Ohio State Football: Buckeyes Improve to 7-0, Earn Hard-Fought Victory Against Nittany Lions

No. 3 Ohio State beats No. 7 Penn State 20-12 in pivotal Big Ten showdown | AP News | Photo Credit: Jay LaPrete/AP Photo
No. 3 Ohio State beats No. 7 Penn State 20-12 in pivotal Big Ten showdown | AP News | Photo Credit: Jay LaPrete/AP Photo

Ohio State Adds Second Top-10 Win to Resume After Defeating Penn State

The Ohio State Buckeyes improved to 7-0 on the year including 4-0 in Big Ten play with a 20-12 victory Saturday afternoon in the Shoe. The Buckeyes earned their second top-ten win (Notre Dame), and never trailed en route to another scintillating performance.

The game started slow with the first touchdown coming halfway through the second quarter. Senior running back Miyan Williams found the endzone on a two-yard rush to put Ohio State up 10-3. Penn State added their second field goal of the game late in the second quarter, and Ohio State led 10-6 at the break.

There was no scoring in the third, and a touchdown by junior wideout Marvin Harrison Jr. essentially put the game away late in the fourth quarter. The Buckeyes led 20-6 before a garbage time drive and touchdown by the Nittany Lions, their only endzone appearance on the day.

The 20-12 final shows that the game was close throughout, which it was. However, a combination of shaky offensive play by Penn State and strong defensive play by Ohio State led to a game where the Buckeyes were always on the front foot.

This marks the seventh straight victory in the series for the Bucks, who remain undefeated in overall and conference play. The X factors in the game include the entire defense, as well as Harrison Jr.

Marvin did what Marvin does, catch balls all over the field. The wide receiver finished with an impressive stat line against a tough secondary, posting 11 receptions, 162 yards and one touchdown. Senior tight end Cade Stover made some great plays as well finishing with four catches and 70 yards.

Junior quarterback Kyle McCord took care of the ball and made some big throws. He went 22/35 for 286 passing yards, one touchdown and zero turnovers. While there was success in the passing game, the running game had trouble ever getting going.

Senior running back Miyan Williams got a majority of the work and had 24 carries for 62 rushing yards, adding the lone rushing touchdown for either side. Chip Trayanum struggled as well earning just 22 rushing yards on nine carries. TreVeyon Henderson and Dallan Hayden never saw the field, and the team averaged 1.9 yards per carry.

Ohio-native and Penn State sophomore quarterback Drew Allar struggled until the last drive. He completed just 18 of 42 passes for 191 passing yards and added a touchdown with under a minute left. The Nittany Lion offense failed to convert on third or fourth down until the very final drive of the game. Penn State started 0/15 on the crucial down. The struggling passing attack was not helped by the rushing crew either.

Sophomore running backs Nicholas Singleton and Kaytron Allen never really got going, but Singleton had a better outing. He had 48 yards on nine carries, good for a 5.3 average and had a long rush of 20 yards. Allen had 26 yards on nine carries, a 2.9 average and a long rush of eight yards.

Everyone made plays for the Silver Bullets and the stats reflect that. Sonny Styles, Kenyatta Jackson Jr., JT Tuimoloau, and Caden Curry all got in the backfield and recorded a sack. While Tommy Eichnberg, Josh Proctor and Ty Hamilton all had at least half of a tackle for loss. Proctor led the team in passes defended, adding two of the team’s six.

The Silver Bullets held Penn State to 1/16 on third down and 1/3 on fourth down. They only averaged 4.5 yards per pass compared to the Buckeyes’ 8.2 yards per pass. Ohio State had the lone turnover on a fielding blunder on a Nittany Lion punt. Ohio State out gained Penn State in both the rushing and passing game, and maintained the time of possession advantage by nearly nine minutes.

Next up for Penn State will be an easy home test against the 2-5 Indiana Hoosiers. Ohio State faces a tougher test, traveling to Madison, Wisconsin Saturday night to battle with the Wisconsin Badgers under the lights.