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Penn State Football’s Ohio State Matchups By The Numbers

When No. 20 Penn State football takes the field against No. 5 Ohio State in Columbus on Saturday, it’ll be the 37th time the two teams face off against each other.

The Nittany Lions own a 14-21 record against the Buckeyes. Yes, we know that adds up to only 35 games. That’s because Ohio State’s 38-14 win in 2010 was vacated by the NCAA due to student-athletes receiving “improper benefits.” So, that game in 2010 just doesn’t count toward the all-time record at this point.

The first matchup between the two teams took place all the way back in 1912. In Columbus that day, Penn State routed Ohio State 37-0. In fact, that win started the Nittany Lions’ longest winning streak ever against the Buckeyes, which lasted four games.

After that 1912 win, Penn State beat Ohio State again in 1956, 1963, and 1964, all of which took place in Columbus, Ohio. During the four-game winning streak, the Nittany Lions outscored the Buckeyes 81-13. Sheesh!

Besides those four wins to start the all-time series, Penn State has beaten Ohio State just three additional times in Columbus, those happening, in 1978, 2008, and 2011.

The Buckeyes’ first win over the Nittany Lions came in 1975 when No. 3 Ohio State took down No. 7 Penn State 17-9.

The Buckeyes are currently tied for their longest winning streak against the Nittany Lions, which also stands at four games. Dating back to 2012, Ohio State has completely dominated Penn State with an 8-1 record, outscoring the Nittany Lions 320-201 over the nine-year period.

Penn State’s one win during that stretch is unforgettable, though. It was the 2016 White Out when Marcus Allen famously blocked Tyler Durbin’s 45-yard field goal. Grant Haley brought it back 60 yards for a touchdown to put the Nittany Lions ahead 24-21 late in the fourth quarter.

Ironically enough, each team shares the same largest margin of victory over one another. In 1994, No. 1 Penn State blew out No. 21 Ohio State 63-14 at Beaver Stadium. Likewise, in 2013, the No. 4 Buckeyes beat the Nittany Lions 63-14 in Columbus.

Penn State’s smallest margin of victory over Ohio State came in 2001 when Joe Paterno’s squad prevailed 29-27 at Beaver Stadium. Ohio State has beaten the Nittany Lions by just one point three times. The Buckeyes came out on top 21-20 in 2003, 39-38 in 2017, and 27-26 in 2018.

Since taking over the program in 2014, James Franklin has beaten the Buckeyes just once, and he’s lost to them six times. Ohio State head coach Ryan Day owns a 2-0 record against Penn State.

Through the 35 games in the history books, Ohio State has outscored Penn State 796-664.

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About the Author

Gabe Angieri

Gabe is a senior majoring in journalism and is suddenly Onward State's managing editor. He grew up in Lindenhurst, New York, 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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