In front of 110,889 fans in Beaver Stadium, Penn State and Ohio State lived up to the hype in front of the biggest crowd to watch a game in Happy Valley.
Recent history in the rivalry between Ohio State and Penn State suggested tonight’s game between the Buckeyes and Nittany Lions in Happy Valley would be decided late in the fourth quarter. Sure enough, it was as Ohio State took a 14-13 lead into the fourth quarter after overcoming a 13-0 deficit in the second quarter.
The fourth quarter looked like it would belong to the home team as Penn State ripped off 13 unanswered points to begin the final stanza, but they couldn’t put the Buckeyes away. Ohio State battled back to take a 27-26 lead with 2:03 remaining to set the stage for some heroics from Trace McSorley. Facing a fourth-and-5 from the Ohio State 43, it was Chase Young who sliced through the middle of the offensive line from his outside linebacker position to stuff Miles Sanders in the backfield. It was a terrible play call by Penn State after two timeouts, but perfect execution by Ohio State.
Trace McSorley is the most valuable player in college football
No disrespect to the great players across the country, especially Tua Tagovailoa at Alabama or Kyler Murray at Oklahoma, but neither of those studs is as valuable to their teams as Trace McSorley is to Penn State. He might not win the Heisman over those other two quarterbacks, but McSorley is a gritty, tough, electrifying playmaker as a passer and a runner. He might not have the gaudy statistics of some signal-caller but I’m penciling him in to win the Walter Camp this year. He deserves it. In a losing effort, McSorley accounted for 461 of Penn State’s 496 yards of offense. He had a career-high 175 yards rushing to go with 286 through the air to set a program record for total offense, albeit in a losing effort.
Both teams are alive for a berth in the College Football Playoff
There was some talk in the week leading up to the game that the loser of the game would be eliminated from the College Football Playoff. That’s just ridiculous to dismiss either one of these teams this early in the season unless one of them lost 55-20 or something like that. There is still a long way to go to navigate the rest of the Big Ten gauntlet but all this game did is determine who has the inside track to the four-team playoff.
Dwayne Haskins’ Heisman bid heating up
Ohio State’s Dwayne Haskins was one of the early front-runners for the Heisman Trophy after the first four games. He showed no signs of being caught up in the moment and seemed like an upgrade from Big Ten career touchdown leader, J.T. Barrett, who he replaced this year as the starter. However, his Heisman bid looked like it would be losing some momentum after a lackluster first three quarters. Haskins was only 15-of-29 for 132 yards and one touchdown and an interception in the first three quarters but turned it on in crunch time. And here’s where it’s crazy because he still Haskins finished 7-of-10 for 138 yards and the game-winning 24-yard touchdown to K.J. Hill with 2:03 remaining. This was his game to announce to the world that he has arrived.