COURTESY PENN STATE ATHLETICS:
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – Grant Haley (Atlanta, Ga.) returned a field goal blocked by Marcus Allen (Upper Marlboro, Md.) 60 yards for the game-winning touchdown, as Penn State erased a 14-point deficit in the fourth quarter to defeat No. 2 Ohio State, 24-21, Saturday night in front of a Penn State White Out crowd of 107,280 in Beaver Stadium. The Buckeyes had won 78 straight games when leading by 14 or more points in the fourth quarter.
Penn State (5-2, 3-1 Big Ten) used big plays on offense and a pair of special teams plays to score 17 points in the fourth quarter.
It marked the first time Penn State defeated a Top 2 team since winning at No. 1 Notre Dame in 1990, and the first win at home over a Top 2 team since downing No. 2 Nebraska, 27-24, in 1982. The victory was also Penn State’s first over a ranked opponent since 2013 (Wisconsin).
Penn State also snapped Ohio State’s (6-1, 3-1 Big Ten) streak of 20 consecutive road wins, and it was the first road loss under head coach Urban Meyer.
Ohio State punted to start the fourth quarter and pinned the Nittany Lions on their own 10, but the Nittany Lions covered 90 yards on just five plays, highlighted by running back Saquon Barkley (Coplay, Pa.) breaking free for 37 yards, and then quarterback Trace McSorley (Ashburn, Va.) finding wide receiver Saeed Blacknall (Manalapan, N.J.) down the left sideline for 35 yards to the 2. McSorley rushed it himself on second-and-goal to pull within a touchdown, 21-14.
The Lion defense forced an Ohio State three-and-out and freshman linebacker Cam Brown (Burtonsville, Md.) blocked the Buckeyes’ punt, setting up a Tyler Davis (St. Charles, Ill.) field goal with 9:33 remaining, cutting the deficit to just four.
Ohio State reached the Penn State 28 on its ensuing possession and attempted a 45-yard field goal, but it was blocked by Allen and Haley scooped it and scored, running 60-yards down the sideline to give Penn State a 24-21 lead.
The Buckeyes took over from their own 11 with 4:21 remaining, but did not get past their own 42. Jordan Smith (Washington, D.C.) broke up a deep pass on second-and-10 from the 42, and then Jason Cabinda (Flemington, N.J.) sacked quarterback J.T. Barrett for a loss of 13 yards on third down. On fourth-and-23, Evan Schwan (Harrisburg, Pa.) and Kevin Givens (Altoona, Pa.) sacked Barrett again to seal the win.
Ohio State had not relinquished the lead until Haley’s touchdown score.
The first quarter was scoreless as Ohio State was limited to two first downs and Penn State had four. It was the first time Ohio State had been held scoreless all season. The Buckeyes used a field goal to get on the scoreboard at the start of the second quarter, and extended the lead to 12-0 on a 26-yard touchdown pass to tight end Marcus Baugh and another field goal.
Penn State managed to get on the scoreboard just before the halftime break. The Lions drove 74 yards on seven plays in just one minute, as Chris Godwin (Middletown, Del.) hauled in a 20-yard touchdown reception with just nine seconds remaining.
Ohio State took a 19-7 lead early in the third quarter on a 74-yard touchdown run by Curtis Samuel and a safety on a bad snap extended the lead to 21-7 before Penn State rallied in the fourth.