Ohio State Football 2011
Buckeyes Fall Short to Nittany Lions
Two historic college football programs met in Columbus on Saturday, but this particular meeting wasn't like any other.
The Ohio State Buckeyes fell to the Penn State Nittany Lions 20-14 in a game that featured two teams surrounded by controversy.
Before kickoff, both teams met at midfield to shake hands in a sign of sportsmanship and respect in the wake of the recent sexual harassment scandal surrounding Penn State which led to the firing of legendary head coach, Joe Paterno.
In what was expected to be a defensive struggle, the teams did all of their scoring in the opening half before the defenses took over.
Penn State, which had scored 24 points total in its last two games, had 20 in a first half of unexpected offense from both teams against stout defenses.
The Nittany Lions, ranked No. 102 in the nation in scoring at 21 points per game, needed just five plays to find the end zone when running back Stephfon Green broke a couple tackles at the line after taking a direct snap and proceeded to outrace the defense for a 40-yard score.
Penn State then added a field goal as Ohio State fell behind 10-0 for the third game in the row.
The Buckeyes, however, would fight back as Braxton Miller ran in a touchdown from 24 yards away and found Jake Stoneburner in the back of the end zone for another score to cut the lead to 17-14.
That was as close as the Buckeyes would get as Penn State added another field goal before the half to take a 20-14 lead into intermission.
It was then that both defenses pitched shutouts in the second half.
Ohio State had one last shot to win the game, taking over after a Penn State punt with 36 seconds left. But Miller was being sacked by linebacker Nate Stupar when he was called for intentional grounding. Miller then was incomplete on three desperation heaves as a small pocket of Penn State fans ran onto the field to celebrate.
Miller ended up passing for 83 yards and a touchdown while rushing for an additional 105 yards and a score.
Green led the way for Penn State rushing for 93 yards and two scores.
With the victory, Penn State (9-2, 6-1) clinched a share of the division title, setting up a showdown next week at Wisconsin, with the winner playing Michigan State in the conference's first championship game on December 3rd.
Ohio State on the other hand, drops to 6-5 overall (3-4 Big Ten) and travels to Ann Arbor to take on their arch rivals the Michigan Wolverines in their season finale next weekend.
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