Justin Fields leads No. 3 Ohio State to 38-25 win at No. 18 Penn State
Another big game from Justin Fields helped No. 3 Ohio State win at No. 18 Penn State, 38-25 and take control of the Big Ten East.
The star quarterback had 318 passing yards and four touchdowns as OSU never trailed. He connected with both Chris Olave and Jeremy Ruckert twice for scores. Olave closed with seven catches for 120 yards. On the ground, Master Teague III led with 110 yards and a touchdown, but Garrett Wilson's 62-yard run on the first play from scrimmage set the tone.
Penn State fought to keep it close in the second half after trailing by 15 at the break, but Ohio State twice answered Nittany Lions touchdowns with its own scores. Penn State might have found a star at receiver, however, as Jahan Dotson made impressive catches to get seven receptions for 133 yards and three touchdowns.
However, the Nittany Lions struggled to contain Fields and come up with key stops to make it a single-possession game. After PSU got to within 31-19, Ohio State converted two fourth-down conversions to add to its lead. The Buckeyes also overcame two short missed field goals by coming up with stops.
The loss dropped Penn State to 0-2 for the first time since 2012, while Ohio State is now 2-0 heading into next week's game vs. Rutgers.
Ohio State leads 38-19 in the fourth quarter
No second-half rally for Penn State. Ohio State has always found an answer.
Though Penn State has scored a pair of touchdowns in the second half, Justin Fields and Ohio State have answered each one. First was an eight-play, 75-yard drive. Then came a 12-play, 75-yard drive that included two fourth-down conversions.
Fields is up to 306 passing yards with four touchdowns, while Master Teague III has rushed for 104 yards and a touchdown.
But Penn State has battled so far this half. Receiver Jahan Dotson has five catches for 103 yards and a pair of touchdowns. He also had a highlight catch early in the fourth quarter.
Ohio State leads 21-6 at the half
Ohio State is halfway to another dominant win against a ranked Big Ten team.
Justin Fields has looked like Justin Fields, passing for 147 yards and two touchdowns to give the Buckeyes a 21-6 lead. A big Garrett Wilson run on the first offensive play of the game also jump-started OSU to an early lead.
Ohio State is averaging 7.2 yards per play, while Penn State has only 75 yards. Nittany Lions quarterback Sean Clifford has been asked to do plenty, though he has only 29 passing yards on seven attempts and 10 rushing yards on 11 attempts.
Penn State did add a 50-yard field goal on the final play of the second quarter after officials determined Fields' knee on fourth down still left time on the clock.
Ohio State leads in the second quarter, up 14-3
Right now, No. 3 Ohio State's early surge has it up 14-3 in the second quarter.
The Buckeyes scored on their first two possessions, but an incomplete pass in the end zone and a short missed field goal attempt kept them from starting 3-for-3.
Justin Fields has been solid again, starting 8-for-9 for 82 yards and a touchdown. Ohio State also burned Penn State with a 62-yard Garrett Wilson run on the first play from scrimmage.
Penn State has struggled with offensive consistency and also turned the ball over on downs from its own 45 that left a short field before Ohio State's second touchdown.
Pregame: Ohio State vs. Penn State
We're about to find out if Penn State's loss in its opener was a sign Ohio State will romp or just a temporary slip.
With Justin Fields, the No. 3 Buckeyes should feel confident they'll be scoring points. Can Sean Clifford and Penn State keep up? Clifford was the top rusher against Indiana, as the Nittany Lions are suddenly lacking depth a running back.
Penn State will also be missing a key edge — no fans because COVID-19. That will make a potentially harsh environment not as overwhelming, though it's not like Ohio State is lacking in big-game appearances.
Nationally, it's been a day with some minor upsets, though No. 1 Clemson did have to rally from down 18 to Boston College to win without Trevor Lawrence. The star quarterback will also miss next week's game against No. 4 Notre Dame.
Right now, only two ranked teams have lost today: Michigan State surprised No. 13 Michigan and West Virginia beat No. 16 Kansas State.
How to watch Ohio State vs. Penn State
The most highly anticipated game this week will be in Happy Valley. No. 3 Ohio State tries to beat No. 18 Penn State for the fourth consecutive season, though the games have been close.
- Time: 7:30 p.m. ET
- Date: Saturday, Oct. 31
- TV channel: ABC
- Streaming: WatchESPN
- Location: Beaver Stadium in University Park, PA
🎃 A scary-good Halloween matchup 🎃— ESPN College Football (@ESPNCFB) October 29, 2020
No. 3 Ohio State vs. No. 18 Penn State pic.twitter.com/wYJNDVbqdP
Previewing Ohio State vs. Penn State
Penn State has been the one Big Ten team to consistently battle Ohio State the last four years.
But 2020 may be different.
After shocking OSU thanks to a late blocked field goal in 2016, Penn State lost by a point in 2017 and 2018 and "only" 11 in 2019 — by far the closest conference game for Ohio State last season.
And it's never a good idea to make too many dramatic conclusions after only one game, but the 2020 openers don't necessarily hint at another super close game.
Ohio State QB Justin Fields could be the nation's best quarterback not named Trevor Lawrence. The Buckeyes rolled 52-17 against Nebraska and look like the most serious challenger to a possible Alabama-Clemson CFP showdown.
Looking at Penn State's yardage, one would expect the Nittany Lions won big at Indiana. But turnovers, penalties and some unfortunate breaks late instead led to Week 8's biggest surprise.
PSU QB Sean Clifford will not only have to have a big game — including on the ground due to new running back depth issues — but he will have to avoid turnovers. The Nittany Lions also can't feed off its White Out home atmosphere, as there will be no fans in Beaver Stadium because of COVID-19.
