Penn State came into the game having outscored the opposition 66-0 in the first quarter, but the Nittany Lions were not able to add to that figure.
Neither team scored in the an opening 15 minutes that were mistake-filled.
Both quarterbacks misfired with receivers running free for potential touchdowns, and Penn State defenders dropped a couple of potential interceptions, including one that Stephen Obeng-Agyapong could have returned for six points.
"I don't know if it was a slow start – offensively it was, but defensively it wasn't," Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer said. "We gave up a touchdown on special teams. Our defense I thought played great in the first half. So slow start you might mean the offense. I think their defensive personnel had a little something to do with that. They are good players."
2. Who wins the turnover battle?
Both teams had a giveaway, but Penn State's was much more damaging as quarterback Matt McGloin hit Ohio State linebacker Ryan Shazier with a pass over the middle on the first drive of the third quarter.
Shazier returned the pick 17 yards for a touchdown to give Ohio State a 14-7 lead. They did not trail the rest of the night.
"It felt amazing, almost like a dream because I knew I was helping my team out and helping change the momentum of the game," Shazier said.
Ohio State's turnover came when Braxton Miller threw deep after rolling to his right on possession early in the third quarter. Miller's pass was caught by cornerback Adrian Amos and amounted to a 31-yard punt when Amos was brought down at the Ohio State 44.
The Lions led the Big Ten in turnover margin entering the game.
3. Can the Ohio State cornerbacks contain Allen Robinson?
Robinson broke free for a sure touchdown on the Nittany Lions' first possession, but McGloin could not hit his top receiver with a pass. He underthrew it, and they came away with nothing when Robinson could not come up with a diving catch.
Robinson finished with five catches for 68 yards, including a 37-yarder in the first half when he found a hole in a zone defense.
He looked like he would have a touchdown in the fourth quarter when Bradley Roby rallied in time to knock a ball away from him at the last second.
Roby had five tackles and broke up four passes while Howard, who was the player beaten on the potential touchdown early, added four stops.
"We played pretty good tonight," Roby said. "Coach said that was some incredible defense that we played. But, more importantly it was a great team effort. A lot of games that we play the defense plays great, and the offense suffers, or vice versa. But, tonight was a team game."
4. How effective will Braxton Miller be?
He needed some time to get warmed up, but the Buckeyes' sophomore quarterback finished with
He made perhaps the play of the game when he pulled the ball out of Carlos Hyde's stomach, juked Penn State linebacker Gerald Hodges at the 5-yard line then sidestepped safety Malcolm Willis at the goal line for a 1-yard touchdown run that stretched Ohio State's lead to 21-10 in the third quarter.
"We work on that," Meyer quipped. "We have a drill. Make seven people miss, dive across and hold the ball. I was on field level so I couldn't see it. The conversation on the headset was, ‘Oh, my gosh.'
Miller added another 1-yard touchdown run later in the quarter then came up with the knockout blow in the fourth when he hit wide receiver Jake Stoneburner in stride deep down the middle for a 72-yard score that put the game out of reach.
A week after being knocked out of a game against Purdue, Miller totaled 134 yards on the ground and threw for 143 more.
5. Will Penn State try to scheme up the Buckeyes?
Penn State head coach Bill O'Brien did not do anything too tricky in his first matchup with Ohio State.
He stuck with an ineffective running game on many first down plays, leaving the Lions often behind the chains.
The coach did call plenty of plays for his plethora of tight ends, including Kyle Carter, who led the team with six catches for 77 yards and a touchdown.
"I think Ohio State did a good job on the tight ends," O'Brien said. "I think the tight ends had some catches tonight. I wouldn't say that they were totally shut down. But, I will give Ohio State a lot of credit. They came in here and played really well."