Ohio State rally stuns Penn State

No. 4 Ohio State’s iffy linebackers will be on the spot against high-powered Penn State offense

No. 4 Ohio State’s iffy linebackers will be on the spot against high-powered Penn State offense

Johnson was undeterred by the Buckeye defender in lockstep with him and made an unreal one-handed catch to put Penn State deep in Ohio State territory.

Three timeouts later, on the Ohio State 43-yard line, the Nittany Lions stuck with that same original playcall - which resulted in McSorley handing the ball off to Miles Sanders on a run that went nowhere and puzzled the college football world. Then with the game on the line, head coach James Franklin's playcalling wiped it all away. Several dropped passes, and a first-half fumble that led to an Ohio State touchdown, didn't help, either.

Unsurprisingly, players defended their coaches after the game. The Nittany Lions lead 3-0 and sailed a field goal wide that would have given the team a six-point lead. Don't run laterally on Ohio State.

Trailing 14-13 early in the fourth quarter, McSorley converted a third-and-13 by hitting KJ Hamler for 36 yards. Penn State's defense was doing everything asked of it and more for most of the game.

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The No. 4 Buckeyes (5-0, 2-0 Big Ten) struggled to move the football consistently for most of the game and the defense didn't have an answer for Penn State quarterback Trace McSorley, who nearly single-handedly led his team to victory. Ohio State had only 31 yards rushing and Haskins was just 7 of 16 for 62 yards after completing 75 percent of his passes in his first four starts. Both offenses took some time to get rolling, in a low-scoring first quarter, but the Nittany Lions got on the board first with a field goal that was set up by one of the best catches of the year.

Maybe it was adjustments or exhausted legs or both, but the wheels slowly fell off in the fourth quarter as Penn State's biggest demons, open-field tackling, and a sudden inability to defend the screen, led to two pivotal Ohio State scoring drives.

But Penn State forced a three-and-out and McSorley then found Hamler again for a 36-yard gain on a 3rd-and-13 from the Ohio State 30 - and a targeting call on Isaiah Pryor tacked on another 15 yards, moving the Nittany Lions into the red zone.

The largest crowd in Penn State history - 110,889 - stood quiet and deflated following the play.

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OVERALL: B-. Another two-score, fourth-quarter lead lost to Ohio State.

Ohio State kept the chains moving, getting balance throwing and running the ball, and faced third-and-5 at the PSU 24.

The Buckeyes are 1-4 ATS in their last five games following a win of more than 20 points, but 37-16 ATS in their last 53 games on grass. He threw one pass over 10 yards in the first half, missed several more and was hit multiple times.

The Buckeyes will now be heavily favored in every game through the rest of the regular season, while Penn State will need Ohio State to lose twice to move atop the Big Ten East.

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