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COLUMBUS, Ohio - No. 6 Ohio State (7-1, 5-0 Big Ten) rallied from 15 points down in the fourth quarter to defeat No. 2 Penn State (7-1, 4-1 Big Ten), 39-38, in Big Ten football action Saturday afternoon in Ohio Stadium.
Penn State did not yield the lead until Ohio State's final score with 1:48 remaining, as Ohio State quarterback J.T. Barrett connected with Marcus Baugh on a 16-yard touchdown. The loss snapped the Nittany Lions' 15-game regular season winning streak and 13-game Big Ten winning streak.
The Nittany Lions built a 21-3 lead by the early part of the second quarter, as Saquon Barkley returned the opening kickoff for a touchdown, Trace McSorley threw a touchdown pass and Barkley scored on a 36-yard rush. The Buckeyes were able to stay within striking distance though, and Barrett threw three touchdown passes in the fourth quarter, while Ohio State clamped down on defense, to win the game late. Barrett went 9-for-9 passing for 102 yards on two touchdown drives in the final five minutes.
- RB Saquon Barkley - Barkley totaled 172 all-purpose yards, highlighted by a 97-yard kickoff return and a 36-yard touchdown run. He finished with 44 yards rushing on 21 carries and 23 yards receiving on four catches. He extended his FBS-leading consecutive games with a touchdown streak to 15 games.
- QB Trace McSorley - McSorley threw for two touchdowns and totaled 192 yards passing, completing 17-of-29 attempts. He also rushed 13 times for 49 yards and a touchdown to lead the team on the ground. It was his 23rd consecutive game with a touchdown pass and 13th career game with both a passing and rushing touchdown. With 47 career touchdown passes, he is just one shy of the Penn State career record.
- TE Mike Gesicki - Gesicki was Penn State's leading receiver, matching a career-high with six receptions and totaling 57 yards. Four of his receptions were for first downs.
- LB Manny Bowen - Bowen was second on the team with nine tackles and forced a first-quarter fumble that setup a Penn State touchdown drive.
- QB J.T. Barrett - Barrett went 33-for-39 passing for 328 yards and four touchdowns and rushed for a game-high 95 yards on 17 attempts, earning a total offense figure of 423 yards.
- WR Johnnie Dixon - Dixon caught a pair of touchdowns in the fourth quarter and finished with three receptions for 56 yards.
- TE Marcus Baugh - Baugh caught the game-winning touchdown pass from 16-yards out and finished with two receptions for 20 yards.
- WR KJ Hill - Hill was Barrett's top target, catching 12 passes for 102 yards.
- Ohio State Defense - Twelve different Buckeyes were in on a stop behind the line, as the unit held Penn State to a season-low 283 total yards. It allowed just 64 yards and a field goal in the pivotal fourth quarter.
First Quarter (Penn State 14, Ohio State 3)
Success in all three phases gave Penn State a two-touchdown lead within the first four minutes of the game, as Saquon Barkley returned the opening-kickoff 97 yards for a touchdown and then the Nittany Lion defense forced and recovered a fumble to setup a short touchdown drive.
Barkley's touchdown, his second of the year on a kickoff return, gave Penn State a 7-0 lead just 15 seconds into the game, and then Manny Bowen forced a fumble at the 50-yard line, putting his helmet on the football to jostle it loose on Ohio State's third play from scrimmage. Koa Farmer was there to scoop it up, and he returned it 26 yards to the Ohio State 23.
Facing third-and-goal from the 13, McSorley lobbed a pass to the back-right corner of the end zone, where DaeSean Hamilton hauled it in for a touchdown with 11:36 remaining in the quarter.
Both teams would trade punts before Ohio State got on the scoreboard with a 38-yard field goal. Ohio State drove 37 yards on nine plays for the score with 4:38 remaining in the quarter. It was the first first-quarter score allowed by Penn State this season.
Second Quarter (Penn State 28, Ohio State 17)
The second quarter was even with both teams scoring a pair of touchdowns. Barkley and McSorley both scored rushing touchdowns for the Nittany Lions, as their kickoff return was a factor again. J.T. Barrett threw a touchdown and Mike Weber scored one on the ground for the Buckeyes.
Penn State started at its own 19 to start the second quarter after forcing a turnover on downs to end the first. It took just seven plays to score, as Barkley scampered down the sideline from 36 yards out. McSorley went 3-for-4 passing for 27 yards on the drive, and the Lions were also aided by a pass interference call.
Ohio State answered quickly with a five-play, 63-yard touchdown drive. A 36-yard pass to Austin Mack at the Penn State 16 keyed the drive, and Barrett found Terry McLaurin in the end zone just two plays later for a 14-yard touchdown pass, making 21-10 with 11:33 to go.
Penn State's kickoff return unit stepped up again on the ensuing kickoff. Looking to avoid Barkley, Ohio State kicked short to Farmer, but he returned it 59 yards to the Ohio State 23. McSorley capped the drive with a 6-yard touchdown run, diving for the pylon.
