Week 5 unit grades for Penn State game

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Down by one point with only 1:22 left in Saturday's game against Ohio State, Penn State chose to run the ball on a four-and-five within Buckeye territory.

No. 11 Penn State (4-1, 1-1 Big Ten) will not play this weekend, but will be back in action on October 13 for the Stripe Out game against No. 20 Michigan State. That is not a recipe for success no matter what environment you are playing in, but make no mistake, the Penn St fans had a lot to do with it.

Haskins' numbers (23-for-39, 270 yards) turned out solid, but his play also gave defensive coordinators a plan of attack: Apply as much heat as humanly possible.

Did a late defeat to Ohio State hurt the Nittany Lions' biggest hopes for the year? It was the first game between top 10 teams in State College since 1999.

Before running it, Penn State called two timeouts, while Ohio State called one to change its defensive front. Mixing runs and passes, the Buckeyes worked their way into Penn State territory.

An nearly complete absence of offense was the defining characteristic of the first half for Ohio State until a Penn State turnover set up OSU's only score in the first 30 minutes. Miles Sanders coughed up the ball after being hit by Ohio State linebacker Tuf Borland, and the Buckeyes' Dre'Mont Jones hopped on the ball at the Penn State 25. The first was a dazzling 47-yard catch-and-run by Binjimen Victor with 6:42 left that cut the PSU lead to 26-21. On the play, left guard Steven Gonzalez launched himself into Ohio State's second level, expecting Sanders to be behind him.

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Through the lens of Belichick's "think players not plays" philosophy, it's obvious what Penn State should have done. For the second time in September, the Buckeyes allowed a 93-yard touchdown, this time on a slant pass from McSorley to K.J. Hamler in the second quarter to make it 13-0. McSorley found tight end Pat Freiermuth for a 27-yard completion to the Ohio State 48. It stopped Penn State in its tracks and got it out of a rhythm. Ohio State's defense held Penn State to just a field goal despite the huge play.

Penn State had a 4th-and-5 at Ohio State's 43 with just over a minute left in the game and ran an inside draw that got stuffed for a loss. The run game is being led by the duo of J.K. Dobbins and Mike Weber, who have combined for 622 yards and five touchdowns. Hill from 24 yards out.

After yet another episode of what-the-hell-just-happened-out-there, Ohio State and Penn State and the 110,889 screamers who watched them in Beaver Stadium on Saturday night departed the premises in various stages of wooziness. Ohio State outgained Penn State by almost 100 yards to close things out. A targeting penalty on the Buckeyes added 15 more yards and knocked Hamler out of the game.

Trace McSorley had 461 total yards, including a career-high 175 rushing and threw two touchdown passes, and the Nittany Lions (4-1, 1-1) went up 26-14 with 8:00 left in the fourth quarter on a 1-yard TD plunge by Miles Sanders.

The Buckeyes will now be heavily favored in every game through the rest of the regular season, while Penn State will need Ohio State to lose twice to move atop the Big Ten East.

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