By Teddy Brenner
No. 20 Penn State, a 19 1/2-point underdog, hung with No. 5 Ohio State until the final minutes, but the visiting Nits’ losing streak to the Buckeyes lasts another year after a 33-24 loss.
It was the third straight loss Penn State (5-3, 2-3 Big Ten) has endured to the Bucks while Ohio State improved to 7-1 (5-0 Big Ten) and helped bolster their playoff case.
The Buckeyes have now won the last five matchups dating to 2016 and are 9-2 in the series since 2011.
The Buckeyes’ normally prolific offense was held relatively in check — it amassed 466 total yards but scored just one touchdown in the red zone and was just 5 for 14 on third down.
It took time, but eventually freshman running back TreVeyon Henderson got going with several big runs, especially late in the game. He finished with 152 yards and a touchdown on 28 carries on a night where star receivers Chris Olave (three catches, 44 yards) and Garrett Wilson (seven catches, 82 yards), were somewhat quiet.
The Buckeyes were also helped by four field goals from Noah Ruggles, whose longest attempt was just 35 yards.
Penn State’s offense thrived on third down, converting on 11 of 18 attempts, but it also fumbled twice, one of which led to a scoop-and-score by the Buckeyes. The Nittany Lions totaled 394 yards but only 33 on the ground as their woes in the running game continued.
Receiver Jahan Dotson had another 100-plus yard game while Parker Washington had nine catches for 108 yards. The Nittany Lions were a perfect 3 for 3 in the red zone but a healthy Sean Clifford was sacked four times, including once on fourth down and twice on third down, to stymie Penn State’s momentum.