After a strong second quarter, the Nittany Lions took the lead and all the momentum into the locker room against Ohio State on Saturday afternoon. At this point Nittany Nation was believing that their beloved Lions could upset the no. 2 Buckeyes. Unfortunately, things went awry in the second half as the Buckeyes survived a hostile Beaver Stadium.
The game created an up and down, wild, and fun day on Penn State Twitter. Things started hairy though, with Nittany Lion fans calling for Sean Clifford to be benched after he threw interceptions on each of their first two possessions. While the first interception was a fluky play, the second was a terrible play by Clifford as he stared down Kaytron Allen and made a poor throw, all while failing to see a pair of wide open receivers for easy first downs.
Clifford, man.— NCNittany (@NittanyNC) October 29, 2022
Two INTs to start?? pic.twitter.com/JnX3YNQcyi
Clifford: pic.twitter.com/TpS1jDGXSu— Barstool Penn State (@PSUBarstool) October 29, 2022
Brenton Strange was open on that pick.— emrys (@merlin0352) October 29, 2022
It’s okay, Clifford was the B1G player of the week Franklin!— (@TheGOATFollower) October 29, 2022
That one is 100% on him— Anthony Beck (@Anthony_Beck33) October 29, 2022
This isn't Minnesota Sean Clifford.— Tony Dello (@WX_TD) October 29, 2022
We've seen enough... pic.twitter.com/IATA2yr9Ci— Barstool Penn State (@PSUBarstool) October 29, 2022
Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaa— Clay Sauertieg (@ByCSauertieg) October 29, 2022
With Penn State trailing 10-0 the offense started to wake up. Chunk plays started to come from the wide receivers, led by Parker Washington who had one of the best games of his career. It started with a 58-yard touchdown catch and run, cutting the OSU lead to 10-7.
PARKER WASHINGTON! HE’S GONE pic.twitter.com/bbe7l7zlfw— Zach Donaldson (@zachdonaldson_) October 29, 2022
PARKER WASHINGTON PQP— CougarsBr ( deu tudo certo ) (@CougarsBr) October 29, 2022
Parker Washington ⚪️ #PennState— Jonny⬛️ (@JonnyyBoy20) October 29, 2022
Parker Washington, Howie.— Julie (@EaglesGirl52) October 29, 2022
also: Parker Washington isn’t Jahan but clearly has That Dog In Him— len damico (@lendamico) October 29, 2022
PARKER WASHINGTON— G⚡️ (@GDH415) October 29, 2022
hot damn what a play
The NFL is gonna love Parker Washington— Ketchson Rudiskett (@JewniorGong) October 29, 2022
Parker. Washington.— JeffreyTheGreek (@JeffreyTheGreek) October 29, 2022
We got a game!
On Penn State’s next possession, it was a 43-yard gain to tight end Theo Johnson. This was followed by a 23-yard touchdown pass to KeAndre Lambert-Smith. Just like that, the Nittany Lions led 14-10.
THEO JOHNSON!— Lasching Out Podcast (@LaschingOutPod) October 29, 2022
Keandre Lambert-Smith and Theo Johnson haven't posted big numbers this season, but they game up big for Penn State on that drive.— Sam Teets (@Sam_Teets33) October 29, 2022
Theo Johnson 42 yards and the next play, 23 yards to KeAndre Lambert-Smith for a Touchdown!— Lasching Out Podcast (@LaschingOutPod) October 29, 2022
Penn State leads 14-10! 6:50 2nd quarter
CLIFF to KLS for a tuddy!— No Names All Game (@nonamesallgame) October 29, 2022
Your Nittany Lions have the lead!!!
Oh hey, KLS! So nice of you to come back!— Pole Assassin’s Creed (@happyhourvalley) October 29, 2022
Can't spell Slant King with KLS! Nice throws to take the lead! We got some life in Happy Valley.— Marco Cerino (@CerinoRoyale) October 29, 2022
Take KLS off of all milk cartons. We found him!— For The Blogy (@fortheblogy) October 29, 2022
KLS touchdown. PENN STATE LEAD #WEARE— Nittany Nation (@nation_nittany) October 29, 2022
KLS FOR THE LEAD. PENN STATE HAS THE LEAD REPEAT PENN STATE HAS THE LEAD— Neel Patel - UNO IS BACK (@Nspat6) October 29, 2022
BANG!!!!!! KLS!!!!— Zhouse (1-0) this week (@gregzhouse) October 29, 2022
Holy mackeral! KLS is BACK!!— Penn State Analytics (@PSU_Analytics) October 29, 2022
The biggest star of the first half for Penn State was their defense. They held the high powered Buckeye offense to just 13 points while they went 1/7 on third downs in the opening half. Twice Ohio State started a drive in Nittany Lion territory due to Clifford’s interceptions, and the drives netted a total of 7 points. Manny Diaz’s bunch was flying around and making plays.
