2022 Penn State football game grades: Ohio State

Story posted October 30, 2022 in CommRadio, Sports by Logan Bourandas

Despite leading in the fourth quarter, Penn State picked up its second loss of the season, with this one coming against the No. 2 Ohio State Buckeyes.

The Buckeyes defeated the Nittany Lions 44-31 in a Stripeout at Beaver Stadium.

Here’s a look at how each position group performed in the loss.

Offense: C-

Take Parker Washington out of the equation, and this grade is a lot lower.

Washington had a career day with 11 catches for 179 yards and a touchdown which you would think made Sean Clifford look really good in the game, but he wasn’t.

Clifford struggled once again playing the Buckeyes as he threw three interceptions and had a fumble. Penn State needed Clifford to be at his best if it wanted to win this game, and he wasn’t.

In other news, Kaytron Allen earned his first career start and proved why he should remain the number one running back. Allen finished with 76 rushing yards and a touchdown against one of the top defenses in the country.

While the Ohio State defense has never allowed this many points in a game this season, it is still nowhere near the level we’ve seen this unit at in the past.

Defense: C+

Heisman front-runner C.J Stroud has been hard to stop in his collegiate career, and the Nittany Lions defense couldn’t flip the script.

It did take a while for Stroud and the Buckeyes to get going, with 28 of their points coming in the fourth quarter.

To the defense’s credit, half of those points were instantly returned for a touchdown by the Ohio State defense.

In a similar fashion to the Michigan game, the defense bent but didn’t break until the late stages of the contest but the blue and white were dealt with a tough hand all day.

The average starting field position for the Buckeyes' offense was at their 39-yard line making the job easy for Stroud and company.

They didn’t force any turnovers, but the defense did its job in terms of keeping the rest of the team in the game for as long as possible.

Coaching: D+

Not much has changed over the past few seasons for James Franklin’s squad.

In 2018 following a loss to Ohio State, Franklin mentioned that his team will no longer feel comfortable being great in the future.

Well. The future remains the present.

The Nittany Lions couldn't get out of their way with four turnovers, preventing them from gaining momentum throughout the game.

While Washington had a strong day for the blue and white, Marvin Harrison Jr. may have been a step better on the other side.

Fans were expecting Harrison Jr. to be matched up against the Nittany Lions' top corner in Joey Porter Jr., which didn’t happen much throughout the game and Porter Jr. was disappointed following the loss.

It’s hard to give up 28 points in one quarter and not put blame on the coaching staff, and Franklin had his faults during the stretch.

One that stuck out was Franklin’s decision to not go for it on fourth-and-three, electing to settle for a field goal to cut the lead to six with only six minutes left.

Trusting the defense backfired, with the Buckeyes scoring a touchdown on a three-minute drive which ultimately iced the game.

There’s still a lot of work for Franklin to do for his team to take the next step.

Logan Bourandas is a senior majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email lxb5412@psu.edu.