noise levels from the raucous crowd too. Egbuka believes being put in pressure situations brings out the best in him. And he’s bo stranger to bringing his A game.
The six-foot-one, 205-pounder has caught at least one touchdown in six of Ohio State’s seven games. Not to mention he’s third in the Big Ten and 11th in the FBS receiving yards. Egbuka is also third in the league with seven touchdown receptions. He has also eclipsed the century mark in receiving yards in four games this fall.
He’s confident in his quarterback C.J. Stroud and the rest of the wide receivers. And expects Penn State’s secondary will be up to the task of slowing down Ohio State’s aerial attack.
“Playing on the road is definitely different than playing at home,” the true sophomore said. “So we’re going to have a good week of practice, prepare and execute the plays the right way, and be able to go over the and take the dub.”
The Buckeyes will have to start out faster than what they did against the Hawkeyes though. No silly penalties, and careless turnovers. The offense also needs to take advantage of every trip to the red zone this time around.
However, if Ohio State makes the same mistakes again on offense they could very well get upset. So in order to avoid a lackluster performance the offense will have to stay consistent and execute.
“It just comes down to execution, 10 players can do their job on a play, but if one doesn’t than a play can be ruined, so it’s all about firing on all cylinders and all phases of the game.”