Saturday's slate of college football featured many high-profile matchups, but none had quite the same stakes as Ohio State versus Penn State. The winner of this game would be in play for the Big Ten Football Championship Game, while the loser would likely settle for a lesser-tier Bowl Game. With so much on the line, as well as bragging rights, FOX Sports opted to hype up the battle with a video featuring Ezekiel Elliott and Saquon Barkley.
Now known as two of the best running backs in the NFL, Barkley (Penn State) and Elliott (Ohio State) are veterans of this Big Ten game. They both know the impact that this game can have on the season and are innately familiar with the rivalry between these two teams. Although the Buckeyes have enjoyed a sizable advantage after winning eight of the past 10 games.
"I don't think they've played a team like us yet," Barkley said in the hype video. "I think we have the best defense in the country." To this, Elliott replied that Penn State "has a long way to go before they are up there with us."
While these two running backs may be close in age, they only faced off once during their college careers. During this 2015 battle, a 38-10 Ohio State victory, Barkley and Elliott were similarly effective while contributing to their respective offenses.
The future New York Giants star in Barkley registered 26 carries for 194 yards while the very wealthy Dallas Cowboys running back in Elliott achieved 153 yards on 27 carries. Elliott also scored one rushing touchdown and caught four passes for 21 yards.
Their battles in college may have been limited, but these two running backs have seen each other more frequently in the pros. The Dallas Cowboys and New York Giants are rivals in the NFC East, so they play each other twice a season. Although the Cowboys have found far more success in these games, winning all four games since Barkley was drafted.
Despite the losing history in the series, Barkley has faith that Penn State will ultimately reign supreme in this battle between Big Ten favorites. Elliott just doesn't believe that the Nittany Lions pose any threat at this point in the season.
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