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PSU highs and lows

October 28, 2012
By Neil Rudel ( , The Altoona Mirror

UNIVERSITY PARK- Following are the highlights and lowlights from Penn State's 35-23 loss to Ohio State on Saturday night at Beaver Stadium:

Play of the game: Matt McGloin badly underthrew Alex Kenney over the middle early in the third quarter, and the ball was picked off by Buckeye linebacker Ryan Shazier and returned 17 yards for a touchdown and a 14-7 OSU lead. Penn State never recovered.

Offensive player of the game: Ohio State quarterback Braxton Miller showed off his dual-threat capability by running for 134 yards on 25 carries and two touchdowns and adding another 143 yards passing and another TD.

Defensive player of the game: In addition to his interception and TD, Shazier made seven tackles, including two sacks, and forced a fumble.

Most telling statistic: Penn State was outrushed 234-36 and managed a mere two rushing first downs.

Hidden statistic: Nine penalties for 85 yards didn't help the Lions' cause. Penn State has now been penalized 16 times in the last two weeks.

Best run: Miller broke off a 33-yarder to the PSU 6 late in the second quarter, setting up a touchdown that tied the game at 7-7.

Best pass: Neither quarterback threw the ball particularly well, but Miller rifled a third-down 13-yard slant to Evan Spencer in the third quarter, which gave the Buckeyes a first down at the Lion 9 and set up Ohio State's 28-10 lead a few plays later.

Worst pass: See play of the game.

Best catch: Lion tight end Matt Lehman went up in traffic and took a shot but hung on to a 19-yard reception in the second quarter.

Catch it, will ya: The pass was underthrown, but Allen Robinson had his hands on it and failed to come up with a deep shot on third-and-3 on the Lions' first possession. Better pass is a TD, but a catch still puts Nits in red zone. Stephen Obeng-Agyapong also dropped an early interception with nothing but the end zone in front of him.

Hold it, won't ya: Bill Belton mishandled the second-half kickoff, which didn't help field position.

Best block: Mike Hull broke through to block an Ohio State punt inside the Buckeyes' 5, and Mike Yancich recovered in the end zone to give the Lions a 7-0 lead midway through the second quarter.

Best tackle: Gerald Hodges came off a block to stop Miller early in the open field.

Best hit: Ohio State's Devin Smith (not him, he's at Marshall) nailed Lion punt returner Jesse Della Valle in a one-on-one situation in the first quarter.

Best coverage: There were three very good plays in the end zone. Obang-Agyapong jumped over OSU tight end Jeff Hueurman to break up a TD pass, and Buckeye corner Bradley Roby returned the favor by stripping PSU tight end Kyle Carter of a fourth-quarter TD. Roby then recovered to deflect an underthrown ball to Robinson, who was open but had to wait too long.

Best kick: Alex Butterworth's 44-yard punt pinned Ohio State at its 3 in the first quarter, the Buckeyes took almost the entire first half to climb out.

Worst kick: Butterworth's first punt went 24 yards.

Worst penalty: With the Lions up 7-0, PSU special teamer Brad Bars was hit with a defensive holding penalty on an Ohio State punt, providing a first down for the Buckeyes on their game-tying touchdown drive late in the second quarter.

Best call: With the score tied at 7-7 early in the third quarter, after the Lions gained 6 yards on first down to the Lions' 17, Ohio State unleashed a blitz, and Shazier sacked McGloin for an 11-yard loss. On the next play, third-and-13, McGloin suffered a pick 6.

Worst call: On fourth-and-9 from the Ohio State 43, down 14-10 midway through the third quarter, Bill O'Brien sprung a fake punt with Butterworth throwing to Derek Day. The incomplete pass gave Ohio State good field position.

Best effort: Miller's 1-yard TD run that gave the Buckeyes a 21-10 lead was spectacular. He eluded Sean Stanley, who appeared to blow up the play by decking blocking back Carlos Hyde, then dodged Michael Mauti and Malcolm Willis and dove into the end zone.

Unsung hero(es): Ohio State's defensive line controlled play inside and harassed McGloin into four sacks.

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