OSU: Game Breakdown

COLUMBUS, Ohio — The good the bad and the ugly from Penn State's latest trip to The Horseshoe, where flu-like symptoms and a couple of late Ohio State scores left Joe Paterno feeling a bit sick to his stomach.

MAN OF THE HOUR: Tony Hunt bashed his way to 135 yards on 24 carries against a solid Ohio State defensive front. The running game (outside of short-yardage situations) is no longer a huge concern for this team.

TURNING POINT: Buckeye QB Troy Smith had an iffy game all-around. But he was spectacular on one play, avoiding a pass rush from PSU's Tim Shaw, scrambling left and finding Brian Robiskie for a 37-yard TD and 14-3 Ohio State lead.

SOLID STRATEGY: Penn State's decision to lean heavily on the running game. This was especially important given how much QB Anthony Morelli struggled (three interceptions, two for scores). It helped the Lions win the time-of-possession battle by 10 minutes.

NUMBERS GAME: Up until backup QB Daryll Clark was sacked twice late in the game, Penn State had more total yards than Ohio State. When have you ever seen that from a team trailing 28-6?

TWIST OF FATE: Ohio State seemed on its way to a 21-6 win late in the fourth quarter, which would have had Penn State covering the 17-point line. Antonio Smith's late interception of Morelli for a 55-yard score made it 28-6, making some bettors very happy and some very sad.

SURPRISE, SURPRISE: For all the talk of the explosiveness of Buckeye wideout Ted Ginn, he was held in check all day. Ginn had two catches for 15 yards and less than 80 yards on returns. Justin King was strong on coverage of Ginn and beat the speedy wideout for an interception in the first quarter.

SPECIAL DELIVERY: Jeremy Kapinos got off a fluttering punt under pressure late in the first quarter. It took a big hop, preventing Ginn from returning, then rolled down to the 6-yard line. In the second quarter, Buckeye Anderson Russell downed an A.J. Trapasso punt at the PSU 1.

WHAT'S UP WITH: Penn State place-kicker Kevin Kelly? He missed a critical 42-yarder in this one and missed a chip shot earlier on which he was roughed and earned a second shot. Kelly is officially in a slump. After the game, PSU coach Joe Paterno said Kelly is struggling with some sort of back injury.

HIT SQUAD: Hunt tried to juke for extra yardage in the fourth quarter. Brandon Mitchell didn't buy it and drilled him right in the sternum.

HEADS-UP: Anthony Scirrotto alertly smothered a Derrick Williams punt return muff late in the first quarter. A.Q. Shipley hopped on a Hunt fumble in the fourth quarter.

HIDDEN HERO: Kapinos averaged 50.5 yards on six punts.

LOST IN THE SHUFFLE: The Buckeye offensive line did not allow a sack to the Penn State defense. Having a mobile QB like Smith helped with that.


• Paterno leave the field before the half and then in the third quarter with flu symptoms? Asked if it was difficult to leave the field midgame for the first time in his career, he cracked, “It was easier than if I would have stayed.”

• Star linebacker Paul Posluszny left the game for two plays in the fourth quarter due to a gash on his right arm (the officials made him leave). Smith hit TE Brian Hartline for a key 8-yard gain and first down right in front of Posluszny's replacement, Donte Brown, on the second play. The cut required stitches after the game. Posluszny did not meet the media afterward.

• Senior running back Austin Scott did not make the trip, the latest sign that he is redshirting. True freshman TB Evan Royster did travel, but Brent Carter, who made the trip to Notre Dame but did not play vs. the Irish, did not come to Columbus.

• Receiver Terrell Golden did not make the trip, either. Golden has an ankle injury.

• Redshirt sophomore Mark Rubin has moved back to receiver after spending the spring and the start of this season at safety. He did not play in this game.

• Former Lion Tamba Hali, now with the Kansas City Chiefs, was not only on the sideline, but also right in the middle of the team. He was cheering and giving the current PSU defenders advice throughout. He also talked to Morelli after the QB's second pick for a score.

UNANSWERED QUESTION: Can the Lions build off this solid effort, even if things got out of hand in the final few minutes?


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