No. 5 Ohio State Survives No. 20 Penn State 33-24 in Halloweekend Showdown
COLUMBUS, OHIO-- The Halloween season had an early start Saturday night in Columbus during a game that had scary big implications on the landscape of the Big Ten.
The action started early in the Shoe as both teams exchanged fumbles on their opening drives with Ji’Ayir Brown giving the Nittany Lions possession in Ohio State territory before running back Noah Cain gave the ball right back to the Buckeyes.
Offensively, the first points of the game didn’t come until midway through the first quarter where after a long drive the Nittany Lions struck first. Quarterback Sean Clifford capped off a long drive with a 5-yard pitch-and-catch to tight end Brenton Strange for the score.
Ohio State was able to respond on the very next drive with points of their own in the form of a 35-yard field goal from Noah Ruggles to cut the Penn State lead to 7-3.
The strong defense continued throughout most of the second quarter before the Buckeyes would take their first lead of the ballgame with around four minutes to go in the half.
Wide receiver Chris Olave made his presence felt on his first reception of the night on a 38-yard bomb from C.J Stroud to give Ohio State a 10-7 lead.
The Buckeyes kept that momentum rolling as with the Nittany Lions driving, Clifford would have the ball knocked loose during a sack and Jerron Cage would take it to the house for a 57-yard touchdown making it a 17-7 Ohio State lead.
Just before the end of the first half, Clifford and the Nittany Lions were able to put together a quick drive which ended with a 47-yard field goal from Jordan Stout to make it a 17-10 Ohio State game as both sides went in for the break.
With the second half starting, the Nittany Lions had the first possession and instantly took advantage. On yet another long scoring drive for Penn State combined with an Ohio State targeting call, the blue and white were able to tie things up at 17 with a 2-yard rushing touchdown from Jahan Dotson.
The Buckeyes responded quickly as they drove down the field but a clutch goal-line stand from the Nittany Lions would force up a 23-yard field goal from Noah Ruggles to make it 20-17 Ohio State with six minutes to go in the third quarter.
They would make it a double-digit lead quickly following a Penn State three-and-out. Set up by a 68-yard run from Treveyon Henderson, he pounded one in from a yard out to extend the Buckeyes lead up to 27-17.
On a much-needed drive towards the end of the third quarter, Sean Clifford responded for the Nittany Lions leading a drive that ended with a Keyvone Lee 1-yard touchdown run as Ohio State was now only up 27-24.
The Buckeyes would hit two more field goals during the final seven minutes of play to make the score 33-24 which would be the final on the night.
An interception from Sean Clifford, a punt and a missed field goal on the Nittany Lions’ final offensive drive would be all the blue and white could muster the remainder of the game offensively.
Penn State now falls to 5-3 on the season as they continue to run out of answers for the disappointment that has been these past few weeks.
Logan Bourandas is a third-year majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email email@example.com.