Nittany Lions bullied by Buckeyes
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COLUMBUS, Ohio — Humiliated at the Horseshoe.
Penn State was as noncompetitive in a game as it had been in decades. Ohio State ran wild and at will while shutting down the Nittany Lions' first-team offense in a 63-14 win at a packed Ohio Stadium on Saturday night.
Quarterback Braxton Miller accounted for 320 yards of offense and five touchdowns, and Carlos Hyde had 147 rushing yards and two touchdowns in less than three quarters of action for the No. 4 Buckeyes (8-0, 4-0 Big Ten), who extended their winning streak over the past two seasons to 20 games and stayed in the national championship hunt.
“I take responsibility for the loss, and I need to do a better job of preparing these guys next time,” Penn State coach Bill O'Brien said. “They played much better than us. They coached better than us tonight.”
Ohio State ran up 686 yards of offense — the most Penn State has ever allowed — in scoring the most points a Penn State opponent had posted since '99.
Penn State lost to the Duquesne Athletic Club, 64-5, on Nov. 25 of that year.
Ten years earlier in 1889, Penn State allowed the most points in school history in a 106-0 loss at Lehigh.
Saturday's carnage in Columbus wasn't quite that bad. It only seemed that way.
Miller threw touchdown passes to Chris Fields, Corey “Philly” Brown and Dontre Wilson and ran for scores of 39 and 6 yards.
Backup quarterback Kenny Guiton scored on a 2-yard run with 4:01 left in the third quarter to make it 56-7. Guiton scored again on an 11-yard scramble with 8:24 left to push the Buckeyes past 60 points for the second time this season.
The first time was against Florida A&M, a Football Championship Subdivision bottom feeder. This was against a tradition-rich traditional power in Penn State — albeit one that has been well watered-down by NCAA scholarship sanctions levied in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky scandal last year.
“We obviously didn't execute the way we have all season,” Penn State center Ty Howle said. “You have to be better than we were, especially against an opponent like Ohio State.”
A crowd of 105,889 — the fourth-most in Ohio State history — only had to wait 2:17 for their Buckeyes to score. They marched 75 yards to take a lead they would never relinquish.
The lone scoring highlights for Penn State (4-3, 1-2) came on a Brandon Felder 12-yard touchdown reception from Christian Hackenberg late in the second quarter and an Allen Robinson 65-yard catch from backup quarterback Tyler Ferguson with 7:33 to play in the game.
“I don't think anyone on our team quit,” O'Brien said. “I know Allen Robinson didn't quit.
“They're a good football team, no question about it. They deserve all the rankings and everything they've gotten.”
Hackenberg was 12 for 23 for 112 yards and two interceptions and a fumble before an apparent shoulder injury during the third quarter. There was no immediate word on the seriousness of the injury or if the Lions' coaching staff pulled Hackenberg to give Ferguson reps or as a mere show of mercy.
Bill Belton earned the start at tailback, his first of the season — and had 107 total yards, including 98 rushing on 22 carries. Former starter Zach Zwinak fumbled again on his third carry and did not play the rest of the game.
If Felder's touchdown had given the Lions any life — it cut the Buckeyes' lead to 28-7 — that was quickly extinguished when Hyde scored on a long run 56 seconds later. Ohio State scored again with 3 seconds left in the first half — Miller hitting Brown wide open down the middle of the field for a 25-yard touchdown.
The 42 points Penn State had allowed before halftime were the most the Lions had permitted in an entire game since a 45-6 loss on the same Columbus field Sept. 23, 2000.
Arguably, that was the most recent game in the history of the program more demoralizing for Penn State — and only then because then-freshman cornerback Adam Taliaferro sustained a serious neck injury during that game that ended his career and almost left him permanently paralyzed.
Wilson's 26-yard touchdown 6:08 into the third quarter made it 49-7, and when Guiton scored his first touchdown 4:51 later, that meant Penn State had allowed 50 or more points for the first time since a 51-30 loss at West Virginia in 1988.
And the Buckeyes weren't even done yet.
Robinson, the Big Ten's leading receiver, finished with 11 catches for 167 yards. But the vast majority of that production came in the second half, when the game had long turned into a laugher.
Chris Adamski is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @C_AdamskiTrib.
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