The Ohio State football team plays its first ranked opponent since Week 2 of the season when No. 20 Penn State arrives in Columbus for a 7:30 p.m. Saturday showdown inside Ohio Stadium.
The Buckeyes took care of business in the lead-up to this much-anticipated game against the Nittany Lions. Ohio State scored 47 straight points to beat Indiana 54-7 last week.
Penn State failed to do the same. PSU lost at home to unranked Illinois in the longest FBS game ever (nine overtimes).
How can the Buckeyes beat Penn State?: Three keys for Ohio State football’s game against the Nittany Lions
But don’t think that loss took all the steam from Saturday’s matchup. Ohio State athletics expects a sellout at Ohio Stadium and the team will wear special jerseys to mark the occasion.
You can follow the action live with insights from The Columbus Dispatch’s team of reporters Joey Kaufman, Lori Schmidt, Adam Jardy and columnist Rob Oller.
A look at Ohio State’s
“They were calling some of our plays out. It was kind of crazy.”
Ohio State quarterback C.J. Stroud credited Penn State for playing awesome defense and said it was uncanny how much the Nittany Lions understood the OSU offense.
Ohio State is now 7-1 (5-0) on the season and will play at Nebraska on Nov. 6.
The Buckeyes contained the Penn State offense, forcing a 49-yard field goal attempt from Jordan Stout that was short.
For the fourth time tonight, OSU’s Noah Ruggles has converted for the Buckeyes. His latest is a 26-yard kick with 2:41 to p
Buckeyes kicker Noah Ruggles now has three field goals on the evening. This was another short kick, and the 25 yarder extends the OSU lead. Probably just as much of note is that Ohio State chewed up some clock with that 8-play drive. It took them 4:03 to go just 20 yards.
Facing pressure, Penn State’s Sean Clifford underthrew the ball and Cameron Brown took advantage for the Buckeys, picking it off.
Presented with fourth down and 3 yards on the Penn State 13-yard line, Buckeyes quarterback C.J. Stroud underthrew an open Chris Olave to give the Nitanny Lions the ball back.
Stroud’s completion percentage before tonight was 67.6%. Tonight he is 19-for-30 (63.3%) for 269 yards and a touchdown.
The Nittany Lions capped an 11-play, 75-yards scoring drive with a Keyvone Lee 1-yard run. At one point during the drive, quarterback Sean Clifford completed three straight first down passes. They went for 22, 18 and then 14 yards.
Looking like Sonic the Hedgehog, TreVeyon Henderson ran for 68 yards, almost outrushing the entire Penn State defense — almost. He followed it up with a 1-yard touchdown run that padded Ohio State’s lead.
That is his 12th rushing touchdown of the season for OSU.
With the ball about a yard out from the end zone, OSU was poised to go for a touchdown on a fourth down, but TreVeyon Henderson fell out of his stance for the Buckeyes’ seventh penalty of the night.
On the subsequent play, Noah Ruggles made a 23-yard field goal to ensure that a Jaxon Smith-Njigba,Jaxon 58-yard catch and run on the drive didn’t go entirely to waste.
Not only is Ohio State in a tight game with Penn State, but OSU fans responded when asked to wear scarlet tonight. UPDATE: Ohio State’s attendance tonight is 102,951.
Jahan Dotson took a direct snap, slipped outside, followed his blockers and scored on a two-yard run for Penn State. The play provided more proof of Ohio State’s sloppiness tonight in that the Buckeyes had too many men on the field at the snap. The resulting penalty, however, was obviously declined.
Buckeyes linebacker Steele Chambers was flagged for targeting. His day ends with three tackles and a quarterback hurry, and his penalty is sure to upset Ohio State fans who were hoping to see a similar call on a big Joey Porter Jr. hit on Garrett Wilson in the first half. Adding to the angst? A couple plays later, Ohio State’s Zach Harrison was whistled for roughing the passer. OSU has committed six penalties tonight, gifting Penn State 50 yards.
Nitanny Lions kicker converted a 47-yard attempt as time expired in the first half. Ohio State’s band is now going to do a Sesame Street themed halftime show, and then Penn State will get the ball coming out of the break as they won the opening coin toss.
As mentioned, OSU’s defensive success tonight has been predicated on getting pressure on Sean Clifford. Tyreke Smith just forced Clifford to fumble. Jerron Cage picked up the ball and ran — well, rumbled — for 57 yards and the sixth Ohio State defensive touchdown this season.
His teammates amusingly celebrated by fanning Cage as if providing the big man with some necessary oxygen.
OSU has taken the lead on a 38-yard pass from C.J. Stroud to a gliding Chris Olave.
There was some pushing and shoving after the play back around the line of scrimmage. The officials tonight have been letting some of the physical play go.
When the Buckeyes’ defense has been successful tonight, it’s often been because they have been been aggressive. OSU has two sacks, five tackles for loss, and three quarterback hurries. They just ended a Penn State drive by getting to Sean Clifford.
OSU brought six pass-rushers and Lathan Ransom got the sack. PSU to punt.
— Bill Rabinowitz (@brdispatch) October 31, 2021
Ohio State had been averaging 6.3 penalties per game entering tonight. They already have four this evening.
