Ohio State outlasts Penn State in an instant classic: 3 takeaways

Ohio State outlasts Penn State in an instant classic: 3 takeaways

Ohio State outlasts Penn State in an instant classic: 3 takeaways

No disrespect to the great players across the country, especially Tua Tagovailoa at Alabama or Kyler Murray at Oklahoma, but neither of those studs is as valuable to their teams as Trace McSorley is to Penn State.

Then, all of a sudden, they could.

If Armageddon strikes teams like Notre Dame, Clemson and the Pac-12 victor - meaning they get saddled with two losses - the Big Ten will try to prop up the victor of the November 10 Wisconsin-Penn State game as a potentially attractive one-loss alternative.

As Penn State's coach walked to the tunnel after the brutal loss, a fan told him: "Fourth and 5, should have passed it, Coach".

But there were a dozen other plays that could have made a difference for the Lions (4-1, 1-1 Big Ten) instead.

Did a late defeat to Ohio State hurt the Nittany Lions' biggest hopes for the year? Miles Sanders was quiet with 43 yards on 16 carries and Juwan Johnson and Brandon Polk were inconsistent catching the ball beyond Juwan's fantastic one-handed grab.

Ohio State snapped Penn State's 16-game winning streak at home and beat the Lions for the sixth time in their last seven meetings.

Trailing 14-13 early in the fourth quarter, McSorley converted a third-and-13 by hitting KJ Hamler for 36 yards. There were many ups and downs in the game, but it all came to a climax eventually. And what do you know? An elite team scores touchdowns.

Ohio State amassed a grand total of 20 yards in the first quarter, 3 rushing yards, 17 passing yards. They are far too fast for that.

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In the third quarter, down 14-13, the Lions passed up a short field goal attempt on fourth-and-1.

The Lions (4-1, 1-1 Big Ten) appeared to have things in hand, having played tremendous defense all night to shut down Ohio State.

It had Ohio State off balance and was primed to pick up the first, but for some reason the officials stopped play to announce that the Nittany Lions did not get a first down.

Penn State outgained Ohio State 492-389. Penn State's players walked off the field, stunned, in a 27-26 loss to the Buckeyes.

In a series that has turned on so many special teams plays, there is something to be said for this group not actually making any massive and critical errors, but it was a below average night, and ultimately that missed kicked hurt the cause as much as anything else did on Saturday night. Penn State hasn't faced a team anywhere near the level of Ohio State yet, while the Buckeyes had a big game with TCU a few weeks ago. It all evens out.

Quarterback Dwayne Haskins started slowly with some less than stellar blocking in front of him in the first half.

Haskins is very, very talented but he never adjusted Saturday. The touchdown capped the 96-yard march, but it was the 35-yard screen catch-and-run by Dobbins that was the impetus. Give credit to Haskins though, he made the throws when he needed to, even if they weren't flawless.

Haskins completed 22-of-39 passes for 270 yards and three touchdowns with one interception.

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