STATE COLLEGE, Pa. – It ended in a hurry.
What once looked like it would be a comfortable victory quickly turned into a stunning 24-21 loss for Ohio State on Saturday night when Penn State scored 17 unanswered points over the last quarter and a half.
And the play that turned into the game-winning touchdown for Penn State started out with Ohio State being in a bit of a hurry.
With a 21-17 lead with less than five minutes to play, OSU looked like it rushed kicker Tyler Durbin onto the field to attempt a career-long 45-yard field goal.
It turned into a disastrous play when Penn State’s Marcus Allen blocked the kick and Grant Haley recovered it and ran 60 yards for the game-winning touchdown with 4:27 left in the game.
The blocked field goal attempt was the second special teams collapse in the fourth quarter by the Buckeyes. With 11:42 to play, Cam Brown blocked a Cameron Johnston punt and the Nittany Lions turned that into a field goal that cut Ohio State’s lead to 21-17.
It was the first loss for No. 2 Ohio State (6-1, 3-1 Big Ten). It also ended a 20-game winning streak on opponents’ home fields by OSU.
For Penn State (5-2, 3-1 Big Ten), it was a signature victory for the Nittany Lions and coach James Franklin, even though Franklin said after the game he doesn’t like that term.
Ohio State out-gained Penn State 413 yards to 276 yards of total offense, but the Buckeyes’ offense didn’t make plays when it needed them and the defense allowed big plays at crucial times.
“Offensively, we didn’t control the line of scrimmage,” Ohio State coach Urban Meyer said. “He (Barrett) was under pressure on pass plays and we didn’t move them off the line of scrimmage on running plays.
“Every goal we have is still alive. We’re not a great team now. We’ve got to regroup, get some guys healthy and keep swinging,” he said.
Ohio State appeared close to taking control of the game twice, but both times Penn State responded with quick-strike long drives.
The Buckeyes had increased a 12-7 halftime lead to 14 points at 21-7 with 8:31 left in the third quarter on a 74-yard touchdown run by Curtis Samuel and a safety when Penn State’s long snapper sailed the ball over the punter’s head an into the end zone.
But the Nittany Lions got their crowd back into the game in a hurry when they went 90 yards in five plays to cut the lead to 21-14 on a 2-yard run by McSorley with 13:32 left to play.
A 37-yard run by Barkley and a 35-yard pass to Saeed Blacknall were the big plays in the drive.
That drive mirrored a Penn State drive in the final minute of the first half after OSU had gone up 12-0 with 1:14 left in the half when the Nittany Lions went 74 yards in a minute to cut the lead to 12-7.
Ohio State’s last chance showed how completely the game turned after it had gone up 21-7.
On the Buckeyes’final four plays, Barrett threw two incompletions and was sacked