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Old 10-28-2017, 07:46 PM
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Default (6) Ohio State 39 (2) Penn State 38
COLUMBUS, Ohio -- With all that went wrong for Ohio State in Saturday's game against No. 2 Penn State, and there was quite a bit, the Buckeyes found themselves in a position to play for the win with just over three minutes to play.

J.T. Barrett delivered.

Barrett completed four consecutive passes: 20 yards to Terry McLaurin, 6 yards to K.J. Hill, 14 yards again to Hill and 15 yards to Marcus Baugh in the end zone. Touchdown. Game-winning touchdown.

When it looked like the Buckeyes were going to squander away another marquee game, they found the answer and got a win that puts them in the driver's seat in the Big Ten East. Ohio State 39, Penn State 38. A classic game between two of the best four teams in the country.

Ohio State's defense sealed it, getting after Penn State quarterback Trace McSorley and forcing three incompletions -- the other play was a sack by Jalyn Holmes. The defense sacked McSorley twice on the night, and had 13 tackles for loss.

Barrett finished 33-of-39 for 328 yards and four touchdowns. He ran 17 times for 95 yards. He played the best game of his career when it mattered most, and emerged from the game as the possible Heisman Trophy front-runner.

His competition in that race, Penn State running back Saquon Barkley, finished with 44 yards on 21 carries. And aside from a game-opening kickoff return for a touchdown, he was mostly a non-factor.

The numbers, Ohio State outgained Penn State 531-283, will tell you that the Buckeyes should have ran away with the game. Here's why they didn't:

Inconsistent play calling held the Buckeyes back in the first half, with multiple trips inside Penn State territory getting stalled by penalties, but also by called short passes and a inability to stick to the run game that put Ohio State in good position in the first place.

For example: J.K. Dobbins was averaging 12.5 yards per rush in the first half, but didn't get a touch on any of the first nine plays run inside the Penn State 40. Dobbins finished with 88 yards on 13 carries.

For 30 minutes, it was the same Ohio State we've seen in big games recently. Then the Buckeyes opened things up, put the game in the hands of their much-improved quarterback, and relied on a defense that mostly bottled up one of the most explosive offenses in the country.

Blocked punt fuels comeback

This game was decided by special teams last year, and a special teams play by the Buckeyes swung the momentum back in their favor. Denzel Ward's blocked punt in the fourth quarter set up a Barrett touchdown to Johnnie Dixon. After the defense held Penn State to a field goal, Barrett completed to game-winning touchdown to Baugh.

Penn State starts fast

Penn State blitzed the Buckeyes in the game's first five minutes. Ohio State came in thinking its struggles on kick coverage had been fixed. Barkley proved that wrong with a 97-yard kickoff return for a touchdown to open the game.

A stunned Ohio Stadium fell silent on the next drive, when Parris Campbell fumbled on a swing pass that set up a touchdown throw from McSorley to DaeSean Hamilton. The Lions led 14-0 with 11:46 left in the first quarter.

Kickoff struggles put Ohio State's defense in a precarious situation all night. The Buckeyes had to alter their coffin-corner strategy to more of a squib option. And even that didn't always work. Penn State's Koa Farmer took one of those squibs 59 yards to the Ohio State 23. That short field set up another Penn State score.

What it means

Ohio State (7-1, 5-0 Big Ten) is in control of its own destiny for the Big Ten East Division, a berth in the championship game and a College Football Playoff spot.

Penalties hurt Buckeyes

The Buckeyes shot themselves in the foot through the first three quarters, finishing with 10 penalties for 79 yards. Many came in crucial moments.

Ohio State started consecutive first quarter drives with false start penalties, and had another false start help stall a drive that got deep into Penn State territory. A pass interference call negated what would have been an end zone interception in the second quarter. McSorley scored later on the drive on a 6-yard run.

On a crucial third quarter drive down by two scores, the Buckeyes got back into Penn State territory with a completion from Barrett to Johnnie Dixon. That play was negated by a holding call on right guard Demetrius Knox, and the drive ended in a punt.

Campbell injured early

Receiver Parris Campbell was injured on the play where he fumbled in the first half. No update was given on his status. The Ohio State radio broadcast said Campbell was being evaluated for an undisclosed injury, and he didn't return.

In his place, K.J. Hill returned kickoffs, and C.J. Saunders logged some time as the No. 2 H-back behind Hill.

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Old 10-28-2017, 08:01 PM
RunItUpTheGut RunItUpTheGut is offline

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Penn State gave that game away.
IMO, this just eliminated them from the playoffs if Ohio State wins out.
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Old 10-28-2017, 08:36 PM
E's Army E's Army is offline
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Penn State let one get away
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