Ohio State Beats Penn State to Advance to Big Ten Championship Game

Publish date:

No. 2 Ohio State beat No. 8 Penn State 28–17 on Saturday at a loud Ohio Stadium to clinch a spot in the Big Ten championship game in Indianapolis.

The Buckeyes improved to 11–0 to win the Big Ten East and hand Penn State its second loss of the season (9–2).

Ohio State looked like it would run away with the game in the first half. After J.K. Dobbins scored a touchdown on the Buckeyes' first possession, quarterback Justin Fields appeared to double the Buckeyes' lead late in the first quarter. However, a review found Fields fumbled at the goal line and Penn State's Cam Brown recovered the ball.

Despite their stroke of good fortune, the Nittany Lions couldn't capitalize on the drive. Ohio State went on to score another touchdown on Dobbins's one-yard run in the final two minutes of the second quarter to put the Buckeyes ahead 14–0 at halftime.

Ohio State opened the third quarter with a 24-yard Fields touchdown pass to K.J. Hill. The Lions suffered a scare when quarterback Sean Clifford went down at 10:30 in the quarter. Clifford struggled with a shotgun snap but regained possession and managed to connect with Nick Bowers for a first down. However, linebacker Malik Harrison leveled him after he released the pass and Clifford was clearly in pain and walked off the field slowly under his own power. Backup quarterback Will Levis came in and put together a successful drive. Penn State's answered with its first score of the game on Journey Brown's 18-yard run.

The Lions looked to continue to rattle Ohio State when Micah Parsons forced Dobbins to fumble on the Buckeyes' 12-yard line. Wade came up big again by recovering the ball, and Levis scored on the two-play, 12-yard drive to narrow Ohio State's lead to 21–14. 

Penn State added a field goal on their next possession but couldn't keep Ohio State down. The Buckeyes padded their lead when Chris Olave caught Fields' 28-yard touchdown pass on double coverage in the end zone to open the fourth quarter.

On Penn State's next possession, Justin Hilliard intercepted Levis's pass on Ohio State's 20-yard line and shut down the Lions' shot at taking down the Buckeyes.

The win also marked Chase Young's return from his two-game suspension. He wasted no time getting to work and broke Ohio State's single-season sack record with 14.5 to pass Vernon Gholston's mark of 14.

Buckeyes fan LeBron James tweeted about Young during the game.

Ohio State finishes the regular season by traveling to rival No. 13 Michigan next week, while Penn State will host Rutgers.

For More Ohio State Coverage, Visit Buckeye Maven