Five Things We Learned: Ohio State

Story posted September 30, 2018 in Sports, CommRadio by Kevin McConlogue

Despite playing with the lead for most of the game, No. 9 Penn
State came away with a heartbreaking one-point loss to No. 4 Ohio
State in front of a whiteout crowd at Beaver Stadium.

It was the second year in a row the Nittany Lions fell victim to a
one-point defeat at the hands of the Buckeyes. The Nittany Lions
now head into their bye week and will host No. 21 Michigan State
on Oct. 13. That being said, here are the five things we learned
from the Ohio State game.

1. Appreciate Trace McSorley while we still have him

On a night where the Penn State running backs really couldn’t
get anything going, McSorley stepped up running for 175 yards
on 25 carries. He also had 286 yards through the air with 2
passing touchdowns. Whenever the Nittany Lions needed a big
play, McSorley gave us one; just like he has his whole career.

2. The defense showed it could play against top opponents

Everyone’s main worry coming into this game is how would the
defense hold up against Ohio State’s second-ranked offense.
Minus a few big plays in the fourth quarter, they
performed well. The defense only gave up 96 total yards in the
first half, that’s incredible considering what they were facing.
Ohio State quarterback Dwayne Haskins came into this game
completing over 70 percent of his passes; he only completed 56
percent against Penn State. The defense should have some
confidence coming out of this game.

3. Ohio State was ready for the Tommy Stevens package

Everyone has been waiting all season for the return of Penn
State’s do it all backup quarterback Tommy Stevens to throw
some wrinkles into the offense. We only saw him on the field a
couple times in the first half, and it didn’t result in many
positive plays, including a 13-yard loss on a failed swing pass
that turned into a fumble. Give credit to the Buckeyes defense,
they prepared for this in practice this week, and it showed.


4. The coaching staff has some answering to do

Everyone is thinking it, how do you hand the ball on fourth
down with the game on the line; the answer is I don’t know,
especially since Miles Sanders has not broken a long run all
night. You win or lose with your best player in those situations,
and Penn State’s best player, McSorley, as he proved all
night should have gotten the ball there. Even if he didn’t
convert, I’m sure everyone in Nittany Nation would have felt a
lot better knowing McSorley gave his all like he has in every
game of his career.

5. Win or lose, the Whiteout is still the best atmosphere in
college football

110,889 were at Beaver Stadium for this matchup, a Beaver
Stadium record. A majority of those fans were wearing white
and screaming their hearts out. There were points on Saturday
night where fans could feel the stadium shaking. ESPN analyst Kirk
Herbstreit said it best on College Gameday, “There’s nothing
like the Penn State Whiteout.”

 

 

Kevin McConlogue is a junior majoring in broadcast-
journalism, with a minor in political science. To contact him
email kpm5520@psu.edu.