It doesn't take long for Ohio State's offense to put you in a hole.
Safety Stephen Obeng-Agyapong expects to be tested through the air and on the ground by explosive Ohio State quarterback Braxton Miller.
The Buckeyes, who are second in the Big Ten scoring at 39 points per game, do much of their damage with the big play. Ohio State has 39 offensive gains of 20 yards or more in eight games this season (the Nittany Lions, by contrast, have 23 in seven games).
Eleven of them have resulted in touchdowns and seven have been plays of 50 yards or more. Quarterback Braxton Miller, who is on the passing end of 18 of those 19 pass plays, has four touchdown runs of 55 yards or longer.
Just 22 of the Buckeyes' 42 scoring drives have been seven plays or longer. They rely on the quick strike, and Penn State's defense will try to limit what the coaches call "chunk plays," especially from Miller, when the teams meet this Saturday night in Beaver Stadium.
"We have to keep him out of the end zone the best we can," Penn State coach Bill O'Brien said Tuesday. "And we've got to make sure that we know, look, the guy's going to make some plays, let's make sure we limit that and get ready to not dwell on the big play that he just made and try to play the next play."
It's a lesson that O'Brien's defenders -- especially those in the back four -- have taken to heart this season and especially this week.
"They're gonna make plays," safety Stephen Obeng-Agyapong said Wednesday. "For us to have the ability to put that behind us is a good thing. You can't dwell on the past, it'll affect your play."
Obeng-Agyapong admitted Penn State's defense had some trouble bouncing back from big gains by opponents in early-season losses to Ohio and Virginia but that the players have done a better job of it during the last five games, when big plays have been a rarity for opposing offenses.
What has helped the defense bounce back quickly, Obeng-Agyapong said, is going against an offense that doesn't leave it much time to dwell on things during weekly practices -- Penn State's.
"There's not a lot of teams in the Big Ten that run our offense to the tempo that we do," he said. "Going against those guys in practice a lot helps us in a real game."