Instant reaction: Penn State runs out of gas as Ohio State flexes once again, 44-31

Penn State fans have become all too familiar with the script that played out on Saturday against Ohio State. Despite a valiant effort that saw the Nittany Lions own a 21-16 lead on the Buckeyes in the fourth quarter, Ohio State came up with all of the big plays needed to turn the game in their favor in a stunning 44-31 setback on Saturday afternoon in Beaver Stadium.

Penn State used a 13-play drive to take an improbable 21-16 lead on the Buckeyes in the fourth quarter. The drive included a pair of missed field goal tries by Jake Pinegar that were negated by penalty flags, a fumble by Mithcell Tinsley at the goal line that was recovered by Penn State and a fourth-down decision to go for the go-ahead touchdown. But quickly after that, Ohio State used three big plays to regain the lead and the game imploded for the Nittany Lions from there. The offense turned the football over twice, each leading to quick Ohio State touchdowns.

Ohio State defensive lineman J.T. Tuimoloau turned in a stellar performance with two sacks, two interceptions with one returned for a touchdown, a forced fumble and recovery as Penn State had no answers for the likely Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week. Sean Clifford was intercepted on each of Penn State’s first two possessions and he was stripped and intercepted by Tuimoloau in the fourth quarter.

Clifford had 371 passing yards and three touchdowns but three interceptions and a lost fumble were mistakes that cost Penn State in a big way. Ohio State scored 21 points off four Penn State turnovers. Penn State did well to limit Ohio State’s explosive plays for much of the game, although Marvin Harrison Jr. pulled in 185 yards on 10 receptions in the passing game. Penn State’s Parker Washington had some big moments as well with 179 yards, including a 58-yard touchdown.

Ohio State running back TreyVeon Henderson had 69 rushing yards in the game, but it was his 41-yard scamper in the fourth quarter that turned the game for good, giving Ohio State a lead it never looked back on.

Penn State will be on the road next week to face Indiana. Ohio State will be back on the road next week at Northwestern.

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Story originally appeared on Nittany Lions Wire