Penn State’s defense has been playing lights out so far.— Zach Donaldson (@zachdonaldson_) October 29, 2022
Penn State defense holding up nicely..— Xavier.Riddick (@Xman_757) October 29, 2022
#PennState defense forces back to back 3 and outs by Ohio State offense, which hasn't happened much this season if at all.— Rich Scarcella (@nittanyrich) October 29, 2022
This Penn State defense not messing around rn— Shiloh Slush (@G_The1ToBe) October 29, 2022
Penn State defense hanging tough against Ohio State— John C. Varner III (@LilHulkQ) October 29, 2022
C's and D's for Penn State so far against Ohio State.— Ted Carreras (@carreras_ted) October 29, 2022
Manny Diaz letting his nuts hang on Miami, Penn State defense legit— Los (@RichHomieChap0) October 29, 2022
Penn State’s defense is AWAKE— Dan Morrison (@Dan_Morrison96) October 29, 2022
Penn state defense turnt !!!!— 337 (@Jayy_Phillips95) October 29, 2022
Our defense is so fun to watch! #PennState— malcolm fleX (@ileka95) October 29, 2022
Penn State defense is FLYING AROUND— Brad Wakai (@BWakai) October 29, 2022
The biggest play of the half for Penn State’s defense came on the final play of the half. With the Buckeyes inside the Penn State 5-yard line and :06 seconds remaining in the half, they rushed to line looking to get off one last play before a field goal attempt. Johnny Dixon would step up on a corner blitz, sacking CJ Stroud and stripping him off the ball to end the half with Penn State leading 14-13.
Johnny Dixon’s x-ray results are in. pic.twitter.com/DyO8BZheSJ— The Penn State 365 Podcast (@PSUFB365) October 29, 2022
JOHNNY DIXON!!!!— Josh Carney (@ByJoshCarney) October 29, 2022
JOHNNY DIXON! Big time sack on Stroud forces a fumble and forces the half.— Lasching Out Podcast (@LaschingOutPod) October 29, 2022
JOHNNY DIXON PREVENTING POINTS!! LETS GO NITTANY LIONS BABY!— Ian (@ianmccalister) October 29, 2022
Johnny Dixon baby!!!— Chris Mack (@THEChrisMack) October 29, 2022
WOW!!! WHAT A CALL BY MANNY DIAZ AND WHAT A PLAY BY JOHNNY DIXON!!! WE’LL REMEMBER THAT PLAY LATER #BigNoonSaturday— Carson Orvis (@carson_orvis) October 29, 2022
“Out! Of! Nowhere! Johnny Dixon!!! Johnny D!!!! - Gus Johnson on Fox— themamba (@aka_themamba) October 29, 2022
The third quarter was a defensive battle. Ohio State scored the lone points of the quarter with a field goal, taking a 16-14 lead into the fourth quarter. A fourth quarter that had both fanbases feeling plenty of stress and anxiety as it began.
A wild sequence occurred in the 4th quarter where Jake Pinegar had two field goal attempts, both of which he missed, negated due to penalties. After Penn State covered on 4th and 1, they appeared to score two plays later.
The play was reviewed and it was determined that Mitchell Tinsley fumbled the ball at the 1-yard line. Then on 4th and goal from inside the 1, Kaytron Allen went into grown ass man mode to score the go ahead touchdown with 9:26 remaining in the game.
Kaytron Allen scored on this play.— CBS Sports (@CBSSports) October 29, 2022
What an effort to take the lead. pic.twitter.com/Y889PkGFPg
KAYTRON ALLEN WITH THE MANBALL, BUBBA— Zach (@zrau) October 29, 2022
Tommy Eichenberg vs. Kaytron Allen. Allen wins and scores the go-ahead TD— Justin Holbrock (@NBC4Justin) October 29, 2022
Kaytron Allen fought for that— Jajuan Hill (@livinglamar) October 29, 2022
Kaytron Allen with the second effort score!— Jarred Walp (@jaywalp) October 29, 2022
I love Kaytron Allen— The real Razor Ramon (@bigmeck71) October 29, 2022
Kaytron Allen a beast— naked chef (@maikyl_5) October 29, 2022
GROWN MAN run by Kaytron Allen— Jake Rowe (@JakeMRowe) October 29, 2022
#PennState true freshman RB Kaytron Allen should not be overlooked because of Nick Singleton. Allen is a legit talented RB prospect with next level potential #devy— Jason DiRienzo (@allpurposescout) October 29, 2022
KAYTRON ALLEN!! #WeAre— Nick Taylor (@nickrunsesq) October 29, 2022
Kaytron Allen is a nasty freshman #OSUvsPSU— M bs (@itsmobs) October 29, 2022
Kaytron Allen fought. like. hell. for that yard.— Chris Mack (@THEChrisMack) October 29, 2022
Unfortunately, things would start to go south for Penn State after this.
Ohio State needed just three plays to score and retake the lead on their next drive. Sean Clifford then lost a fumble on the second play of Penn State’s ensuring drive, which led to a one play scoring drive for the Buckeyes.
Jake Pinegar was able to hit a late field goal to pull Penn State within 6 at 30-24.
Pinegar is quite an enigma isn't he?— (@TheGOATFollower) October 29, 2022
Pinegar redeems himself and cuts deficit to 30-24.— collegeBLITZ (@collegeBLITZing) October 29, 2022
Jake Pinegar is literally better outside of 40 than inside— Caroline (@_supcaroline) October 29, 2022
Way to redeem yourself Jake Pinegar. Miss two straight field goals that luckily didn’t count and then nail a 44 yarder to make it a one possession game.— Blake’s Take (@Blakes_Take2) October 29, 2022
Unfortunately, this would be it for Penn State and feeling like they had a chance to win the game. After another OSU touchdown drive and a Clifford pick-6, they writing was on the wall in a 44-31 Nittany Lions loss.
While Saturday’s loss against the Buckeyes was a tough pill to swallow, the Nittany Lions are still in a good spot at 6-2. They will be favored, potentially by double digits, in each of their four remaining games. A 10-2 season with a trip to a New Year’s Six Bowl appears very doable for the Nittany Lions, and that is something anyone would have signed up for coming off a two year stretch that saw Penn State go 11-11.