Ohio State responded again though, driving 75 yards on 10 plays. After an incompletion, Barrett got the drive rolling with consecutive rushes of 9, 23 and 3 yards to the Penn State 43. Barrett then found Weber for 9 yards, rushed for 5, and then completed an 11-yard pass to the Penn State 26. Weber rushed for 5 and then was stuffed for no gain to bring up third-and-5, but a pass interference penalty on the next play spotted the ball at the 2, and Weber punched it in from there, pulling Ohio State back within 11 at 28-17 with 4:59 remaining in the half.
Third Quarter (Penn State 35, Ohio State 20)
Ohio State received the kickoff to open the half, and drove to the Penn State 19 for a 36-yard field goal, pulling within eight points on a 10-play drive with 11:37 to go in the quarter.
The Nittany Lions answered with a 10-play touchdown drive. McSorley kept the drive alive early with a 12-yard scramble on third-and-11, and then capped it with a 37-yard touchdown pass to DeAndre Thompkins. The touchdown was initially ruled an interception on the field as the defensive back came up with the ball, but it was overturned on video-review, as it was clear Thompkins controlled the ball to the ground.
Both teams managed just one more drive in the quarter, with both ending in punts.
Fourth Quarter (Ohio State 39, Penn State 38)
Ohio State outscored Penn State, 19-3, in the final frame to snatch the victory.
Penn State appeared to have a chance to put the game away early in the quarter with a fumble recovery by Shareef Miller at the Ohio State 42, but the Buckeyes forced a three-and-out and blocked the ensuing punt to setup a touchdown drive. Denzel Ward blocked the punt for Ohio State, and Dante Booker recovered it at the Penn State 47 and returned it 6 yards to the Penn State 41.
The Buckeyes took the field on offense and \Weber rushed for 3 yards before Barrett found Johnnie Dixon wide-open over the middle for a 28-yard touchdown with 11:05 remaining, which cut Penn State's lead to 35-27.
The Nittany Lions answered with a 10-play, 64-yard field goal drive. Facing second-and-20 from their own 43, McSorley connected with Mike Gesicki for 7 yards before finding him again the very next play (third-and-13) down the left sideline for 22 yards to the Ohio State 28. McSorley then hit Blacknall for 22 yards to the 7 before the drive stalled out inside the 10. Tyler Davis hit a 24-yard field goal down the middle to extend the Nittany Lion lead to 38-27 with 5:42 remaining.
Ohio State wasted no time in finding the end zone again though, driving 76 yards in just 1:17. Starting at its own 24, Barrett completed four-straight passes to move the Buckeyes to the Penn State 30. Offsides and pass interference penalties on the next two plays spotted the ball at the 10, and Barrett connected with Dixon in the end zone for the touchdown with 4:20 remaining, making it a 38-33 game. The two-point conversion attempt failed as Penn State stuffed an end-around play by Dixon.
Penn State only went backwards on offense, and the Buckeyes offense started at its own 42 with 3:07 remaining. The Buckeyes needed just 1:19 to find the end zone again, as Barrett was perfect on five-straight passes, eventually connecting with Marcus Baugh on a 16-yard touchdown for a 39-38 lead with 1:48 to go.
Penn State was unable to get a first down, and Ohio State ran out the clock to secure the win.
PSU - 14:45 - TD - Saquon Barkley 97 yd Kickoff Return, 0-7
PSU - 11:36 - TD - DaeSean Hamilton 13 yd Pass from Trace McSorley, 5 plays, 23 yards, 1:56, 0-14
OSU - 4:38 - FG - Sean Nuernberger 38 yd Field Goal, 9 plays, 37 yards, 2:58, 3-14
PSU - 11:40 - TD - Saquon Barkley 36 yd Rush, 7 plays, 81 yards, 3:20, 3-21
OSU - 9:32 - TD - Terry McLaurin 14 yd Pass from J.T. Barrett, 5 plays, 63 yards, 2:01, 10-21
PSU - 8:06 - TD - Trace McSorley 6 yd Rush, 2 plays, 23 yards, 1:08, 10-28
OSU - 4:56 - TD - Mike Weber 2 yd Rush, 10 plays, 75 yards, 3:10, 17-28
OSU - 11:05 - TD - Johnnie Dixon 38 yd Pass from J.T. Barrett, 2 plays, 47 yards, 0:34, 27-35
PSU - 5:42 - FG - Tyler Davis 24 yd Field Goal, 10 plays, 64 yards, 5:18, 27-38
OSU - 4:20 - TD - Johnnie Dixon 10 yd Pass from J.T. Barrett (2-pt Fail), 5 plays, 76 yards, 1:17, 33-38
OSU - 1:48 - TD - Marcus Baugh 16 yd Pass from J.T. Barrett (2-pt Fail), 5 plays, 58 yards, 1:19, 39-38
Penn State will remain on the road, traveling to No. 16/18 Michigan State.
Single-game tickets for the 2017 Penn State football season presented by PSECU are available for the two remaining home games (Rutgers, Nebraska). For information on joining the Nittany Lion Club and purchasing new 2018 season tickets, as well as club seating in Beaver Stadium, fans can visit www.PSUnrivaled.com, call 1-800-NITTANY weekdays from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. or visit the Bryce Jordan Center ticket office weekdays from 9 a.m-4:30 p.m.