OSU: Game Breakdown

The good, the bad and the ugly from Penn State's loss to unbeaten Ohio State at a packed Beaver Stadium Saturday.

Penn State went into its game against undefeated Ohio State at Beaver Stadium Saturday evening knowing it had to at least contain Buckeye quarterback Braxton Miller.

The Nittany Lions could not pull it off.

Miller carried 25 times for 134 yards and two touchdowns, and completed 7 of 19 passes for 143 yards and one score, as OSU swatted PSU 35-23 before 107,818 white-clad fans.

Penn State QB Matt McGloin posted some impressive numbers himself, completing 27 of 45 passes for 327 yards and two TDs. But he also had a killer pick six in the third quarter and struggled to make plays in clutch situations.

Going into the game, there was some debate over whether Miller or McGloin was the most effective quarterback in the Big Ten Leaders Division.

Afterward, it was pretty clear who the best QB in the entire conference was.

Penn State slipped to 5-3 overall and 3-1 in the league with the loss. Ohio State improved to 9-0 and 5-0.

Read on for our game breakdown.

MAN OF THE HOUR: PSU redshirt freshman tight end Kyle Carter caught six passes for 77 yards and a late score. Following the TD, he hobbled off the field with what appeared to be a leg injury.

CLOSE SECOND: Line linebacker Gerald Hodges had 14 tackles and a sack.

TURNING POINT: Penn State led 7-0 and appeared to force Ohio State into a three-and-out midway through the second quarter. On the punt, Lion Brad Bars was hit with a phantom holding call before the kick, giving the Buckeyes a first down. OSU marched 73 yards for the tying score and seemed to maintain momentum the rest of the way.

SOLID STRATEGY: The Buckeyes blitzed McGloin often, and he seemed rattled at times. He was sacked four times.

NUMBERS GAME: OSU played ball control by carrying 53 times for 234 yards.

BUSINESS AS USUAL: PSU linebacker Michael Mauti had 13 tackles.

SPECIAL DELIVERY: Two of Penn State's special teams' aces combined to give the Lions their first score. Mike Hull blocked Ben Buchanan's second-quarter punt and Mike Yancich recovered it in the end zone for a touchdown.


• The inability of Penn State's defensive backs to make big plays. Safety Stephen Obeng-Agyapong dropped what seemed to be a sure pick six in the first quarter. In the second quarter, corner Adrian Amos intercepted a Miller pass and inexplicably fell, negating any chance for a return. Corner Stephon Morris also dropped a potential interception, though it would have been a great catch.

• All of those penalties on the Lions. Sure, some of the nine flags were questionable. But they also hurt themselves with multiple legit false-start penalties.

• The PSU staff's complete lack of faith in kicker Sam Ficken. The Lions passed on a 37-yard field goal attempt in the second quarter and opted to go for it on fourth down. Even when they were flagged for a false start -- making it fourth-and-12 from the OSU 25 -- they opted against a 42-yard try.

• Punter Alex Butterworth's arm. On a third-quarter fake punt, he shot-putted a terrible pass that Derek Day could not catch. Butterworth missed a wide-open Hull on the play, too. This guy is having enough trouble kicking the ball. Why let him try to throw?

• Penn State going cold on third down. The Lions were 5 of 17 in the game and 0 of 5 in the first half.

• The ridiculous halftime deal where school president Rod Erickson and athletic director Dave Joyner were introduced (to a chorus of boos), and then the PA man went on to introduce dozens of academic types. The boring presentation took the juice out of the Whiteout crowd.

HIT SQUAD: The hardest hit of the game was when Lion DE Sean Stanley wiped out Buckeye TB Carlos Hyde in the backfield. Unfortunately for PSU, Miller had kept the ball on a fake, and scrambled 1 yard for a score.

HIDDEN HERO: After a lousy first punt, Butterworth stepped up his game. His next four tries were all downed inside the Buckeye 20-yard line.

LOST IN THE SHUFFLE: WR Allen Robinson had five catches for 68 yards. But he also had a couple of key drops.


• That only six Buckeyes touched the ball on offense. They included Miller, Hyde, running back Rod Smith, receivers Evan Spencer and Jake Stoneburner, and tight end Nick Vannett.

• That there were more than 125 recruits at the game.

• That senior Pete Massaro got the start at defensive end ahead of redshirt freshman Deion Barnes.

• That backup center Ty Howle actually saw spot action at left guard.

UNANSWERED QUESTION: After seeing their five-game winning streak end, can the Lions regroup for the final four games of the season?

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