The signs point to an impressive Ohio State win, but the 2020 sample size is so small in the Big Ten that the chance for a surprise is always there. PSU star DE Shaka Toney, who had two sacks against Indiana, will hope he and the defense and limit Fields on the ground and force other Buckeyes to pick up yards.
Penn State is better than what it showed against Indiana. But it's probably not better than Ohio State.
College football rankings update
After crushing Nebraska 52-17 to begin its season, Ohio State jumped two spots to No. 3 in both the AP and Coaches Polls. But Penn State fell 10 spot to No. 18 (AP) and No. 17 (Coaches) after losing to Indiana 36-35 in OT last week.
|AP POLL||RANKING||COACHES POLL|
|Ohio State||3||Ohio State|
|Notre Dame||4||Notre Dame|
|Oklahoma State||6||Oklahoma State|
|Texas A&M||8||Texas A&M|
|Kansas State||16||Kansas State|
Check out this week's Top 25 schedule:
- Boston College at No. 1 Clemson | 12 p.m. | ABC
- Mississippi State at No. 2 Alabama | 7 p.m. | ESPN
- No. 3 Ohio State at No. 18 Penn State | 7:30 p.m. | ABC
- No. 4 Notre Dame at Georgia Tech | 3:30 p.m. | ABC
- No. 5 Georgia at Kentucky | 12 p.m. | SEC Network
- Texas at No. 6 Oklahoma State | 4 p.m. | FOX
- Memphis at No. 7 Cincinnati | 12 p.m. | ESPN
- Arkansas at No. 8 Texas A&M | 7:30 p.m. | SEC Network
- Missouri at No. 10 Florida | 7:30 p.m. | SEC ALT
- Western Kentucky at No. 11 BYU | 10:15 p.m. | ESPN
- Michigan State at No. 13 Michigan | 12 p.m. | FOX
- No. 15 North Carolina at Virginia | 8 p.m. | ACC Network
- No. 16 Kansas State at West Virginia | 12 p.m.
- No. 17 Indiana at Rutgers | 3:30 p.m. | Big Ten Network
- No. 20 Coastal Carolina at Georgia State | 12 p.m. | ESPNU
- Navy at No. 22 SMU | 7:30 p.m. | ESPN2
- No. 23 Iowa State at Kansas |12 p.m. | FS1
- No. 24 Oklahoma at Texas Tech | 8 p.m. | FOX
- No. 25 Boise State at Air Force | 6 p.m. | CBSSN
Ohio State vs. Penn State: Series history
Ohio State and Penn State first met in 1912, with the Nittany Lions winning 37-0 in Columbus, Ohio. But OSU leads the series 20-14 all-time.
Here's a look at all their meetings since 1993, when Penn State joined the Big Ten:
|Oct. 30, 1993||Ohio State||24-6||Columbus, OH|
|Oct. 29, 1994||Penn State||63-14||University Park, PA|
|Oct. 7, 1995||Ohio State||28-25||University Park, PA|
|Oct. 5, 1996||Ohio State||38-7||Columbus, OH|
|Oct. 11, 1997||Penn State||31-27||University Park, PA|
|Oct. 3, 1998||Ohio State||28-9||Columbus, OH|
|Oct. 16, 1999||Penn State||23-10||University Park, PA|
|Sept. 23, 2000||Ohio State||45-6||Columbus, OH|
|Oct. 21, 2001||Penn State||29-27||University Park, PA|
|Oct. 26, 2002||Ohio State||13-7||Columbus, OH|
|Nov. 1, 2003||Ohio State||21-20||University Park, PA|
|Oct. 30, 2004||Ohio State||21-10||Columbus, OH|
|Oct. 8, 2005||Penn State||17-10||University Park, PA|
|Sept. 23, 2006||Ohio State||28-6||Columbus, OH|
|Oct. 27, 2007||Ohio State||37-17||University Park, PA|
|Oct. 25, 2008||Penn State||13-6||Columbus, OH|
|Nov. 7, 2009||Ohio State||24-7||University Park, PA|
|Nov. 13, 2010||Ohio State*||38-14||Columbus, OH|
|Nov. 19, 2011||Penn State||20-14||Columbus, OH|
|Oct. 27, 2012||Ohio State||35-23||University Park, PA|
|Oct. 26, 2013||Ohio State||63-14||Columbus, OH|
|Oct. 25, 2014||Ohio State||31-24||University Park, PA|
|Oct. 17, 2015||Ohio State||38-10||Columbus, OH|
|Oct. 22, 2016||Penn State||24-21||University Park, PA|
|Oct. 28, 2017||Ohio State||39-38||Columbus, OH|
|Sept. 29, 2018||Ohio State||27-26||University Park, PA|
|Nov. 23, 2019||Ohio State||28-17||Columbus, OH|
Ohio State vs. Penn State: Stats breakdown
Both the Buckeyes and Nittany Lions have played only one game, so it's very early in the 2020 season for the Big Ten teams. But here's how they stack up statistically:
|Ohio State||STAT||Penn State|
|1-0||Record (all Big Ten games)||0-1|
|No. 3||AP rank||No. 18|
|52||Points per game||35|
|498||Yards per game||488|
|160||Pass yards allowed||170|
|217||Rush yards allowed||41|
276 yards (2 TD, 0 INT)
|Passing leader||Sean Clifford
238 yards (3 TD, 2 INT)
|Rushing leader||Sean Clifford
119 yards (1 TD)
129 yards (1 TD)
|Receiving leader||Jahan Dotson
94 yards (1 TD)
7 total tackles,1 tfl
7 total tackles, 2 sacks