Ohio State outlasts Penn State in an instant classic: 3 takeaways

30 September, 2018, 20:13 | Author: Nicole Aguilar
  • Five for Friday Ohio State Football Buckeyes

I saw the same thing. Penn State outgained Ohio State by 200 yards before the break.

In a 27-26 loss to No. 4 Ohio State, why did No. 9 Penn State opt to take the ball out of Trace McSorley's hands with the game on the line and the Nittany Lions facing fourth-and-5 at Ohio State's 43-yard line? The defense eventually did force a punt on that opening drive, but, if not for a poor punt, it could have hemmed the offense in deep early when it wasn't at its best.

"We have gotten comfortable with being great", Franklin said after the game.

We saw a return of the dropsies in Happy Valley, but this time it went beyond Austin Mack (who wasn't even involved in the parade of miscues - in fact, he caught the first Dwayne Haskins pass of the night for a first down).

Penn State controlled the first half and outgained Ohio State 293-93, but a costly turnover swung the momentum in the Buckeyes' favor.

But with Ohio State trailing 26-14, the passing game finally clicked.

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A great team makes big plays. "You can't hear. Playing in an environment like that is tough, so that play was a big play for us to get the drive started". He wasn't the only one getting beat, but it was something I noticed on some of those delayed handoffs to the outside. An elite team makes big plays in the biggest moments. Yet McSorley ran freely through the Ohio State defense much of the night - sometimes on designed runs, sometimes on scrambles.

McSorley, who had 175 rushing yards, said it's easy to second-guess after the fact. Ohio State was only 4-of-17 on third down and 389 yards of offense was a modest result for this offense. None of them were bad enough to really matter, but you can't give someone a good grade if they weren't that good. "Obviously, it didn't work". A stunning, jaw-dropping sequence of events that left Penn State reeling in the realm of what could - and probably should - have been. Some of that was dictated by crowding the line of scrimmage, shooting gaps on called run blitzes, and generally pushing around the OSU offensive line.

The first touchdown of the game seemingly came out of nowhere. The run game is being led by the duo of J.K. Dobbins and Mike Weber, who have combined for 622 yards and five touchdowns.

"When we saw they were in a three-man front, we like to run our regular inside zone and split it through the middle", Sanders said.

Then, just like last year's meeting, it was gone. Hamler burnt the Ohio State defense again for a big gain, and Trace McSorley put the throw right on the money. But Ohio State got too cute.

After forcing a three-and-out, Penn State was moved in prime territory to take control of the game when McSorley dashed for a career-long 51-yard gain on the first play of the drive, but the march sputtered and Pinegar's 46-yard field goal hooked wide left. Before the next play, Ohio State was called for a false start.

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