Rudel’s Ohio St. Highs & Lows
COLUMBUS — Following are the highlights and lowlights from Penn State’s 33-24 loss to Ohio State on Saturday night at Ohio Stadium:
Play of the game: Ohio State defensive end Tyreke Smith stripped Sean Clifford, and Jerrod Cage returned the fumble 57 yards for a touchdown and a 17-7 lead with 2:24 left in the first half.
Offensive player of the game: Buckeye quarterback C.J. Stroud completed 22 of 34 passes for 305 yards and a touchdown. He was not intercepted or sacked.
Defensive player of the game: OSU safety Ronnie Hickman made a game-high 14 tackles.
Most telling statistic: Penn State rushed for 33 yards on 29 carries.
Hidden statistic: The Lions converted 11-of-18 third downs.
Most deceiving statistic: Ohio State committed 10 penalties for 74 yards.
Best run: TreVeyon Henderson zipped 68 yards around left end to the Penn State 2 in the third quarter, setting up the touchdown that gave the Buckeyes’ a 27-17 lead.
Best pass: Stroud bought time in the pocket and floated a 38-yard touchdown pass to Chris Olave in the second quarter, putting the Buckeyes up 10-7.
Worst pass: Clifford, under pressure and leaning backwards, was intercepted by Camerson Brown on an underthrown pass in the fourth quarter.
Best catch: Jahan Dotson went up in traffic for a 23-yard reception in the fourth quarter.
Catch it, will ya: Theo Johnson missed a low but catchable pass in the second quarter.
Hold it, won’t ya: Noah Cain lost a fumble on the Lions’ first offensive play after they had recovered a fumble at midfield.
Best tackle: Backup defensive tackle Dvon Ellies dumped Henderson on third-and-short, forcing a second-quarter punt.
Best block: Johnson crunched an OSU defender downfield, adding to Parker Washington’s 32-yard reception in the first quarter.
Best hit: Lion backup DB Jaylen Reed stoned Henderson for a 4-yard loss in the first quarter.
Best kick: Jordan Stout kicked a 47-yard field goal on the last play of the first half, cutting the Buckeyes’ lead to 17-10.
Worst kick: Stout line-drived a 49-yard field goal with 1:19 remaining that didn’t have a chance.
Best call: Penn State smartly got the ball to Dotson for a jet sweep from 2-point conversion land that resulted in a touchdown to tie the game at 17-17.
Worst call: Fourth-and-5 from the Ohio State 43, with the Lions up 7-3 in the second quarter. Instead of punting and pinning Buckeyes deep, PSU went for it. Clifford dropped back and was sacked, missing a chance to flip the field.
Worst penalty: Ohio State had not one but two roughing-the-passer penalties, accounting for 30 yards on the Lions’ third-quarter TD drive that tied the game at 17.
Best effort: The Buckeyes’ offensive line led a ground game that produced 161 yards and didn’t allow a sack in 34 dropbacks.
Unsung hero: OSU receiver Garrett Wilson caught seven passes for 82 yards.