Three takeaways from Ohio State's win over Penn State

Oct 01, 2018, 00:28
Three takeaways from Ohio State's win over Penn State

In the Big Ten's game of the year, all night long, the Nittany Lions looked like the better team.

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On Ohio State's ensuing possession, linebacker Koa Farmer made a huge stop on fourth-and-1 at the PSU 48, stuffing quarterback Dwayne Haskins at the line of scrimmage for no gain. But they don't have much a say based on the technicalities. 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. That made the fourth quarter, particularly the tackling meltdown, so inexplicable.

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STATE COLLEGE, Pa. - Penn State coach James Franklin shouldered the blame for a curious fourth-down call Saturday night that saw running back Miles Sanders stuffed for a 2-yard loss with just over a minute to play, sealing a 27-26 loss to No. 4 Ohio State. The Buckeyes finished with 10 penalties for 105 yard - and still won. He also broke the school record for total offense, accounting for 461 of the Lions' 492 yards.

Ohio State (5-0, 2-0) began its comeback when Haskins threw a high pass that was pulled in by receiver Victor Binjimen, who then zigzagged his way through defenders for a 47-yard TD to pull the Buckeyes within 26-21 with 6:42 to go.

Offensively, Ohio State is putting up 54.5 points and 599 yards per game. 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. But with the game hanging in the balance on fourth-and-5 with 1:20 left, the play called for McSorley to hand it off to Sanders in the backfield.

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Armed with three timeouts, Penn State moved to the Ohio State 43, when, after a sack, McSorley gained nine yards on a 3rd-and-14 to set up a decisive 4th-and-5 with 1:22 to play. "The work that it's going to take to get to an elite program is going to be just as hard as the ground and the distance that we've already traveled".

The Buckeyes were fortunate that Penn State could put only 13 points on the scoreboard in the first half. It stopped Penn State in its tracks and got it out of a rhythm.

"We have gotten comfortable with being great", Franklin said after the game. With the playclock at two seconds, McSorley barely got the snap off and Sanders was hit nearly instantly by Ohio State's Chase Young for a two-yard loss.

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The Buckeyes finally got on the board two plays later when Haskins hit J.K. Dobbins on a screen pass, who carried it 26 yards for a touchdown with 1:50 to go before the break. Miles Sanders was quiet with 43 yards on 16 carries and Juwan Johnson and Brandon Polk were inconsistent catching the ball beyond Juwan's fantastic one-handed grab.

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