Ohio State 28, Penn State 17: Penn State Unable to Complete Comeback

By Jarrod Prugar on November 23, 2019 at 4:07 pm
Nov 23, 2019; Columbus, OH, USA; Penn State Nittany Lions quarterback Will Levis (7) tackled by Ohio State Buckeyes linebacker Malik Harrison (39) during the third quarter at Ohio Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joe Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports
© Joe Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

The Nittany Lions trailed 21-0 at one point in the second half before Will Levis stepped in for the injured Sean Clifford and led a near comeback. It ultimately proved to not be enough as Penn State fell to Ohio State 28-17.

  • Despite being burned for 417 total yards, 229 of which coming on the ground, the Penn State defense did a solid job keeping Ohio State out of the end zone. The Nittany Lions forced three turnovers and managed to turn a pair of Buckeye fumbles into 10 points in the third quarter. Those turnovers swung momentum toward the Nittany Lions, but they ultimately couldn't quite get them over the hump. Penn State's offense wasn't able to put together too many extended drives, leading to Brent Pry's unit being on the field for 83 hard-fought snaps. 
  • Will Levis took over for an injured Sean Clifford in the third quarter and led Penn State on a march back into the game. Levis would finish what Clifford started as the Nittany Lions scored on his first drive. The redshirt freshman took the ball himself on the following drive after Penn State recovered a fumble on the 12-yard line. Following another fumble for the Buckeyes, Levis and company took over at the Ohio State 35 before settling for a field goal. It was a valiant effort for a quarterback not used to the pressure of a top-10 matchup. That inexperience showed late in the game with some of the mistakes made by the young quarterback, but his will to lead the team with Clifford showed in a big way as they made it a game.
  • Aside from the three score swing in the third quarter, the Penn State offense was largely inept. It was another game featuring short passing routes that either hit the turf or didn't feature many yards after the catch. The only time the Nittany Lions fell into a rhythm was with Levis as they added a newfound running the football with the running back for positive yards method that was not used in the first half. To be fair though, the Ohio State defense it the top-ranked unit in the country for a reason.

The Lions moved to 9-2 with the loss, with one home game remaining against Rutgers. Senior Day in Happy Valley will take place a week from Saturday.

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