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Nittany Lions Knock Off Buckeyes In Columbus

Posted By Jeremy Hall On Nov 20 2011 @ 11:01 am In Penn State | 1 Comment

As if coping with the aftermath of a sexual abuse scandal wasn’t enough, the Nittany Lions were dealt another blow this past week when they learned that JoePa was diagnosed with a treatable form of lung cancer. However, the Nittany Lions exhibited tremendous determination and mettle this week by chalking up a 20-14 road win at “The Horseshoe” in Columbus. The Nittany Lions and Buckeyes came into this game as mirror images of each other, showcasing stingy defenses and lackluster offenses, as evidenced by their respective national ranks in these categories. The box score from this game provides yet another illustration of just how evenly matched these two teams are. Both teams were able to move the ball up and down the field almost seemingly at will from the opening kickoff. In fact, all of the scoring in this Big Ten fracas took place in the first half, but these defenses tightened their grip after some half-time adjustments were made by both teams. In the end it was the Nittany Lion defense that stood tallest as they squelched a potential Buckeye go ahead scoring drive on 4th down leaving 1:41 on the clock in the 4th quarter. Now Penn State truly controls their own destiny in their pursuit of the Big Ten title with this huge road win. The Nittany Lions would earn a bid to play in the inaugural Big Ten Championship Game with a win next week over the Wisconsin Badgers in Madison.

As the old adage goes, “If it ain’t broke don’t fix it” and at this point in the season the Nittany Lion recipe for tallies in the win column has been a mix of lights out defense with a dash of ball control offense. Don’t get me wrong, Penn State would love to put up 30 points per game, but as long as they keep teams out of the end zone (13.0 points against/game good for 3rd in the country) and take care of the ball on offense they will continue to have success. The Nittany Lion defense will face its biggest challenge of the season next week in Camp Randall Stadium as they attempt to slow down the nation’s 5th most prolific scoring offense. Penn State had a great deal of success with the wild cat formation in yesterday’s win against Ohio State and it seemed to provide a much needed spark on offense. This will definitely give the Badgers something else to think about as they prepare for their match up with the Nittany Lions next Saturday. Matt McGloin played with a lot of confidence and poise yesterday afternoon. He was making good decisions with the football and looked sharp right out of the gate. His completion percentage would have been much better if his receivers would have held onto a couple of his passes that were dropped. The Nittany Lions got another great effort on the ground from oft troubled Stephfon Green as he rushed for a pair of touchdowns for the second consecutive week. Silas Redd was used somewhat sparingly in order to prevent further damage to his collarbone injury, but was very effective when he was in the game. This two-headed rushing attack will allow Penn State to use the play-action pass to keep defenses honest just as they did yesterday.

The Buckeyes walk away from this home loss to Penn State asking themselves what if. What would the outcome of yesterday’s game have been if we had gotten the ball into DeVier Posey’s hands a few more times? If we hadn’t put the ball on the turf two times? Or if we had converted on 4th down late in the 4th quarter? Ohio State’s defense kept them in the game and gave them a chance to win by shutting out Penn State in the second half. However, miscues such as bad snaps and penalties were enough to stall a number of promising Buckeye drives which ultimately seemed to account for the difference on the score board. Buckeye freshman quarterback, Braxton Miller, provided the nation with another glimpse of how dynamic he already is as a playmaker and he hasn’t even reached his potential yet. His athletic ability allows him to keep plays alive, thus giving his team a chance to sustain drives which will lead to many Ohio State wins down the road. Dan “Boom” Herron had another solid game rushing for 76 yards on 18 carries. The Buckeyes will look to end their regular season on a winning note by defeating their reviled arch rival the Michigan Wolverines and improving their position for the bowl season. However, this will not be a walk in the park as they will have to beat the Wolverines in front of a hostile crowd at “The Big House” in Ann Arbor.

Team Stat Comparison

   
 

Penn State Nittany Lions

Ohio State Buckeyes

1st Downs

16

15

3rd Down Efficiency

6-13

7-13

4th Down Efficiency

0-1

0-2

Total Yards

327

289

Passing

88

83

Completions-Attempts

10-18

7-17

Yards Per Pass

4.9

4.9

Rushing

239

206

Rushing Attempts

39

43

Yards Per Rush

6.1

4.8

Penalties

5-40

6-32

Turnovers

1

2

Fumbles Lost

0

2

Interceptions Thrown

1

0

Time of Possession

30:08

29:52

 

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