Ohio State surrendered the first points for the third straight game, but the top-ranked Buckeyes still left Ohio Stadium with their 20th win in a row Saturday night.
Sporting all-black uniforms for the first time in program history, Ohio State (7-0, 3-0 Big Ten) ran for 315 yards on its way to a 38-10 shellacking of Penn State (5-2, 2-1 Big Ten). The Nittany Lions opened the scoring with a field goal, but the Buckeyes posted 21 points in the second quarter and added another 17 in the fourth to seal the win in front of 108,423 spectators.
Ohio State struggled to throw the ball for much of the game as Cardale Jones completed nine of 15 passes for just 84 yards, but J.T. Barrett provided a spark off the bench with 102 rushing yards and four total touchdowns — two passing and two on the ground.
Ezekiel Elliott extended his 100-yard streak with 27 carries for 153 yards and another score while Braxton Miller and and Michael Thomas each tallied touchdown catches.
Gareon Conley and Joey Bosa tied for the team lead with seven tackles each while Bosa added three tackles for loss and a sack. Adolphus Washington came up with two sacks of his own as Ohio State held Nittany Lion quarterback Christian Hackenberg to just six completions for 120 yards on 12 attempts.
Penn State running back Saquon Barkley had a game-high 194 rushing yards in the loss while defensive end Carl Nassib did his part with eight tackles — 3.5 for loss — and 1.5 sacks.
How It Happened
Things started slowly for Ohio State as the Buckeyes got the ball to start the game, but ended up losing a yard on the first play before two incomplete passes forced a three-and-out. Penn State responded with a 6-play, 61-yard drive capped by a Joey Julius field goal to go ahead 3-0 just 3:28 into the game.
The next four drives for either team ended in punts, though Penn State had a long touchdown run called back for holding, before the Buckeyes found a pulse on offense. Elliott and Miller powered Ohio State to the Nittany Lion 31 before Barrett entered the game. He and Elliott combined for 26 rushing yards on the next three plays before Barrett scampered in from five yards out to put Ohio State up, 7-3.
Penn State punted again and the Buckeyes took just fiv plays to make it 14-3 on a 10-yard Elliott touchdown. Chris Worley sacked Hackenberg on fourth down on the ensuing drive and Barrett scored again less than three minutes later to make it 21-3, which ended up being the halftime score.
The Nittany Lions came out of the gates with a 56-yard pass from Hackenberg to Chris Godwin on the first play of the second half before Barkley tacked on 14 yards to make it first-and-goal. Hackenberg found DaeSean Hamilton on the next play and the receiver evaded Vonn Bell on his way to an eight-yard score to make it 21-10.
The Buckeyes made it into Penn State territory on their first drive of the half, but Miller lost five yards on second-and-six at the Nittany Lion 37 before Jones was sacked on third down, forcing a punt.
Johnston’s punt pinned Penn State at its own eight and Adolphus Washington picked up a sack to push the Nittany Lions to the three. Penn State opted to run on third down and Cam Williams made the stop to force a punt, which Daniel Pasquariello mishit for just 29 yards, giving Ohio State the ball at the Penn State 41.
The Buckeyes went three and out, though, but Johnston’s punt put the ball at Penn State’s four-yard line. Gareon Conley was called for a personal foul on the first play of the drive to get the Nittany Lions out of the hole, Ohio State forced a punt five plays later.
Barrett started the Buckeyes’ drive as Ohio State ran the ball nine times on an 11-play drive but settled for a 39-yard field goal from Jack Willoughby to go ahead 24-10 with 12:54 to play.
Barkley responded with a 56-yard run up the sideline on the next play from scrimmage, but Tommy Schutt came up with a sack on fourth down to get the Ohio State offense back on the field.
Barrett stayed in the game and guided Ohio State on an eight-play, 85-yard scoring drive, capped by a five-yard jump pass to Miller.
Cam Williams was called for targeting after forcing a fumble on Penn State’s fourth play of the ensuing drive, but Ohio State forced another fumble after the automatic first down and Sam Hubbard recovered.
It took the Buckeyes just three plays to extend their advantage to 38-10 with Barrett’s five-yard touchdown pass to Thomas, and they got the ball back again just two minutes later as Penn State lost two yards on its way to a three and out.
After taking over with 2:11 on the clock, Ohio State fielded much of its second-team offense to run out the clock.