Week 13: Penn State's division and playoff hopes extinguished in Columbus

J.J. Regan

Penn State saw its high hopes for the season fade in a loss to Ohio State, Virginia and VIrginia Tech are on a collision course, Navy is still in it and Maryland's tailspin got even worse.

Here's a recap of the Week 13's local college football action.

Ohio State 28, Penn State 17

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The good

Ohio State has steamrolled every team it has played this season. Its lowest margin of victory coming into Saturday was 24 points. It looked like this game would not be much different as the Buckeyes took a 21-0 lead into halftime. Give credit to Penn State for the way they battled back.

Quarterback Will Levis stepped in for an injured Sean Clifford and punched the ball in on a one-yard touchdown run to make it 21-14. Penn State would score 17 points in the third quarter to pull within four of the Buckeyes before a fourth-quarter touchdown for Ohio State put the game out of reach.

The bad

Justin Fields threw for only 188 yards. The real difference for Ohio State's offense was the running game which Penn State had no answer for. J.K. Dobbins rushed for 157 yards and two touchdowns while FIelds added another 68 yards on the ground.

The crazy

Just in case you forgot how dominant Ohio State defensive end Chase Young was while he was suspended for two games, he put the country on notice with an outstanding performance. He recorded nine total tackles, four tackles for loss and three, that's right, three sacks. He now has 16.5 on the year, breaking a school record for sacks in a single season.

Think about that. Young missed two games and still set the single-season record.

Virginia 55, Liberty 27

The good

A depleted Virginia secondary delivered the turning point of the game. Liberty led 14-10 in the first half and drove the ball down to UVA's 38, but quarterback Stephen Calvery was picked off by safety De'Vante Cross who returned it 52 yards beffore being brought down. The Cavaliers would score a touchdown on the resulting drive and they would not trail again.

The bad

Despite Cross' game-changing interception, Liberty was still able to move the ball through the air effectively throwing for 313 passing yards. Part of that was out of necessity. Calvert ended up completing less than 50-percent of his 40 passes, but he also threw two interceptions.

The crazy

On their first drive in the second half, the Cavaliers led 24-14 and faced a fourth and nine on Liberty's 31. Bronco Mendenhall dialed up a fake field goal and backup quarterback Brennan Armstong found linebacker Charles Snowden for a 24-yard pass. Two plays later, Virginia would get into the end zone for the toudhdown.

Navy 35, SMU 28

The good

If Navy was going to win this game, it would need a big game from Malcolm Perry and it got it. Perry rushed for 195 yards and two touchdowns on 38 carries. When the Midshipmen began to find success on the ground in the second half, SMU stacked the box and Perry began torching them through the air as he passed for 162 yards and another touchdown.

Navy took the lead with just over six minutes remaining then stopped SMU on a fourth-and-4 at their own 12 with less than three minutes left to go.

The bad

SMU's first score came on a kickoff return by receiver C.J. Sanders. He went 100 yards on the return tying the longest return in Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium history.

The crazy

The MIdshipmen won three games last season. In their third game in 2019, they lost by 12 to Memphis. Now they boast a record of 8-2 and are very much in contention for the AAC West Division. Navy just needs Memphis to lose which they could do against Cincinnati next week who already wrapped up the East Division.

Virginia Tech 28, Pitt 0

The good

Bud Foster's final game at Lane Stadium could not have been scripted better. The Hokies held the Panthers to 177 total yards, only 60 yards rushing, forced one turnover, held them on all three fourth-down attempts and obviously recorded the shutout. This is Virginia Tech's first back-to-back shutouts since 2005.

The bad

Yes, Foster still intends to retire at the end of the season. Justin Fuente was asked this after the game and told the media, "I think his mind is pretty made up."

The crazy

The win sets up a winner-take-all matchup with rival Virginia next week in Charlottesville. Considering that Virginia Tech went 0-2 in conference play to start the season including a 35-point blowout loss at home to Duke, it is amazing that the Hokies have gotten to this point.

Nebraska 54, Maryland 7

The good

The only positive from this game is that the season is almost over. This team seemingly has given up on the remainder of the 2019 season and the results speak for themself.

The bad

Where to begin.

The situation at quarterback is an unmitigated disaster. Four different players got onto the field at quarterback and not one completed 50-percent of his passes. As a team, the Terps completed seven out of 21 passes for 57 yards. No receiver on the team caught more than one pass. Maryland rushed for 149 yards, but the team's leading rusher, Javon Leake, fumbled the ball three times and Maryland lost all three.

Defensively, the Terps gave up 305 yards on the ground and 531 total. Adrian Martinez threw for 194 yards and rushed for another 94. He would score three total touchdowns.

The crazy

Not only did all of this happen on senior day, it also happened against a Nebraska team that had one win on the road, had lost four straight and whose last win came back on Oct. 5.

Week 13: Penn State's division and playoff hopes extinguished in Columbus originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington

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