What a football game! Ohio State found a way to win a game that, due to self-inflicted wounds, they had no business winning. Marred in penalties and missteps Ohio State felt a step slow, but JT Barrett carried them to heroic win that solidified a legacy that shouldn’t have been in question to begin with. There have been plenty of big wins at Ohio Stadium, but this win, against these odds, has to be one of the best wins in recent memory. It is the largest come from behind victory in 20 years at the Horseshoe.
Ohio state found itself down 14 points in the blink of an eye. Saquon Barkley’s return on the opening kick put Ohio State down 7-0 early.
On the following series a Parris Campbell fumble on a quick screen let Penn State take over deep in Ohio State territory. After a few quick hitters Trace McSorley found DaeSean Hamilton for a 13 yard touchdown and a 14-0 Penn State lead. After a long Ohio State drive turned into three points, Penn State took another favorable kick return deep into Ohio State territory and Barkley struck again. This time from 36 yards out.
Both teams traded scores before a Mike Weber two yard touchdown run made it 28-17 Penn state going into half.
Ohio State opened the second half with a 36 yard Sean Nuernberger field goal that cut the Penn State lead to 28-20 early in the third quarter. However, Penn State was able to put together a 10 play, 70 yard drive that culminated in a questionable McSorley 38 yard touchdown pass to DeAndre Thompkins that showed Denzel Ward coming down with dual possession. Originally called an interception on the field, it was overturned to a touchdown after review.
Enter Barrett in the fourth quarter. The hero of tonight’s game went 13 for 13 for 170 yards and three touchdowns. Barrett played flawlessly when it mattered most, as evidence by these two clutch fourth quarter touchdown throws. The first being a 38 yard strike to Johnnie Dixon.
The last being the game winner: a 16 yard toss to Marcus Baugh the split a trio of Penn State defensive backs.
The Turning Point
Following a Barrett fumble near midfield with 12 minutes left in the fourth quarter, the Buckeye defense made a key stop to get the offense the ball back. Instead of being buried in their own territory, Ward came up huge with a punt block to spark the Ohio State comeback.
Barrett quickly capitalized with his touchdown strike to Dixon to cut the Penn State lead to 35-27.
J.T. Barrett: 33-of-38, 328 yards, four touchdowns; 17 carries, 95 yards
Johnnie Dixon: three catches, 56 yards, two touchdown
K.J. Hill: 12 catches, 107 yards
Jordan Fuller: nine tackles, one tackle for loss
Sam Hubbard: four tackles, one and half tackles for loss
On to the next one
Ohio State travels to Iowa next week to take on the Hawkeyes. The Hawkeyes, always dangerous at home, will present a tough test. It will be the first time the Buckeyes and Hawkeyes have faced off since 2013. Kickoff time has not been announced.