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

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

Penn State's Juwan Johnson came up with a catch-of-the-year candidate with his one-handed snag in the first half.

Ohio State took a big step toward winning the Big Ten East Division and maybe more with a 27-26 win over Penn State on Saturday night, something that looked improbable if not impossible when the Nittany Lions took a 26-14 lead with eight minutes left in the game.

The Buckeyes finally got on the board two plays later when Haskins hit J.K. Dobbins on a screen pass, who carried it 26 yards for a touchdown with 1:50 to go before the break. They eventually found some success, especially with J.K. Dobbins, but there were far too many predictable, slow-developing wide runs that got blown up.

In the second quarter, Garrett Taylor picked off Dwayne Haskins and returned it deep into Ohio State territory.

"Obviously we should have called something different there", Franklin said after the game. The low point was a 51-yard scamper in which all of Ohio State's linebackers were left chasing him down the field before Kendall Sheffield made the stop. Penn State immediately lost 13 yards on a swing pass trying to set up a trick play.

Penn State had called two timeouts prior to the play to set things up and appeared to outsmart themselves by giving the ball to a running back who had just 43 yards in the game instead of quarterback Trace McSorley, who had 461 combined yards passing and rushing. Dating back to past year, Penn State has covered the spread in five of its last six.




The College GameDay crew is in Happy Valley for the day's best college football game: Ohio State travels to Penn State in a battle of Big Ten foes.

Fighting off solid coverage from Ohio State cornerback Damon Arnette, Johnson leaped into the air and grabbed the ball with only his right hand before coming crashing down to the ground.

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 Buckeyes answered quickly when Haskins connected with Binjimen Victor for a 47-yard touchdown pass that cut it to 26-21 with 6:42 to go.

"They weren't going to let us throw the ball downfield", Haskins said.

After a slow start, Haskins completed 22 of 39 passes for 270 yards and three touchdowns. Two plays later, Ohio State caught Penn State in a blitz. None of them were bad enough to really matter, but you can't give someone a good grade if they weren't that good. It stopped Penn State in its tracks and got it out of a rhythm. The Nittany Lions took a 13-0 lead. The Buckeyes managed to put together drives of 75 and 96 yards in the final minutes of the game to earn a hard-fought victory. Parris Campbell caught 7 passes for 60 yards and K.J. Hill had 6 catches for 59 yards.

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