Of course it’s possible.

No. 13 Penn State could beat No. 2 Ohio State when the Big Ten East rivals meet at noon Saturday in Beaver Stadium.

Of course it’s not probable.

The Buckeyes (7-0, 4-0) started the week as 15-point favorites for a reason. They are really, really good. They’ve beaten the Nittany Lions 5 times in a row, and that streak would be at 10 if not for a highly improbable upset 6 years ago on a White Out Saturday night in Happy Valley. They’ve won 16 of the past 20 meetings. Ohio State has out-recruited its neighbor to the east in 11 of the past 12 years.

Penn State (6-1, 3-1) will bring Sean Clifford to a CJ Stroud fight, matching its gritty 6th-year senior quarterback against a Heisman favorite, probably the Heisman favorite. Ohio State has superior players on the offensive line and at receiver, gets at least a wash at running back and maybe ranks a tad behind at tight end.

Penn State has the better secondary, but overall defensively Ohio State ranks 5th in limiting points (14.9 per game) and 2nd in ceding yards (239.9 per game) in the country. PSU ranks 20th and 63rd.

Penn State lost to its 1 ranked opponent, getting ripped by then-No. 5 Michigan. Ohio State hasn’t lost to anybody, including its 1 ranked opponent, then-No. 5 Notre Dame.

But college football games are played on immaculately groomed turf, not paper, by highly fallible and sometimes erratic young men, not robots. The oblong ball takes funny bounces. On any given Saturday, crazy things can and will happen.

Here are a few thoughts on how some crazy stuff might happen this Saturday in State College with FOX’s Big Noon Kickoff on hand to bear witness:

Embrace the last chance

For final-year PSU veterans such as PJ Mustipher, Ji’Ayir Brown, Joey Porter and, yes, Sean Clifford, this is their final shot to put a truly epic victory into their college-years memory banks. Several other seniors and leave-early NFL Draft candidates are in the same boat.

Lose on Saturday, and most of them will have last year’s White Out victory over barely-ranked underdog Auburn as their career highlight. As far as memorable home victories go, the only game that tops that came in 2019, a 28-21 victory over Michigan. And among the currently rostered players, only Clifford played a major role in that one.

So if Penn State’s team captains and veteran leaders are ever going to make their mark, this is the time. Mustipher needs to bounce back from last weekend’s zero-tackle outing against Minnesota. Brown and Porter must rise to the challenge of limiting an all-star cast of receivers led by Marvin Harrison Jr. and Emeka Egbuka (plus Jaxon Smith-Njigba if he plays). And Clifford needs to win back the love of Nittany Nation one more time with an outing like last year’s 28-of-32 game against Auburn.

Ride the stadium vibe

Generating a night time White Out level of energy for a noon Stripe Out kickoff might not be possible, but the faithful should bring it to the extent they expect of the players. The Penn State community should exhaust itself on the field and in the stands, with players and fans feeding off each other.

Stroud and the Buckeyes can’t be rattled to the extent rookie QB Athan Kaliakmanis and Minnesota were this past Saturday. But that doesn’t mean Ohio State can’t be affected. The Big Ten’s flagship program somehow crumbled and lost a game they totally dominated at Beaver Stadium 6 years ago.

Ohio State hasn’t really been tested yet. Notre Dame was way overrated to start the season. Push these Buckeyes, and maybe they can be shaken.

Bust some big plays

Penn State leads the B1G and ranks 10th nationally in turnover margin, with 14 takeaways vs. 7 giveaways. Outside of the monsoon game against Northwestern, the Lions haven’t lost a fumble all season while stripping and recovering 7 balls from opponents. The defense also has 7 interceptions, and Stroud isn’t totally immune to coughing up the ball. He lost a fumble and threw his 4th pick of the season Saturday against Iowa.

Beyond turnovers, Penn State could turn the game on special teams, as was dramatically proven in 2016. Dominic DeLuca, this year’s special teams ace, partially blocked a punt against the Golden Gophers.

Penn State also has some home run hitters on offense. Freshman Nick Singleton doesn’t always need great blocking to bust a big run. He leads the nation in runs of 40+ yards (5) and shares the lead in runs of 30+ yards (6). Parker Washington proved against the Gophers that he can high-point a deep ball, and Mitchell Tinsley made an amazing 1-hand snag along the sideline.

Ohio State will not be the only team with great athletes on the field Saturday.

Outcoach Ryan Day and his staff

In 8 ½ seasons at Penn State, I’m not sure James Franklin has won a single game simply by flat-out outcoaching the opposition. The past 2 wins over Auburn probably are candidates, but the Lions were at least slight favorites in both of those.

He’s certainly been on the other end. Bret Bielema, in his first season at Illinois a year ago, maximized schemes to take advantage of Mustipher’s absence and Clifford’s injury limitations in a 20-18, 9-OT major upset.

In fact, according to the point spread, that was a greater upset than Penn State beating Ohio State would be.

If Franklin and his brand new or relatively new lead assistants want to earn some grace with a frustrated fan base, this game presents the last best opportunity in 2022. The staff already blew its first big chance, finding almost no soft spots in Michigan’s armor.

Maybe Manny Diaz can mix coverages and pressures and make Stroud look more human than he normally does. Maybe Mike Yurcich will show off some novel formations like he did last year against Auburn in his first year as OC under Franklin. Maybe 3rd-year o-line coach Phil Trautwein will have his group more prepared and inspired than they’ve ever been. Maybe new special teams leader Stacy Collins will find some flaws in Ohio State’s opposing units.

This could be a seminal moment for this staff, and they should be pulling out all the stops, just like the players and fans.

The time is at hand

This could be any given Saturday. If it happens, all the talk about switching quarterbacks and firing coaches goes away and is replaced by Playoff conversations.

There is precedent. Penn State got absolutely smoked by Michigan in 2016 (49-10) before going on a 9-game win streak that included the epic upset of Ohio State. That one changed the Penn State narrative in a major positive way that carried over for 3 more seasons.

This one would too.