And it all ended on a highly suspect fourth-down playcall by Penn State that made little sense and hammered the final nail in the coffin for the Lions. 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.
There was a stark contrast in the post-game press conferences of the head coaches following Ohio State's 27-26 win over Penn State at Beaver Stadium. I could say it's a moral victory, a one-point loss to a higher-ranked team. No. "We should have finished that game". "It's on me. James Franklin". Sure enough, it was as Ohio State took a 14-13 lead into the fourth quarter after overcoming a 13-0 deficit in the second quarter. Trace McSorley had runs of 51 and 23 yards up the middle and KJ Hamler set a Penn State record with a 93-yard touchdown reception down the seam. A total of three timeouts were called before the play, and Greg Schiano won the chess match when the Buckeyes baited McSorley, who set a school record with 461 yards of total offense, into handing the ball off to Sanders, who was stuffed behind the line by Young to complete the comeback.
Then, on third-and-6, Dwayne Haskins threw to K.J. Hill in the flat. But just like previous year, when J.T. Barrett led an incredible comeback in Columbus for a 39-38 win, the Buckeyes simply found a way to get the job done when they absolutely had to. Miller said during an ESPN interview of Haskins: "Couple of guys on our team played with him". Miles Sanders coughed up the ball after being hit by Ohio State linebacker Tuf Borland, and the Buckeyes' Dre'Mont Jones hopped on the ball at the Penn State 25.
With Ohio State leading by one point in the fourth quarter, McSorley threw a 2-yard touchdown pass to Freiermuth to put Penn State ahead 20-14.
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. Still, Blake Gillikin booted a terrific punt that pinned the Buckeyes at their own 4 with 4:35 to go. And here's where it's insane because he still Haskins finished 7-of-10 for 138 yards and the game-winning 24-yard touchdown to K.J. Hill with 2:03 remaining. That, as Franklin eluded to, was an example of the Buckeyes getting their athletes in space and letting them make plays.
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. Haskins connected with K.J. Hill Jr.in the right flat, and with blockers in front, the receiver scampered all the way to the end zone for a go-ahead TD with 2:03 left.
It was similar to last year's 39-38 win over Penn State in Ohio Stadium when OSU came back from 15 points down in the fourth quarter. It would have indicated that Penn State is no longer a recruiting class away but is in fact already here. McSorley then covered 49 of the required 51 yards to put the Lions on the doorstep, and a 1-yard Sanders rush put Penn State back up two scores with eight minutes to play.