Ohio State's Pass Defense Stands Tall in Defeat of Nittany Lions

By Chris Lauderback on November 23, 2019 at 4:34 pm
Pete Werner showed his versatility against the Nittany Lions.
Joseph Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

The nation's No.1 pass defense has been giving opponents fits all season and today was just another day at the office as Ohio State handled No. 8 Penn State, 28-17, in the Shoe. 

With Chase Young (3 sacks) and company putting pressure on the quarterback to the tune of five sacks, James Franklin was afraid to dial-up any deep routes. As a result, the Buckeyes held Penn State's passing attack to just 128 yards and zero touchdowns. 

Knowing tight end Pat Freiermuth was Penn State's chief weapon on the short stuff, Ohio State linebacker Pete Werner showcased his versatility holding him to 40 yards on six catches. Freiermuth's longest reception went for 11 yards and Werner broke up two passes intended for the big tight end. 

Before exiting with an injury, starting quarterback Sean Clifford completed 10-of-17 throws for 71 yards. His previous season-low was 117 yards in a 17-12 win at Iowa. 

Backup signal-caller Will Levins came in and completed 6-of-11 throws for 57 yards and was the victim of a great play from linebacker Justin Hilliard. 

Trailing 28-17 but driving and at the OSU 27-yard line, Levins dropped back on 1st-and-10 and stared down his tight end target before Hilliard flashed across middle for an interception at the OSU 20. 

Beyond Hilliard's huge play and Werner bodying up Freiermuth, the pass defense turned in three other pass breakups. 

The Buckeyes were big on third down holding the Nittany Lions to just 3-of-6 passing with two first downs. 

Penn State becomes the seventh team this season to throw for less than 150 yards and the fifth in a row. 

Ohio State continues to lead the country with just six passing touchdowns allowed and its 13 interceptions slot in the top-10. 

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