Football is back, just not necessarily the way Penn State imagined and certainly not the way it wanted. Ohio defeated Penn State 24-14 this afternoon, scoring 21 unanswered points in the second half.
The clinching drive came late in the fourth quarter. Ohio drove the ball for over six minutes and converted on four straight third downs. All of them were pass plays. All of them were completed on good, tight coverage. The last one was a touchdown pass from quarterback Tyler Tettleton to wide receiver Donte Foster.
In the third quarter, Ohio began its comeback with the benefit of good luck. Landon Smith scored a 43-yard touchdown on a pass that was nearly intercepted. Penn State's Stephen Obeng-Agyapong tipped the ball, and Smith came up with it.
Ohio scored again in the third quarter on a run by Tyler Tettleton. Maybe that was surprising. The running part. We kind of expected Penn State to struggle with a young secondary, but its rush defense was still supposed to be stout. Toward the end of the game, Ohio had over 150 rushing yards, and the rushes helped the Bobcats run out the clock.
To think, this all started so promising. It started with Bill O'Brien running out of the tunnel, leading the team. That was new.
By the end of the first half, a true freshman had blocked a punt, and the quarterback had thrown the ball 26 times. Change has come to Happy Valley, and Penn State leads 14-3.
The Nittany Lions scored first in the final seconds of the first quarter when Bill Belton ran in from six yards out. Replacing the transferred Silas Redd, Belton has seven carries for 32 yards so far.
But that play was set up by a 15-yard pass to tight end Kyle Carter. That is what has really been new: passing. Matt McGloin has thrown the 26 times, completing 16 of his passes. Carter has four receptions. Wide receiver Allen Robinson has six. Last year, Robinson had three passes the whole season.
Penn State got its second touchdown after freshman Nyeem Wartman blocked an Ohio punt deep in Ohio's territory. Three plays later, McGloin connected with tight end Matt Lehman for a 14-yard touchdown pass.
Mark Dent: firstname.lastname@example.org, Twitter @mdent05. First Published September 1, 2012 6:15 PM