In the Big Ten's game of the year, all night long, the Nittany Lions looked like the better team.
Yet, because Penn State loves to stretch the field horizontally, the Nittany Lions would run sweeps and quick swing passes to the outside directly after many of their big gains. Miles Sanders was quiet with 43 yards on 16 carries and Juwan Johnson and Brandon Polk were inconsistent catching the ball beyond Juwan's awesome one-handed grab. Defensively, Penn State is giving up 19.5 points and 345.8 yards per game, including just 173.3 passing yards per game. There were many more instances of this throughout the game.
The No. 4 Buckeyes (5-0, 2-0 Big Ten) struggled to move the football consistently for most of the game and the defense didn't have an answer for Penn State quarterback Trace McSorley, who nearly single-handedly led his team to victory. And what do you know?
Ohio State is off to a 4-0 start with largely dominant performances in all four games. They are far too fast for that. For three quarters the Nittany Lions managed to work with limited defensive tackle depth, stay in their gaps, get to the quarterback and play fairly good coverage in the secondary.
No. 11 Penn State (4-1, 1-1 Big Ten) will not play this weekend, but will be back in action on October 13 for the Stripe Out game against No. 20 Michigan State.
The teams traded three and outs after that, until Garrett Taylor intercepted a Haskins pass and returned it 45 yards to the Ohio State 28.
No disrespect to the great players across the country, especially Tua Tagovailoa at Alabama or Kyler Murray at Oklahoma, but neither of those studs is as valuable to their teams as Trace McSorley is to Penn State. McSorley then covered 49 of the required 51 yards to put the Lions on the doorstep, and a 1-yard Sanders rush put Penn State back up two scores with eight minutes to play.
After the play, Twitter immediately ripped into Franklin for the baffling play call that resulted in disaster and a loss for the Nittany Lions.
A great team moves the football. It all evens out.
Then, on third-and-6, Dwayne Haskins threw to K.J. Hill in the flat. That much was made clear Saturday as he looked frightened to throw the ball down field. It also didn't help that he had two early drops and a third turned into an interception when it bounced off his receiver's hands and face mask. Give credit to Haskins though, he made the throws when he needed to, even if they weren't flawless. The run game is being led by the duo of J.K. Dobbins and Mike Weber, who have combined for 622 yards and five touchdowns.