Written by: Tre LyDay – Staff Writer (@trelyday03)
The Ohio State Buckeyes took a trip to Happy Valley to play Penn St. in the famous White Out. The night ended with the most important victory in the Jonathan Franklin era at Penn State. The Nittany Lions made play, after play, which is always required if you’re to pull off a major upset.
Urban Meyer is one of the best head coaches in College Football, and will likely be in the Hall of Fame when he officially retires. That being said he’s always been known as probably the best special teams coach in football. Well special teams totally failed the Buckeyes on Saturday. They missed an extra point, had a punt blocked, and then had a field goal that would have put them up by seven blocked and returned for a touchdown. While special teams played a major role in this upset, it was the least of their worries that night.
Apparently Penn St. has a seriously good defense, and it showed on Saturday. The Nittany Lions defense got pressure on J.T. Barrett in a variety of ways, whether it was from the blitz or just a basic four man rush. The entire game Penn St. was able to collapse the pocket forcing Barrett to run for his life. They couldn’t get him on the ground until the second half when they really turned up the pressure.
Most of the pressure Penn St. applied was specifically aimed at exposing Ohio State’s sophomore right tackle Isaiah Prince. Any kind of game on the line you could think of, Penn St. ran it; twists, stunts, slants you name it, they used it, and Prince had no chance. Penn St. totaled six sacks (it should have been about 10 or 11) and 11 tackles for loss.
Ohio State’s rush defense also suffered. Surrendering over 120 yards on the ground, and it would have been more, if not for a bad snap that flew over the punter’s head. Trace McSorley only completed eight of 23 passes, but he executed a touchdown drive before the end of the first half to get them on the board.
Another key component to a major upset is that you can’t commit any penalties, and Penn St. only committed one penalty for a measly five yards. I don’t know how the Nittany Lions pulled it off, but they did thanks to an outstanding pass rush, and extremely timely plays. They’re now 5-2 (3-1), and sit quietly in a tie for second place in the Big Ten East. Who knows maybe they get lucky, and Michigan slips up a couple times, and presto they’re in the Big Ten title game. As for Ohio State, if the offensive line doesn’t sure things up then they might be in serious trouble when Michigan comes to town on November 26th.