Penn State upsets Ohio State
STATE COLLEGE, Pa.– James Franklin and the Penn State Nittany Lions nabbed a signature win Saturday night at Beaver Stadium when they dispatched the No. 2 Ohio State Buckeyes, 24-21, thanks to a blocked field goal that was returned for a touchdown with four minutes, 27 seconds remaining.
After Ohio State lined up for a field goal to try to stretch its lead to seven, Marcus Allen broke through and blocked the Buckeyes’ attempt before it was returned 60 yards to the house by Grant Haley.
According to ESPN Stats & Info, Saturday’s win marked the Nittany Lions’ first over an opponent ranked in the Top Two when they were unranked since 1964.
The Nittany Lions didn’t wield anything close to a potent offense, but their opportunism opened doors and brought an upset into view.
Despite trailing 12-0 with just over a minute to go in the first half, Penn State pieced together a high-powered drive out of nowhere that set the gears in motion entering halftime.
Quarterback Trace McSorley marched the Nittany Lions 74 yards down the field in efficient fashion, and a 20-yard touchdown strike to Chris Godwin with nine seconds remaining—and the ensuing extra point—cut the Buckeyes’ lead to 12-7.
Though Penn State fell behind by two touchdowns following a 74-yard touchdown run from Curtis Samuel that preceded a safety, Franklin’s squad stayed focused.
McSorley punched the rock in from two yards out to make it one-score game less than 90 seconds into the fourth quarter, and a blocked punt on Ohio State’s next possession allowed Penn State to tack on a field goal and bring the deficit to four.
Ohio State proceeded to march down the field and get into field-goal range, but Allen’s clutch block put the Buckeyes offense in a tough spot.
With Penn State’s defense swarming just as it had all night, Buckeyes quarterback J.T. Barrett looked uncomfortable on Ohio State’s final drive, and the Nittany Lions wrapped things up with a pair of sacks.
Penn State finished with six sacks, including five in the second half. That total was significant, because the Buckeyes entered the night ranked ninth in the nation with just five sacks allowed through their first six games.
So while the Nittany Lions only completed eight passes and generated 276 total yards of offense, their ability to apply pressure on defense and special teams paved the way for the most memorable win of the Franklin era.
Ohio State will now be tasked with trying to rebound next week against the Northwestern Wildcats, while Penn State has a showdown looming against the Purdue Boilermakers.
“Nights like this don’t happen very often,” Franklin said he told his team, according to ESPN.com’s Josh Moyer. “Savor this.”
As for Penn State’s stellar defense, Franklin took time to acknowledge the mastermind behind the Nittany Lions’ fearsome front-seven.
“This Brent Pry guy, he’s pretty good,” Franklin said, according to StateCollege.com’s Ben Jones.By Alec Nathan,