Sunday, October 28, 2007

No. 1 Ohio State routs Penn State

By Eric Redner
The Phanatic Magazine

Todd Boeckman threw three touchdowns as top-ranked Ohio State crushed 24th-ranked Penn State, 37-17, at Beaver Stadium.

Boeckman went 19-for-26 with 253 yards and an interception while Chris Wells had 25 carries for 133 yards for the Buckeyes (9-0, 5-0 Big Ten), who have 19 straight conference games and have tied the Big Ten record previously set by Michigan between 1990-92.

"It was great coming here and getting a win," said Ohio State coach Jim Tressel. "Penn State is a good football team. This is a hard place to play and a hard place to prepare to play in. They came out of the gate and made it tough on us. Our kids hung in there. We did a good job of controlling the tempo of the game with our offense."

Ohio State controlled the ball for 37 minutes and 52 seconds and racked up 200 yards on the ground.

Rodney Kinlaw had 14 carries for 81 yards and a score while Anthony Morelli went 12-for-21 with 111 yards and a costly interception that was returned for a touchdown for the Nittany Lions (6-3, 3-3), who were riding a three-game winning streak coming into the game.

"We couldn't stop them," said Penn State coach Joe Paterno. "That's a good football team. They played really well. I thought at halftime, we had a shot at it because they were kicking off to us. But, we couldn't make it happen."

The Buckeyes started the game with the ball and drove to the PSU 33, but the drive stalled there and the team settled for a 50-yard field goal from Ryan Pretorius with the wind at his back.

The Lions had an answer on their next possession. On 3rd-and-2, Kinlaw followed his lead blocker up the middle for a 21-yard gain. On the next play, Morelli used the play action and found Andrew Quarless wide open for a 30-yard play to set up 1st-and-goal. Three plays later, Kinlaw went untouched into the end zone from two yards out for a 7-3 lead with 8:25 left in the first quarter.

Ohio State, though, responded with a pair of touchdowns to take a 17-7 lead.

After getting the ball back, on a 1st-and-10 play Boeckman found Ray Small wide open near the Lions' 20 and the receiver hauled in the ball and took it to the eight-yard line on a 60-yard play. Two plays later, Boeckman hit Brian Robiskie near the right pylon for a nine-yard score with 4:59 left in the first.

After stopping the Lions on the ensuing possession, the Buckeyes got the ball back and made it a 10-point game as a 15-play, 91-yard drive that ate up over six minutes was capped off when Boeckman used the play action to the right, and connected Brian Hartline in the left flat. He made a defender miss on his way into the end zone from 16 yards out.

The Lions started the second half with the ball, but stalled at midfield and had to punt it away.

Ohio State then went on a 13-play, 87-yard drive that was capped off as Jake Ballard made a leaping catch in the right side of the end zone for a 15-yard score and a 24-7 lead with 6:10 left in the third.

Penn State cut into its deficit on its next touch as Kevin Kelly hit a 27-yard field goal with 1:27 left in the third.

However, the Buckeyes scored the next 13 points to put the game away.

A drive that spanned the third and fourth quarters, Ohio State took a 17-point lead as Pretorius booted a 37-yard field goal.

On the first play of Penn State's next possession, Morelli lofted a blind pass that Malcolm Jenkins easily picked off and raced untouched into the end zone for a 34-10 lead with 9:36 to play.

Pretorius' 35-yard field goal with 3:30 to play gave the Buckeyes a 37-10 advantage.

Penn State got a bit of life as A.J. Wallace returned the ensuing kickoff 97 yards for a touchdown, but it was with 3:16 to play and that was as close as it got.

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