Ohio pulls the upset in State College.
Final Score: Ohio 24, Penn State 14
The beginning of the Bill O'Brien era starts with a thud, as Ohio University comes into Happy Valley and outlasts the Nittany Lions to win the opening game of the season. Penn State was unable to capitalize on a 14-3 halftime lead, as Ohio dominated every phase of the second half.
The game started well for Penn State, as the offense was moving the ball down the field with a lot of passes by Matt McGloin. Bill O'Brien simplified his reads and let McGloin put the ball easily into receivers' hands in the open field, where plays could be made.
Even though the offense was moving the ball, Penn State built a lead in the first half on solid defense and special teams. A missed field goal and a blocked punt broke the game open in Penn State's favor late in the second quarter when PSU added to a 7-3 lead with another touchdown.
However, Ohio came out swinging in the second half. With all-conference LB Gerald Hodges and CB Stephon Morris both going down to injury, the lack of depth was exploited by the Bobcats QB Tyler Tettleson. The first two drives of the second half ended in Ohio touchdowns as the Bobcats stormed to a 17-14 advantage.
Penn State could never get much of a response going in the fourth quarter. One mildly promising drive ended in an interception, and Ohio salted away the win with a 95 yard fourth quarter touchdown drive to lead 24-14. Considering Ohio missed two field goals, the score could have been much worse.
Ohio will now be favored in the remainder of games on the schedule, and the Bobcats are definitely a solid contender for a MAC title once again. Penn State faces a tough road trip to Virginia followed by Navy at home, and neither of these games will be easy considering how bad the team played today.
The game was a tale of two halves...Penn State dominated the first, Ohio the second. Now Penn State will have to find a way to overcome these injuries and play better to earn some wins in Bill O'Brien's first run in Big Ten play.
Until next time, thanks for reading!