Unfortunately for the No. 10 Buckeyes and the majority of the 105,711 fans crammed into Ohio Stadium, the mistake came on a fourth-quarter fumble by freshman quarterback Terrelle Pryor. The Pennsylvania native lost the football for the first turnover of the game, and the miscue turned into a go-ahead touchdown for the No. 3 Nittany Lions. Penn State used the swing in momentum en route to a 13-6 victory.
"That was a hard-fought football game," Ohio State head football coach Jim Tressel said. "I was proud of the way our kids played. It was the slimmest of margins and I tip my cap to Penn State. They played extremely hard and didn't make mistakes. They came away with a hard-fought win."
Defenses ruled as the two teams battled under the temporary lights. Penn State (9-0, 5-0 Big Ten) held OSU's talented rushing attack in check, stymieing Chris "Beanie" Wells to the tune of just 55 yards. Meanwhile, Ohio State (7-2, 4-1 Big Ten) held the Lions to 281 yards of total offense, more than 200 less than they were averaging coming into the game.
Yards were hard to come by throughout the night. Even Penn State's lone trip to the end zone came at the end of a 38-yard march. The score came on a 1-yard touchdown run by backup quarterback Pat Devlin with 6:25 remaining in the fourth quarter.
Pryor's fumble proved to be the play of the game. It occurred on a third-down run with Ohio State leading 6-3. Penn State's Mark Rubin punched the ball from Pryor's hands, and linebacker Navorro Bowman scooped it up at the OSU 38-yard line.
Ohio State had a pair of chances to answer the score in the final minutes. After Penn State kicked off following the touchdown, the Buckeyes took over but were forced to punt. The Nittany Lions then drained three crucial minutes off the clock before extending its lead to seven points on a Kevin Kelly 35-yard field goal.
With time quickly ticking off the clock, Pryor drove the Buckeyes into PSU territory with less than a minute to go. Unfortunately for the Buckeyes, his desperation pass down the field with 27 seconds remaining was intercepted by Lydell Sargeant.
There was not much offense in the first half. The score was tied 3-3 at halftime after the teams traded field goals in the last two minutes of the second quarter. Kelly got the scoring started with a 31-yard boot with 1:33 left before the break. Ohio State's Aaron Pettrey answered with a 41-yarder with just seven seconds left.
The Buckeyes took their lone lead of the game late in the third quarter. Pettrey nailed a 36-yard kick with just more than three minutes left in the frame.
Despite the turnover, Pryor had his best passing performance of his young collegiate career. He threw for a career-high 226 yards but was held to just six yards rushing.
Tailback Evan Royster was held to 77 yards for PSU, and quarterback Darryll Clark had a mere 160 yards of total offense before leaving the game in the third quarter with an injury. Punter Jeremy Boone dropped three kicks inside the OSU 20 and averaged 43.5 yards per punt.
Boone's counterpart, Ohio State senior A.J. Trapasso, averaged 38.5 yards per boot with kicks of 52 and 59 yards with three kicks downed inside the PSU 20.
The victory was the first for the Nittany Lions at Ohio Stadium as a member of the Big Ten. It was the second-lowest scoring game in the 24-game rivalry between the two schools, only bested by a 7-6 win by PSU in 1956.