In the fourth quarter the no. 2 Ohio State No. 13 unleashed an avalanche of points on Penn State in a 44-31 Big Ten East showdown on Saturday. The game was much closer than a two-score deficit would suggest, though it felt like it was going to blow out early.
Penn State started the game with turnovers on its first two possessions, but the same red zone issues that haunted Ohio State against Iowa last week came back into play as the Buckeyes could only open up a 10-0 lead. Penn State will be destroyed. The Nittany Lions took a 14-13 lead into the second quarter. Penn State quarterback Sean Clifford recovered from his two early turnovers to split Ohio State by two in the second quarter, but the Buckeyes defense made adjustments at halftime and the open spaces for the Nittany Lions offense suddenly disappeared.
Ohio State regained the lead in the third quarter and another drive ended in the red zone, but Penn State’s Kaitron Lee scored from 1 yard out on fourth down with 9:26 left in the fourth quarter. 21-16 lead. Then everything changed.
Ohio State quickly responded with a three-play touchdown drive by Treveon Henderson for a 41-yard rushing score. Then, after a Clifford fumble, Ohio State scored on a 24-yard pass to Kate Stover. A 21-16 Penn State lead turned into a 30-21 Ohio State lead with 66 seconds left in the game.
Things will get worse. Henderson then scored his second touchdown, and Ohio State’s JT Tuimoloau put the final stamp on things with a big six to make it 44-24 with 2:42 to play.
CJ Stroud threw for 354 yards, but only one touchdown, while Marvin Harrison Jr. caught 10 passes for 185 yards. Clifford finished with 371 yards and three touchdowns, but his three interceptions and a lost fumble ultimately doomed the Nittany Lions.
Ohio State defensive end JT Tuimoloau was the unquestioned player of the game. Tuimoloau had two interceptions, two sacks, a forced fumble, a fumble recovery and his fumble led to his first interception of the game. He was a one-man wrecking crew for the Buckeyes defense.
CBS Sports will pick up this story shortly after Ohio State’s win over Penn State.
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