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Grading The Game: Buckeyes 38 - Penn State 14

Offense:  B+

After a poor first half of offensive play, the Buckeyes came roaring back in the second with 35 unanswered points. Tailback Boom Herron led the offensive resurgence with 190 yards and a touchdown on only 21 carries (9 yards per carry.) In total, Ohio State ran for 314 yards on the Nittany Lion defense, averaging 7.3 yards per attempt on 43 rushes. Complementing the ground attack, Terrelle Pryor was 8/13 (62%) through the air for 139 yards, two touchdowns, and an interception. By no means extraordinary, Pryor was efficient enough passing to keep the Penn State defense honest. One of the touchdowns, in particular, provided a highlight reel moment, when the ball bounced off the hands of DeVier Posey 58 yards downfield before falling into the hands of Dane Sanzenbacher.

The receiving corps had limited opportunities with the Buckeyes passing so little, but DeVier Posey did lead the way with 3 catches for 63 yards. Two Buckeyes caught touchdown passes, with Jake Stoneburner joining the aforementioned Dane Sanzenbacher. As a whole, the group did a fine job blocking on the perimeter, and tight ends Stoneburner and Reid Fragel were an integral part of the rushing success. Fullback Zach Boren also continues to thrive in his role in the offense.

Defense: A-

A tale of two halves, indeed. Penn State offensive coordinators Jay Paterno and Galen Hall mimicked the Wisconsin gameplan against Ohio State, relying on quick throws and an inside running game to move the ball in the first half. But Ohio State responded in a different manner than it did against the Badgers, and Penn State did not score a single point in the second half against the Silver Bullet defense.

In fact, the box score alone does not even indicate that Penn State had the Buckeyes on the ropes for much of the first half. The Nittany Lions ran 65 plays for 273 yards for a below average mark of 4.2 yards per play. Ohio State effectively shut down the rushing attack and put all of the pressure on McGloin; this pressure led to a complete implosion by the junior signal caller, who tossed two pick sixes to Ohio State defensive backs before being benched in the fourth quarter.

Special mention must go to cornerbacks Devon Torrence and Travis Howard, the recipients of McGloin's interceptions. Both were majestic, but Torrence's completely changed the tone and momentum of the game in one play. Penn State went from leading to falling behind in a debilitating fashion.

Special Teams: B

There were no obviously impactful plays made by special teams, but the coverage units played well and prevented Penn State's special units from making any obviously impactful plays themselves. Reserve linebacker Dorian Bell did have a great moment on one particular kickoff coverage when he single-handedly knock through the Nittany Lion blockers and tripped up the return man. Unfortunately, Penn State running back Stephon Green was roughed up during the skirmish, but it was a great play nonetheless.

Placekicker Devin Barclay made his only attempt, a chip shot that started off the scoring.

Players of the Game: Devon Torrence and Boom Herron. Torrence's interception acted as the turning point, and Boom Herron provided continuous offense throughout the game. Honorable mention goes to Travis Howard for his pick six, and the second half effort of the offensive line for their integral part of the victory.

Photographs by spatulated, Triple Tri, and chrischappelear used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.