J.T. Tuimoloau Stuffed the Stat Sheet in Happy Valley, Forcing Three Turnovers and Scoring a Defensive Touchdown Against Penn State

By Chase Brown on October 29, 2022 at 12:59 pm
J.T. Tuimoloau

Ohio State defensive end J.T. Tuimoloau is a turnover machine.

On Penn State's first offensive possession, the second-year Buckeye deflected a pass at the line of scrimmage, sending the football flying into the air before landing in the hands of Zach Harrison for Ohio State's first forced turnover of the afternoon.

The Buckeye offense was unable to capitalize on the plus field position, as Noah Ruggles missed a 53-yard field goal wide right and short. However, the Silver Bullets kept their focus and came out with high intensity on their next defensive possession. This time, Tuimoloau needed no assistance to intercept Clifford.

With another opportunity to start its drive in Penn State territory, Ohio State's offense moved the ball down the field with ease as C.J. Stroud connected with Marvin Harrison Jr. twice to put the Buckeyes near the goal line. From there, Miyan Williams punched the ball into the end zone for Ohio State's first touchdown.

As Ohio State entered the second half down 14-13 to Penn State, the team needed to excel in all three phases of the game to come back against the Nittany Lions and claim a victory. Luckily for Jim Knowles and the Buckeyes, Tuimoloau's stat-stuffing afternoon didn't end after the first quarter. In fact, it was far from finished.

With 8:32 remaining in the fourth quarter and Ohio State holding a narrow 23-21 lead, Tuimoloau stripped Clifford in the Penn State backfield and recovered his own fumble, setting up an offensive drive that only required one play – a Cade Stover 42-yard touchdown reception from Stroud – to put the Buckeyes up 30-21.

After six more minutes of action, Ohio State led Penn State, 37-24, following a Jake Pinegar 44-yard field goal for the Nittany Lions and a TreVeyon Henderson 7-yard touchdown run for the Buckeyes. Following the Henderson run, Tuimoloau put the game away for his team with a pick-six returned 14 yards, putting the dagger in Penn State's hopes for a win.

Tuimoloau was the MVP for Ohio State, finishing the game with six tackles, three tackles for loss, two sacks, one forced fumble and and recovery, one pass breakup and a touchdown as the No. 2 Buckeyes won the game, 44-31, over the No. 13 Nittany Lions. The team will return to Columbus with a perfect 8-0 record ahead of the first College Football Playoff Top 25 rankings release on Tuesday.

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