Ohio State Football 2012
Buckeyes Tame the Nittany Lions
The Ohio State Buckeyes just keep winning games.
They've won games with their defense, with special teams, in overtime with their backup quarterback, on the shoulders of Braxton Miller and more.
On Saturday, the Buckeyes rode the play of Miller and a defensive touchdown on their way to a 35-23 victory against the Penn State Nittany Lions.
Miller ran for 134 yards and accounted for three touchdowns a week after missing the fourth quarter in OSU's overtime victory against Purdue. A hard tackle sent the sophomore signal caller to the hospital with a case of whiplash. He declared himself good to go by midweek.
Furthermore, Miller reached 100 yards rushing for the sixth time this season, carrying 25 times, and only avoiding contact when it was convenient. He also was 7-of-19 for 143 yards passing.
Ryan Shazier, Ohio State's leading tackler, returned an interception 17 yards for a score early in the third quarter that gave the Buckeyes (9-0, 5-0 Big Ten) the lead for good, and the Nittany Lions (5-3, 3-1) and coach Bill O'Brien had their five-game winning streak snapped.
With the Buckeyes taking a 14-7 lead, it was "Miller Time" from then on out.
He added to his highlight reel with his first touchdown run in the second half.
Miller pulled the ball back just as teammate Carlos Hyde was about to be tackled by Penn State's Sean Stanley, did a two-step, one forward, a hop backwards to avoid a defender, and then leaped past another into the end zone.
"I think a guy just came in and tried to tackle Carlos and I pulled it," explained Miller. "I don't know who was around me. My instincts just took over after that."
Urban Meyer sarcastically joked after the game, "We work on that. We have a drill. Make seven people miss and dive across."
Officially, the play covered just one yard, and it made the score 21-10 Ohio State with 3:30 remaining in the third quarter, but you could feel the electricity from the Happy Valley crowd become deflated.
Despite Miller scoring again to make the score 28-10, O'Brien's resilient Nittany Lions didn't go out without a fight.
Penn State quarterback, Matt McGloin and Penn State then rolled to an 18-play touchdown drive he finished with a 2-yard pass to Matt Lehman to make it 28-16 with 9:49 left in the fourth quarter. The 2-point conversion try was stopped.
With plenty of time to pull off a comeback, the Penn State crowd got new life as Ohio State started its next drive backed up to its eight yard-line.
A couple of tough runs by Miller got the Buckeyes off the goal line. Then, on third-and-3 from the twenty-eight, Miller hit Jake Stoneburner in stride over the middle, and the tight-end was off to the races. The 72-yard touchdown made it 35-16.
"First I was thinking don't get caught," Stoneburner said. "Then it was just surreal. I've never had that long of a touchdown in that big of a game."
The Nittany Lions added one more touchdown, but the comeback was too late.
Ohio State's season of bans and sanctions continues back in Columbus next weekend as they welcome the Illinois Fighting Illini into the Horseshoe.
After that, the Buckeyes take a week off, and then finish the season at Wisconsin and home for Michigan.
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