The Ohio State Buckeyes started very slow against Penn State early on, but started to balance out as the game went on. Penn State jumped to an early 10-0 lead in the first quarter, when Stephon Green rushed for a 39-yard touchdown on the Nittany Lions' first drive. Later in the quarter, Anthony Fera would add a 43-yard field goal.
Ohio State did come back though, Braxton Miller ran for a 24-yard touchdown to start the second quarter, but Penn State responded quickly with another Green touchdown. The touchdown was made possible by a Silas Redd 42-yard run that took the ball to the Ohio State 36-yard line. After a couple punts, Ohio State came back with another Braxton Miller touchdown drive, this one a seven-yard pass to Jake Stoneburner. Miller had a 24-yard run on the drive.
With five minutes to go in the first half, Penn State set up a nine-play drive that ende in a 46-yard field goal, to give them a 20-14 lead as time expired in the first half.