The second quarter is getting underway, and already the Buckeyes have lost a fumble and committed three penalties costing them 15 yards.
Partly as a result of this, OSU trailed after one quarter of action for the first time this season. (Ohio State and Oregon were scoreless 15 minutes into their Sept. 11 game.)
OSU’s Noah Ruggles is 8 for 8 on field goals this season after a 35-yard kick that cut into the Penn State lead.
The drive was aided by an unnecessary roughness penalty when Joey Porter Jr. hit a defenseless Garrett Wilson late. Wilson caught a pass while on his knees, and after a beat, Porter hit him, seeming to shake up the receiver. However, Wilson didn’t miss a snap. In fact, he caught a 19-yard pass one play later.
Sean Clifford hit 5 of 6 passes for 72 yards on an 89-yard drive for Penn State, and he capped it with a 5-yard toss to Brenton Strange for the opening score tonight.
A wild start to tonight’s game. Jeremy Ruckert fumbled the ball allowing Penn State to take over. On the very next play, Marcus Williamson forced Noah Cain to cough up the ball, and Haskell Garrett recovered for OSU.
- Referee: Mark Kluczynski
- Umpire: Robert Colosimo
- Linesman: Daniel Richard
- Line Judge: Jeff Szink
- Back Judge: Justin Staehr
- Field Judge: Raymond Daniel
- Side Judge: Grady Smith
- Center Judge: Amanda Sauer
NFL scouts at tonight’s Ohio State football game
The scouts who are listed as being credentialed tonight represent the Buffalo Bills, Los Angeles Chargers, Las Vegas Raiders, New York Giants (2), Los Angeles Rams, Tennesee Titans, Pittsburgh Steelers and the Washington Football Team.
There are also representatives from several bowl games the Hula Bowl, Citrus Bowl, Orange Bowl and Rose Bowl all have seats reserved for tonight.
— Lori Schmidt
The Buckeyes are here at Ohio Stadium in advance of their game against Penn State.
Ohio State’s backfield depth will remain a little thin against Penn State on Saturday night.
Running back Master Teague, who was out last week at Indiana, is missing his second consecutive game with an undisclosed injury, listed among 15 unavailable players on the Buckeyes’ pregame status report.
Teague had earlier seemed close to a return against the Nittany Lions as coach Ryan Day had throughout the week expressed optimism about his status.
Following a practice on Wednesday night, Teague was seen in uniform and stretching with teammates.
Ohio State to wear Color Rush jerseys as part of ‘Scarlet the shoe’
Ohio State is breaking in new alternate uniforms tonight.
The Buckeyes will wear all-scarlet “Color Rush” threads against the Nittany Lions.
They tweeted a preview of the look earlier this week:
It’s not the first time Ohio State has worn alternates against Penn State. They last did so in 2017 against the Nittany Lions, a 39-38 win over then No.2-ranked PSU.
Ohio State football roster: Meet the Buckeyes: Ohio State football depth chart against Penn State
Penn State football roster: Meet the Nittany Lions: Penn State football depth chart against Ohio State
Skull Session: Chris Olave, Ryan Day, Larry Johnson speak
Skull Session: Chris Olave, Ryan Day, Larry Johnson speak
Doral Chenoweth, The Columbus Dispatch
ESPN College GameDay was live from East Lansing Saturday morning to mark the Big Ten’s biggest game of the day. While Kirk Herbstreit, Lee Corso and Desmond Howard picked the showdown between undefeated Michigan and undefeated Michigan State, they also picked the Ohio State game (Herbstreit, who will serve as the analyst, doesn’t pick games he calls).
Here’s how they picked the Ohio State-Penn State game:
The GameDay guest picker was comedian Ken Jeong, who was born in Detroit.
- Lee Corso: Ohio State
- Desmond Howard: Ohio State
- Ken Jeong: Ohio State
Howard joked that Herbstreit and play-by-play announcer Chris Fowler would struggle to find things to talk about in the second half as Ohio State romped to a win.
Who will win?: Experts make predictions for Ohio State vs. Penn State
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Michigan blows 16-point lead against Michigan State
No. 8 Michigan State rallied from 30-14 down in the second half to win 37-33. No. 6 Michigan was driving with a little more than a minute left when quarterback Cade McNamara threw an interception that sealed MSU’s win.
The Spartans improve to 8-0 and stay atop of the Big Ten East division standings.
2021 Ohio State Buckeye football schedule
Here is a look at the Ohio State schedule.
- Sept. 2: Ohio State 45, Minnesota 31
- Sept. 11: Oregon 35, Ohio State 28
- Sept. 18: Ohio State 41, Tulsa 20
- Sept. 25: Ohio State 59, Akron 7
- Oct. 2: Ohio State 52, Rutgers 13
- Oct. 9: Ohio State 66, Maryland 17
- Oct. 23: Ohio State 54, Indiana 7
- Oct. 30: Penn State, 7:30 p.m.
- Nov. 6: at Nebraska, TBA
- Nov. 13: Purdue, TBA
- Nov. 20: Michigan State, TBA
- Nov. 27: at Michigan, 12 p.m., FOX