Ohio State offense sputtering, but Penn State squandering opportunities

Dwayne Haskins

And then just like that, everything changed, and for the second year in a row the Buckeyes swiped victory away from the Nittany Lions in another wild game between the Big Ten powerhouses.

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This hit is far from as violent as it seems, but according to the rulebook any hit to the head can be targeting, thus taking the decision out of the hands of referee. Don't run laterally on Ohio State. But they don't have much a say based on the technicalities.

Penn State quarterback Trace McSorley, who set a school record with 461 yards of total offense, agreed with the coaches that based on the defensive alignment Ohio State was in that there would be a "crease" up the middle for Sanders, who was held to 43 yards in 16 carries. K.J. Hill caught a 24-yard pass to complete a drive that started at Ohio State's own 4-yard line to give the Buckeyes a 27-26 lead they would never give back. Haskins connect with Binjimen Victor, who weaved and slipped through tacklers for a 47-yard touchdown catch and run that cut it to 26-21 with 6:42 left.

Offensively, Ohio State is putting up 54.5 points and 599 yards per game.

B-. Penn State's first-half defense was the best it played all season, generating pressure, making swarm-tackles and covering receivers. Haskins was only 15-of-29 for 132 yards and one touchdown and an interception in the first three quarters but turned it on in crunch time.

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Hazard then popped up with a mesmeric run and finish in the 85th minute to win the game and spare Kante a dreaded penalty shootout.

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When Ohio State drove 75 yards on 13 plays on its first possession of the second half to go ahead 14-13 on a 4-yard touchdown run by Dobbins it appeared the Buckeyes might be about to take control of the game. Then Ohio State called a timeout. Sure enough, it was as Ohio State took a 14-13 lead into the fourth quarter after overcoming a 13-0 deficit in the second quarter.

Frustration and disappointment were painted afterward on the faces of Penn State's players, who competed in front of an electric crowd Saturday night that had the stadium shaking 20 minutes before kickoff.

Ohio State inexplicably had a delay of game penalty trying for a two-point conversion, and after getting pushed back 5 yards, it could not convert, leaving the score 27-26.

"The reality is that we've gone from being an average football team to a good football team to a great football team and worked really hard to do those things", Franklin said. "It's just rallying as a team, as a unit and realize that we have to get the job done".

"We're going to grow from this", Sanders said. Miles Sanders was quiet with 43 yards on 16 carries and Juwan Johnson and Brandon Polk were inconsistent catching the ball beyond Juwan's wonderful one-handed grab.

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