Penn State vs. Ohio State: 5 Things We Learned from Nittany Lions Win
Just when you thought Penn State's season was done and over with, they now have a chance to play in the Big Ten Championship at Lucas Oil Stadium.
It will be a difficult task since they must get by the scorching-hot Badgers in Camp Randall Stadium. Still, just to have the opportunity speaks volumes about the team that came to play on the road against the Buckeyes.
It was your typical Big Ten smashmouth football type of game, but the Nittany Lions defense came to play, and they forced a few crucial turnovers that gave them the 20-14 win at the Horseshoe.
Turnovers was huge, but what else were the most important things we learned in the Penn State victory?
Home Run Hitters
The Penn State Nittany Lions offense has been criticized all season despite when the victories kept piling up. The biggest reason was their inability to break tackles in the running game or to simply complete a deep pass down the field for a touchdown.
The skill position players were lacking at Penn State according to some, and while they do not have any superstar production right now, they got the job done and were able to hit a few home runs on the way.
Stephfon Green busted it long right out of the gates for a 39-yard touchdown run, but he also found the end zone twice. He toted it 16 times for 93 yards as his backfield mates combined to gash the Buckeyes for 239 yards!
Silas Redd has been nicked up for weeks, but he still broke off a 42-yard play which accounted for nearly all of his 63 yards. It should be noted that the team had wildcat plays which certainly caught the Buckeyes off guard.
The bottom line was that this PSU offense found some huge holes to run through, thanks to the offensive line, and it paid off dearly in the six-point victory.
First Quarter Dominance
The Buckeyes offense was held to only 65 yards and were shut out in a critical opening quarter for the Nittany Lions.
Playing at the "Horseshoe" can be an intimidating place to play in, yet Penn State came flying right out of the gates. They scored 10 points on their first two drives of the game, and it was imperative to start out well.
Had they been trailing by double digits right out of the gates, who knows if Tom Bradley would have had his team clicking on all cylinders in the second half to pull off a possible comeback.
This Penn State has always been among the best in the Big Ten throughout the season, but they came to play today against the Buckeyes.
Braxton Miller, Daniel Herron and the rest of the backfield did combine to rush for 206 yards, but they limited the big plays. The largest run of the day was by Miller for 24 yards, but the passing game was nonexistent despite the return of DeVier Posey.
Posey was the leading receiver, hauling in four passes for 66 yards, but the rest of the team was completely shut down. Kudos to the Nittany Lions' secondary, and it cannot be stated enough how much pride these players have with all that they have been forced to deal with.
Full of Compsure
Despite getting stuffed inside the 3-yard line on four consecutive downs, the Nittany Lions were able to pony up and stifle Braxton Miller when it mattered most.
The play of the game was not the stop by the Buckeyes, but rather the fumble that Nick Sukay had recovered just five plays later at the Ohio State 46.
Penn State went three-and-out but were able to pin back the Buckeyes inside the 5-yard line. The battle of field position continued, but it came down to a 4th-and-10 for Braxton Miller and the Buckeyes from the Nittany Lion 41-yard line.
Penn State knocked off the Buckeyes by one yard essentially. Ohio State did turn it over twice, and Penn State coughed it up just once.
However, on that 4th-and-10, Miller dove up in the air in attempt to break a few tackles, but he fell one yard short.
There was just 1:41 remaining, and the Nittany Lions escaped in Columbus with 20-14 victory.
Now, all they have to do next week is do the impossible and knock off those heavily favored Badgers.
Just win baby!
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