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No. 18 Penn State Haunted By No. 3 Ohio State In 38-25 Halloween Loss

No. 18 Penn State (0-2) dropped its primetime showdown against No. 3 Ohio State (2-0) 38-25 at Beaver Stadium Saturday night.

The Nittany Lions started off slow, falling behind 21-6 in the first half. The offense bounced back in the second half, but the defense struggled for much of the night and had no answers for Ohio State’s Justin Fields.

Ryan Day’s squad outplayed the Nittany Lions on both sides of the ball and played complimentary football throughout the game.

How It Happened

Penn State won the toss and elected to defer, giving the Buckeyes the ball to start the game. On the first play of the game, Garrett Wilson took a reverse handoff 62 yards to set Ohio State up in the red zone.

Just two plays later, Master Teague III reached the end zone on a four-yard touchdown run, and Ohio State took a 7-0 lead just three plays into the game.

On Penn State’s opening drive, the Nittany Lions failed to convert a fourth down in their own territory and Ohio State took over with great field position. The Buckeyes capitalized quickly when Justin Fields found Chris Olave for a 26-yard touchdown to put Ohio State up 14-0 with 8:39 left in the first quarter.

Kirk Ciarrocca’s offense got it going on the ensuing drive, marching down the field into the red zone with a strong drive from Devyn Ford. The drive stalled, and Jake Pinegar converted on a 31-yard field goal to get the Nittany Lions on the board.

The Buckeyes ended the first quarter driving into Penn State territory up 14-3. Penn State caught a huge break later in the drive when Blake Haubeil missed a 20-yard field goal to keep the deficit at 11.

Penn State’s offense struggled on its next two drives, as Sean Clifford failed to complete a pass. Ohio State took over and marched down the field with a 15-play, 89-yard drive ending in a Jeremy Ruckert 10-yard touchdown reception to put the Buckeyes up 21-3 late in the first half.

After Ohio State took a knee on fourth down to end the first half, it was deemed that there was one second left on the clock, setting up for a Jordan Stout 50-yard field goal attempt. Stout converted and cut the Ohio State lead to 21-6 heading into the halftime break.

Clifford found a grove to start the second half, completing three straight passes to get into Ohio State territory. Later in the drive, Clifford capped off the 75-yard drive with a 14-yard touchdown pass to Jahan Dotson to cut the lead to 21-13 with 11:14 left in the third quarter.

Penn State’s momentum didn’t last long, as Fields and Olave connected on a 49-yard touchdown on the ensuing drive to put Ohio State up 28-13 with 8:41 left in the third quarter. The Nittany Lions were unable to respond on their next drive, forcing another Stout punt.

Ohio State drove deep into Penn State’s territory on the next drive, but the Nittany Lions held the Buckeyes to a Dominic DiMaccio 22-yard field goal. The Buckeyes took a 31-13 lead late in the third quarter.

Penn State started the fourth quarter with two incredible plays by Dotson, one being a one-handed 21-yard touchdown to cut Ohio State’s lead to 31-19.

The Nittany Lions attempted a two-point conversion, but were unable to convert.

Unfortunately for the Penn State, it wasn’t able to get the stop it needed on the next Ohio State drive. Fields and Ruckert connected for another touchdown to put Ohio State up 38-19 with 9:14 left in the game.

Penn State responded, however, as Clifford and Dotson connect for a third touchdown to cut Ohio State’s lead to 13 points.

Penn State’s once again failed to convert on a two-point conversion, keeping the Buckeyes’ lead at 38-25. On the ensuing Ohio State drive, the Nittany Lions forced a punt with a huge sack from sophomore linebacker Brandon Smith.

However, on the first play of the next drive, Marcus Hooker intercepted Clifford to put an end to Penn State’s comeback attempt. Ohio State missed a field goal on the next drive, but kept Penn State off the board on the final drive to end the game with a 38-25 win.

Takeaways

  • Penn State got off to a slow start on both sides of the ball. The offense totaled just 75 yards and the defense allowed 280 yards in the first half. Sean Clifford completed just two passes for 29 yards in the first 30 minutes of action.
  • Brent Pry’s defense struggled to slow down Justin Fields and Ohio State’s offense. The Buckeyes totaled 526 yards of offense and punched the ball in the end zone five times against the Nittany Lions’ defense. Fields totaled 318 passing yards and four touchdowns in a dominant performance on the national stage.
  • Jahan Dotson has arrived, folks. The junior wideout totaled eight receptions for 144 yards and three touchdowns. Clifford and Dotson were in sync the entire night, proving to be a bright spot in what was a tough loss.

What’s Next

Penn State will host Maryland at 3:30 p.m. next Saturday at Beaver Stadium. The game will be broadcast on the Big Ten Network.

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About the Author

Gabe Angieri

Gabe is a sophomore majoring in journalism and is an associate editor for Onward State. He grew up in Lindenhurst, NY and has had the absolute misfortune of rooting for the Jets, Mets, and Knicks. If you want to see his bad sports takes, follow him on Twitter @gabeangieri and direct all hate mail and death threats to [email protected]

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