No. 2 Ohio State overcame three fumbles and a second-half rally by No. 8 Penn State to emerge with a 28-17 win in Columbus, Ohio, on Saturday.
Ohio State (11-0, 8-0 Big Ten) clinched the East Division but it wasn’t easy as the Nittany Lions (9-2, 6-2) almost erased a 21-point, third-quarter deficit.
After the Buckeyes saw their 21-0 lead shrink to 21-17, Justin Fields threw a 28-yard touchdown pass to Chris Olave with 13:18 left in the fourth quarter for the final margin.
Fields was 16 for 22 for 188 yards and two TDs. He added 68 yards on the ground but lost two fumbles.
Junior J.K. Dobbins rushed for 157 yards on 36 carries and two TDs for the Buckeyes but also lost a fumble.
Trailing 21-0 in the third quarter, the Nittany Lions stunned the Buckeyes for 17 points in 3:57, including TDs 25 seconds apart.
Redshirt freshman Will Levis replaced the injured Sean Clifford midway through the first scoring drive that finished with a Journey Brown 18-yard run to make it 21-7.
Dobbins fumbled when the Buckeyes got the ball back and Penn State took over at the Ohio State 12. Levis rushed for a 1-yard TD two plays later.
On the next possession Fields fumbled again at the Ohio State 35. Penn State had a first-and-10 at the 11 but settled for a Jake Pinegar 42-yard field goal to make it 21-17 with 4:22 left in the third quarter.
Ohio State took a 14-0 halftime lead on two Dobbins’ touchdown runs, and Fields had 24-yard TD pass to K.J. Hill early in the third to make it 21-0.
Levis was 6 for 11 for 57 yards and an interception and ran for 34 yards on 19 carries. Clifford was 10 of 17 for 71 yards, and Brown had 64 yards on 11 carries.
Ohio State junior defensive end Chase Young returned after serving a two-game suspension for accepting an improper loan. He had three sacks, giving him 16.5 for the season.
–Field Level Media (@FieldLevelMedia)