Ohio State and Penn State, as usual, played in a game with 2020 playoff implications. Ohio State’s 38-25 win on Saturday night was the most decisive game in the series since 2015.
In the beginning, it looked like Ohio State would completely dominate. They had a 21-6 lead at halftime, Justin Fields was rolling, and the Ohio State defensive line dominated Penn State’s offense.
Although, Penn State found a way back in and made the game interesting. Sean Clifford threw three touchdown passes in the second half and breathed some life into the Penn State offense.
Their attack fell short after a late interception. Ohio State won by their widest margin in the last five years, though only up by two scores.
A win is a win, and Ohio State is 2-0. After overcoming the biggest obstacle in their way, a Big Ten championship is more likely than not for the Buckeyes.
Ohio State Fends Off Penn State for Second Win in 2020
Some worries from Ohio State’s game against Nebraska were put to rest. The rushing attack, offensive line, and defensive line were all much improved from a week ago. Fields was just as surgical as he was last week. Haskell Garrett and Jonathon Cooper had the best games of their careers.
There was a lot to like about the Buckeyes’ win against the Nittany Lions.
Justin Fields wasn’t as accurate as he was against Nebraska, but he still did pretty well. Fields completed 27 of 33 passes for 306 yards and four touchdowns. Chris Olave was Fields’ favorite target, with seven catches for 120 yards and two touchdowns. Garrett Wilson also eclipsed the century mark with his 11 receptions.
Not only did Fields do a great job passing in general, but on deep passes as well. He was seven for eight with two touchdowns on passes over 20 yards.
He also did a great job of avoiding sacks. One of the few knocks on the Ohio State offense was pass protection. A lot of that fell on Fields, who did a much better job of getting the ball out quicker.
Ohio State Rushing Game Will Pick Up in 2020
Interestingly, Wilson carried the ball on a sweep on the first play from scrimmage of the game. His 62 yards on that one play made him the leading Buckeye rusher for most of the game.
Defensive Line Stepped Up
The Ohio State defensive line was a different unit from last week. After a shaky start against Nebraska, the line made its mark on the game.
Clifford was the Nittany Lions’ leading rusher last week with over 150 yards. The defensive line stopped him this week and kept him to only 17 yards on 11 attempts. They also sacked Clifford five times and forced the only interception of the game.
Jahan Dotson Carried Penn State
One of the only things that went right for Penn State was passing to Jahan Dotson. He mostly went against Shaun Wade, who is the lone returning player in the secondary. Dotson had eight catches for 144 yards and three touchdowns. He single-handedly kept Penn State in the game.
Dotson was most impressive on one third-quarter drive going up against Wade. He made two Sports Center Top-10 caliber catches for 58 yards on back-to-back plays. It’s not easy to beat Wade, but Dotson showed everyone how. All you have to do is make ridiculous plays.
If it wasn’t for Dotson, this game really would have been out of hand for Penn State.