This turned out exactly as expected. Penn State, coming off a 6-0 season, went into Columbus and faced an Ohio State team that had just enough issues to make folks thing the Nittany Lions had a shot. And, for the first three quarters, it looked like there would be hope.
As has been the case for the past seven seasons, however, the fourth quarter turned out to be the difference. Both offenses had to fight tooth and nail for every yard, but the Buckeyes had Marvin Harrison Jr. on their side. Seven games in, we have enough evidence to conclude Penn State simply doesn’t have the horses at wide receiver to compete with the best of the best.
Game started well enough, with the Lions holding Ohio State to a field goal, then responding with a drive of their own to tie. It was tough sledding for most of the first half from there, until the Buckeyes drove for their second score of the game. That score nearly didn’t happen, as Kyle McCord fumbled the ball and a Penn State defender ran it back for a score. Unfortunately, a defensive holding penalty erased the defensive touchdown, and, two more penalties later, Ohio State was in for the touchdown. The Lions had another drive in the first half to go within four.
Penn State did absolutely nothing in the second half. Drew Allar looked rattled, and would become more and more errant as the game unfolded. Not until the last drive of the game did it look like a cohesive unit, and while a lot of the responsibility falls on him, his receivers were of no help.
Penn State returns home against Indiana next Saturday. It’s unlikely, but let’s hope one loss doesn’t turn into two.