WTUZ BIG Z Sports
(Columbus, Ohio) –The narrative on quarterback J.T. Barrett is that he hasn’t played well against quality opponents during his collegiate career. All that changed on Saturday night as he completed 13 of 13 passes for three touchdowns, all in the 4th quarter against second ranked Penn State. Ohio State was trailing 35-20 heading into the final quarter, but Barrett and the Buckeyes had a resurgence late in the game to comeback and beat the Nittany Lions 39-38.
Penn State won the toss and elected to receive the opening kickoff. That decision proved to be a wise one as Saquon Barkley took that opening kick 97 yards to put the Nittany Lions up 7-0 just 15 seconds in.
Things didn’t get any better on Ohio State’s first possession. On the 3rd play, J.T. Barrett completed a pass to Parris Campbell that he fumbled near mid-field. Penn State capitalized as quarterback Trace McSorley found DaeSean Hamilton for a 13 yard TD on a 3rd and 13, which put them up 14-0.
The Buckeyes were able to take their 4th drive deep into Penn State territory but turned it over on downs at the 19 yard line. Penn State would take control with a 7 play 81 yard drive as Barkley out raced the defense up the sidelines for a 36 yard TD.
The Buckeyes would respond immediately with a quick 5 play drive. Barrett was able to find Terry McLaurin in the end zone for a 15 yard TD to cut the score to 21-10 with 9:32 left in the half. That touchdown pass placed Barrett above of Purdue great Drew Brees for most TD passes in BIG 10 history with 91.
On the ensuing drive, Penn State was aided by another controversial pass interference call as Damon Webb intercepted McSorley in the end zone. The penalty moved the ball to the 6 yard line where McSorley ran the ball in, putting the Nittany Lions up 28-10 with 8:06 to play in the half.
Mike Weber pounded in a 2 yard TD run that capped off the scoring in the first half with Ohio State trailing 28-17.
After a Buckeye field goal, Penn State was driving on its first possession in the second half as McSorley launched a pass from the Ohio State 37 into the end zone on 2nd and 11 that appered to be intercepted by Denzel Ward, but after a lengthy review it was overturned and called a 37 yard TD catch from DeAndre Thompkins, stretching the lead to 35-20 with 7:25 remaining in the 3rd.
In the 4th, the Nittany Lions were in business at the OSU 42. The defense rose up, forcing Penn State to punt, that’s when the game changed. Denzel Ward broke through the line and blocked Blake Gillikin’s punt and Ohio State would start their comeback at the Penn State 41 with 11:39 to play.
J.T. found Johnnie Dixon for a 38 yard TD on the second play and the march was on.
Penn State drove 64 yards in 10 plays but were stopped at the Ohio State 6, settling for a 24 yard Tyler Davis Field Goal to stretch the lead to 38-27 with 5:23 to play.
The Buckeye offense responded with a 5 play 76 yard drive capped off by a 10 yard TD pass to Dixon with 4:20 to play.
The drive was highlighted by a pass interference call as Binjimen Victor was hit in the end zone.
The defense needed another stop, and they did not dissapoint. McSorley and Barkley were out of sorts on a handoff that resulted in a 7 yard loss. Barkley was hammered by Robert Landers for a 2 yard loss. On 3rd down Barkley gained 5 but was tackled at his own 11 by Sam Hubbard, forcing a punt.
The Buckeyes had 3:07 to work with from their own 42. J.T. hit Terry McLaurin for 20, he hit K.J. Hill for 6 and 14. Then the Senior leader found Marcus Baugh in the end Zone for a 16 yard strike to take a 39-38 lead with 1:48 on the clock.
J.T.’s 2 point conversion run failed after the score.
The defensive line for the Buckeyes provided pressure on Penn State’s final attempt. The unit only rushed 4 on the final downs, and they were able to pressure McSorley into 4 straight incomplete passes.
Head coach Urban Meyer at the podium
#6 Ohio State – Total Yards 529 – Rushing Yards 201 – Passing Yards 328 – First Downs 27 – Turnovers 2 Fumbles – Penalties 10 for 79
#2 Penn State – Total Yards 283 – Rushing Yards 91 – Passing Yards 192 – First Downs 17 – Turnovers 0 – Penalties 9 for 73
Player of The Game – J.T. Barrett 33 for 39 328 4 TD’s, 17 carries 95 yards
This was the 32nd meeting between the two schools, with Ohio State leading the all-time series 18-14. The teams first played in 1912, a 37-0 Penn State victory and have played every season since 1993.
Ohio State’s next game: Saturday, @ Iowa (5-3, 2-3) 3:30 PM ET
Penn State’s next game: Saturday, @ #24 Michigan State (6-2, 4-1) 12:00 PM ET
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WTUZ BIG Z Sports coverage of Ohio State football Presented by Warther Cutlery in Dover
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