Jones: I'm Not Concerned About Urban Meyer; I'm Happy To Have James Franklin

Ohio State and Penn State square off in perhaps the college football game of the year Saturday

September 28, 2018 - 12:09 am

No. 4 Ohio State (4-0) plays No. 9 Penn State (4-0) at Beaver Stadium on Saturday in perhaps the biggest game of the college football season, and Penn State voice Steve Jones dropped by CBS Sports Radio to preview the action.

“One of the keys is can they get pressure on (Dwayne) Haskins?” Jones said on Ferrall on the Bench. “Haskins has completed 76 percent of his passes, but it’s 42 percent (when pressured). Can they get pressure on him? If they do that, I think they’ll put themselves in a good spot to do something big Saturday night.”

Expect points early and often in this one. Haskins has thrown for 1,194 yards and 16 touchdowns, while Penn State quarterback Trace McSorley has thrown for 763 yards and eight touchdowns. Ohio State has given up numerous big plays this season and could give up a few more to the Nittany Lions, especially without stud defensive end Nick Bosa, who was injured against TCU.

“I think they (could make some big plays),” Jones said. “I think Penn State’s got that in their arsenal, and with Nick Bosa not playing in the game, he’s the kind of domino guy that makes the tackle better, makes the linebacker better, makes the secondary better. He’s missed a game-and-a-half, and he still leads them in tackles for loss and in sacks. He’s that good. If McSorley has time, they’ve got the ability to make some plays.”

Ohio State/Penn State has become one of the best rivalries in college football in recent years, with games often coming down to the wire.

Penn State fans likely won’t give Urban Meyer the warmest of welcomes Saturday. Jones might not, either.

“I think I’m just going to look over to the other sideline and say thanks that Penn State has James Franklin,” Jones said. “I’ll just keep it at that. James Franklin has come in here and done a wonderful job. He’s had to really start from scratch in a lot of ways, and he’s built it back up and he’s got them in this position now. I think Penn State could not have made a better hire than James Franklin. I’m not all that concerned as to who’s walking on Ohio State’s sideline; I think Penn State fans feel good about the guy they have on their sideline.”

Kickoff is at 7:30 p.m. ET.