We all knew going into the game that Penn State had to play perfectly. There was no room for mistakes. No room for penalties or turnovers.
For 28 minutes Penn State played almost perfect football. After an amazing catch by DeVier Posey to open the game against almost perfect coverage by D'Anton Lynn, it was all Penn State. The Nittany Lions held the Buckeyes to a field goal, and then after the two teams traded punts it was the Matt McGloin show.
Penn State's first scoring drive went 67 yards in 10 plays and ended with a 22 yard TD pass to Justin Brown. On Penn State's next possession they went 82 yards in 11 plays and took a 14-3 lead with a TD pass to Derek Moye on a slant.
On Penn State's next drive they were moving in for the kill. They went 60 yards in 13 plays and converted a 4th-and-1 play near the 30 to keep the drive moving. But then they faced a critical 4th-and-1 call with under two minutes to go in the half. If they kick the field goal they take a two touchdown lead into the half, but a conversion that led to a touchdown would drive an 18 point dagger into the hearts of the Buckeyes.
Penn State elected to go for the first down, but instead of calling a run up the middle like they had on their two previous 4th down calls, they elected to call a sweep to Silas Redd. It was a costly mistake as the Buckeyes stuffed him for a loss. The crowd came to life, and from there the wheels came off the Nittany train.
The second half was a complete disaster for Penn State. The Buckeye defense tightened up and took away the Penn State running game. Matt McGloin threw two pick sixes. Ohio State gave up the passing game and just shoved the defensive line and linebackers all over the field. Then to top it all off, a well defended and poorly thrown pass by Pryor was deflected right into the hands of Dane Sanzenbacher for a 58 yard touchdown.It's disappointing to see the game get away like that because Penn State was really playing well. The pick sixes just took the air out of their sails and there was no coming back from that. What's more disturbing is all of the injuries Penn State suffered. Evan Royster left the game for a long period of time with a leg injury, but he did return. Hopefully it was just cramps or something. Stephfon Green went down too with a scary neck injury. Thankfully he looked okay walking around on the sidelines later. Michael Mauti left the game with an arm injury and did not return.
It's a disappointing way to lose, but not a shocker that Penn State lost this game. We all saw this loss coming for weeks. Overally I'm pleased to see that Penn State was able to hang with a team as good as the Buckeyes as long as they did and give them a scare. This is a young Penn State team and there is a lot they can take from this game and feel good about.
Time to regroup before going to Fedex Field next week to play the Hoosiers of Indiana who lost 83-20 to the Wisconsin Badgers today.