Buckeye defense bent, but didn't break against Penn State

Ohio State at Penn State stream, keys, and White Out predictions

The decision to run the ball on fourth down after each team had taken a timeout instead of relying on quarterback Trace McSorley was widely criticized and second-guessed by fans and media alike.

Sanders went into the Ohio State game No. 2 in the Big Ten in rushing, averaging 123.8 yards per game. This, however, will be his first true road game as the starter, and it will be interesting to see how he handles the deafening noise of the Penn State "White Out" crowd.

Haskins' numbers (23-for-39, 270 yards) turned out solid, but his play also gave defensive coordinators a plan of attack: Apply as much heat as humanly possible.

Yet, because Penn State loves to stretch the field horizontally, the Nittany Lions would run sweeps and quick swing passes to the outside directly after many of their big gains. The Lions stalled and settled for Pinegar's 39-yard field goal, which made it 6-0. On fourth-and-5 from the Ohio State 43, McSorley handed off to Sanders on a read option and his was smothered by Chase Young, who had a huge game at defensive end for Ohio State.

Saturday night could have been an arrival of sorts for Penn State. Penn State never would have had a chance to pick up that second first down had it not gotten the original pass interference call. Penn State hasn't faced a team anywhere near the level of Ohio State yet, while the Buckeyes had a big game with TCU a few weeks ago. Miles Sanders coughed up the ball after being hit by Ohio State linebacker Tuf Borland, and the Buckeyes' Dre'Mont Jones hopped on the ball at the Penn State 25.

The Buckeyes answered quickly when Haskins connected with Binjimen Victor for a 47-yard touchdown pass that cut it to 26-21 with 6:42 to go.

Ohio State took the ball to open the second half and sliced down the field, moving 75 yards in 13 plays to grab the lead, and it seemed like Haskins and company were finally back on track.

Penn State has won 24 of its past 28 games, but those four losses have been by a combined eight points.

But Penn State forced a three-and-out and McSorley then found Hamler again for a 36-yard gain on a 3rd-and-13 from the Ohio State 30 - and a targeting call on Isaiah Pryor tacked on another 15 yards, moving the Nittany Lions into the red zone.

Penn State outgained Ohio State 492-389.

Penn State liked the play, liked the look and felt confident that it would convert a fourth-and-5 late in the game against Ohio State. Then Ohio State responded with two scores to take the lead with two minutes left.

"Absolutely", Sanders said when asked whether he thought the play would convert. And here's where it's insane because he still Haskins finished 7-of-10 for 138 yards and the game-winning 24-yard touchdown to K.J. Hill with 2:03 remaining. Hill from 24 yards out.

PSU is putting up an impressive 55.5 points and 514.5 yards per game on offense this season. With Ohio State focusing its efforts on stopping Trace McSorley, who had rushed for a career-high 175 yards, it had the blocking advantage in the box: Five blockers going up against four Buckeyes defenders.

The Buckeyes will now be heavily favored in every game through the rest of the regular season, while Penn State will need Ohio State to lose twice to move atop the Big Ten East.



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