Rudel’s PSU Highs and Lows
UNIVERSITY PARK — Following are the highlights and lowlights from Penn State’s 38-25 loss to Ohio State on Saturday night at Beaver Stadium:
Play of the game: Justin Fields pumped and threw a beautiful 49-yard touchdown up the left sideline to Chris Olave, extending Ohio State’s lead to 28-13 with 8:41 left in the third quarter.
Offensive player of the game: Fields completed 28 of 34 for 318 yards, four touchdowns and no interceptions.
Defensive player of the game: Ohio State safety Marcus Hooker made six tackles, including five solos, and returned an interception 31 yards in the fourth quarter.
Most telling statistic: In addition to torching the Nits through the air, Ohio State out-rushed them 208-44.
Most deceiving statistic: OSU’s per-play average was 6.7, just one yard better than the Lions’ 5.7.
Hidden statistic: The Bucks ran 79 plays to the Nits’ 57.
Best run: On the game’s first play, OSU receiver Garrett Wilson took a jet sweep and burst 62 yards to the Lion 13, setting a tone.
Best pass: See play of the game.
Worst pass: Sean Clifford overshot Pat Freiermuth in the second quarter, which would have given Nits a needed first down.
Best catch: Jahan Dotson made an OBJ-like one-handed catch for a 21-yard touchdown in the second quarter, cutting the Buckeye lead to 31-19.
Catch it, will ya: KeAndre Lambert-Smith dropped a pass inside the Ohio State 5 in the fourth quarter.
Hold it, won’t ya: Penn State didn’t fumble.
Best block(s): Ohio State’s left tackle Thayer Munford consistently cleared the edge for significant runs.
Best tackle: On the first play of the second half, Buckeye Zack Harrison dumped Clifford and Devyn Ford at the same time, blowing up an attempted handoff.
Best hit: PSU linebacker Brandon Smith decked Fields on a fourth-quarter blitz.
Best kick: Jordan Stout nailed a 50-yard field goal to close the first half, pulling the Nits within 21-6. It was an unusual sequence since both teams had gone to the locker room before the officials realized there was :01 left on the clock.
Worst kick: Buckeye kicker Blake Haubeil shanked a 20-yard field goal in the second quarter, mercifully keeping the OSU lead at 14-3.
Worst penalty: Smith hit Wilson way out of bounds, giving the Bucks a first down at the Lion 9 in the second quarter.
Best call: On fourth-and-1 from the Nits’ 25, Fields hit Olive for 17 yards.
Worst call: OK, if you buy PSU going for it on fourth-and-2 from its own 45 on their first possession, down 7-0, then run it on third and if necessary fourth down, instead of two incompletions (one a low-percentage bomb on third down).
Best effort: On the last play of the third quarter, Ohio State linebacker Trey Sermon devoured Freiermuth en route to a sack of Clifford.
Unsung hero: OSU defensive tackle Tommy Togiai made three sacks.