No. 4 Ohio State rolls over Penn State, 63-14
Ohio State defensive wide receiver Evan Spencer, left, is tackled by Penn State cornerback Jordan Lucas during the second quarter Saturday night in Columbus, Ohio. (AP Photo/Paul Vernon)
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) – After a historic defeat, there was little for Penn State to do but pick up the pieces.
Braxton Miller passed for three touchdowns and ran for two and Carlos Hyde rushed for 147 yards and two more scores to lead No. 4 Ohio State to a 63-14 victory over the Nittany Lions Saturday night.
It was the most points surrendered by Penn State (1-2 Big Ten, 4-3) and its worst beating in 114 years.
“We didn’t get the job done – not even close,” Lions outside linebacker Mike Hull said. “It’s the worst game I’ve experienced.”
Running back Bill Belton could barely speak.
“Losing like that is tough,” he said.
Nittany Lions freshman QB Christian Hackenberg bobbled the second snap of the night and it never got much better. He ended up throwing two interceptions.
A crowd of 105,889 at Ohio Stadium roared from the outset — and had plenty of reasons.
Penn State hadn’t given up so many points or been beaten so badly since losing 64-5 to the Duquesne Athletic Club Nov. 25, 1899.
“I take full responsibility for this loss,” Penn State coach Bill O’Brien said. “We didn’t have them prepared good enough as a coaching staff, or me has a head coach. Therefore we didn’t play good enough.”
The victory by Ohio State (4-0, 8-0) stretched its nation’s best winning streak to 20 in a row, two behind the school mark that included the 1968 national championship season. That team was recognized during the opening half as the Buckeyes streaked to a 42-7 lead.
Even Miller’s backup – Kenny Guiton – rushed for two touchdowns. The Buckeyes dominated all the crucial numbers, totaling a staggering 686 yards (to 357 for Penn State) while rushing for 408 yards on 51 attempts — an average of 8 yards per carry.
Belton was one of the few bright spots for the Nittany Lions, gaining 98 yards on 22 carries.
It was the most one-sided margin by the Buckeyes and their most points scored in the 29 meetings in the series. The teams had split the last four meetings, with Ohio State holding a cumulative 79-66 scoring advantage. All of those matchups were close.
This one sure wasn’t. And it got out of hand quickly.
The Buckeyes enforced their will on the Nittany Lions on both sides of the ball in an impressive show of strength.
Ohio State scored on six of seven possessions in the first two quarters, throwing deep for scores to wide-open receivers and jamming it between the tackles with Miller and Hyde making the most of gaping holes.
In the only real drama of the game, Penn State manufactured a nice drive in response, mixing Belton runs with Hackenberg passes until the Nittany Lions faced a third and 5 at the Ohio State 12.
Then Hackenberg tried to thread a pass to tight end Adam Breneman at the goal line, but safety Corey Brown picked off the underthrown attempt to end the threat.
“That hurt,” O’Brien said. “I don’t know if it would have changed the outcome, but I think it would have helped a little bit. It was a 13-play drive. We got it in there pretty good and then threw the pick. It would have been nice to have a touchdown there.”
After the teams traded punts, the Buckeyes scored on five straight possessions
Hackenberg finished 12 of 23 for 112 yards passing with a touchdown and two interceptions. He carried four times for 21 yards in losses.
“They’ll put it behind them,” O’Brien said of his players. “We’ll remember some things. Now we’ll get ready to play Illinois.”
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