Ohio State overcame two turnovers, a number of special teams errors and an 18-point deficit to defeat Penn State on Saturday night.
Trailing 38-27 with 5:42 to play, quarterback J.T. Barrett led a pair of touchdown drives to give Ohio State a 39-38 win over the No. 2 Nittany Lions at Ohio Stadium.
|No. 6 OHIO STATE||3||14||3||19||39|
|No. 2 PENN STATE||14||14||7||3||38|
Needing a quick score, Barrett led Ohio State on a 5-play, 76-yard drive that ended with a 10-yard touchdown pass to Johnnie Dixon with 4:20 to play. A two-point conversion failed, leaving the Buckeyes with a 38-33 deficit.
After the Ohio State defense forced a three-and-out, Barrett led another 5-play scoring drive, finding Marcus Baugh for a 16-yard score with 1:48 to play. Another two-point conversion failed however, leaving the window open for Penn State to win the game with a field goal. The Nittany Lions however, failed to pick up a first down, as Ohio State escaped with a win.
Barrett finished the game 33-of-39 for 328 yards and four scores to zero interceptions.
Trailing by 11 at halftime, Ohio State marched into Penn State territory to open the second half, but following a false start and negative play on a swing pass, the Buckeyes were forced to settle for just three points, narrowing the Nittany Lion lead to 28-20.
On the ensuing possession, Penn State quarterback Trace McSorley threw a deep pass into the end zone, with receiver DeAndre Thompkins and Ohio State cornerback Denzel Ward coming down with the ball seemingly simultaneously. The call on the field was an interception by Ward, but was overturned following a video review, giving Penn State a 35-20 lead.
|OHIO STATE||PENN STATE|
|529||NET TOTAL YARDS||283|
|5.2||AVERAGE PER RUSH||2.6|
|9.9||AVERAGE PER COMPLETION||11.3|
|10||RUSHING 1st DOWNS||5|
|14||PASSING 1st DOWNS||9|
|3||PENALTY 1st DOWNS||3|
|6.8||YARDS PER PLAY||4.4|
After trading punts, the Buckeyes marched near midfield before Barrett and running back J.K. Dobbins mishandled a handoff, resulting in a fumble and a recovery by Penn State. The Buckeye defense forced a three-and-out however, and blocked a Nittany Lion punt. Two plays later, Ohio State was in the end zone as Barrett found wide receiver Johnnie Dixon for a 38-yard score over the middle to pull within one score at 35-27 with 11:05 to play in the game.
The Nittany Lions however, put together a 10-play, 64-yard drive, spanning just more than five minutes, capping it with a 24-yard field goal from Tyler Davis, giving Penn State a 38-27 lead with 5:42 to play.
Ohio State's kickoff woes that have plagued the Buckeyes all season continued against the Nittany Lions. Heisman Trophy front-runner Saquon Barkley returned the opening kickoff 97-yards to give Penn State a 7-0 lead before the Buckeyes even touched the ball.
Penn State scored again just more than three minutes later after Parris Campbell fumbled a short pass from Barrett. McSorley found DaeSean Hamilton for a 13-yard score as the Nittany Lions led 14-0 less than four minutes into the contest.
Ohio State answered with a 39-yard field goal from Sean Nuernberger, but trailed 14-3 at the end of the first quarter. The Nittany Lions quickly responded as Barkley found the end zone for the second time, tiptoeing the sideline for a 36-yard rushing score.
Barrett then led the Buckeyes on a 5-play, 63-yard touchdown drive that was capped with a 14-yard touchdown pass to Terry McLaurin. On the ensuing kickoff however, Penn State's Koa Farmer returned a squib kick 59-yards into Ohio State territory, setting up a 6-yard touchdown run from McSorley later in the drive, putting the Nittany Lions back up, 28-10.
Again Ohio State answered as Barrett led another touchdown drive, spanning 10 plays and 75-yards, capped by a 2-yard touchdown run by Mike Weber to end the first half scoring.
- J.T. Barrett's first half touchdown pass to Terry McLaurin was his 91st career scoring toss, breaking the Big Ten record.
- Sean Nuernberger's first quarter field goal was the first time all season an opposing team scored against Penn State in the opening 15 minutes.
- The attendance of 109,302 marked the second-largest crowd in Ohio Stadium history.
- The Buckeyes eclipsed the 500-yard mark of total offense for the sixth-consecutive game, extending the longest streak in program history.
- Ohio State came back from two separate 18-point deficits, marking the largest deficit overcome by an Urban Meyer-coached team. The previous largest deficit overcome was against No. 1 Alabama in the 2015 Sugar Bowl.
- Barrett threw for a season-high 328 yards against the Nittany Lions and tied Joe Germaine with eight-career 300-yard passing games, the most in Ohio State history.
- Denzel Ward’s blocked punt was the first for the Buckeyes since Jeff Greene blocked a Kent State punt in 2014.
- Dre’Mont Jones tallied his first-career sack in the win.