Harrison Jr. The Difference As No. 3 Ohio State Defeats No. 7 Penn State 20-12 In A Defensive Struggle


No. 3 Ohio State’s Marvin Harrison Jr. made the difference individual In a crucial Big Ten game, and the savage Buckeyes’ defense took care of the rest.

No. 7 Penn State was defeated 20–12 by Ohio State on Saturday thanks to 11 receptions for 162 yards and a late touchdown from Harrison. With a dominating defensive performance, Ohio State’s winning run in the series now stands at seven games against Drew Allar and the Nittany Lions (6-1, 3-1 Big Ten).

With 29 seconds remaining in the game, Penn State managed to cross the end zone, but it took them 58 minutes to convert a third or fourth down. Penn State’s first fifteen third-down attempts were unsuccessful in conversions.

Against Penn State’s tight defense, the Buckeyes (7-0, 4-0) amassed 367 total yards, a season-high effort led by Kyle McCord, who was 22 for 35 for 286 yards.

“I’m not sure if we didn’t just watch the two of the best teams in college football, specifically on the defensive side of the ball,” Penn State coach James Franklin said.

He added: “The story of the game came down to third down. We weren’t able to stay on the field, which was the biggest difference in the game.”

Penn State’s greatest moment was short-lived.

Linebacker Curtis Jacobs of the Nittany Lions startled the Ohio Stadium crowd in the first half by pinning McCord’s ball, recovering the fumble, and sprinting 60 yards in the opposite direction for what appeared to be a score. Nevertheless, the defensive holding penalty rendered the play invalid.

After five plays, Miyan Williamson scored the game’s first touchdown for the Buckeyes from two yards out. At an average of less than two yards per carry, Williams accounted for 56 of Ohio State’s 79 running yards.

For both teams, Harrison was their only trustworthy attacking weapon. With 4:07 remaining, he took a pass that was crossing the middle and raced 18 yards for a score that made it 20–6.

“I think most teams, the first thing they look at is how to take away Marvin Harrison,” Ohio State coach Ryan Day said. “I think we targeted him 16 times, and he was open on most of those plays. He showed up in a big spot today again. I haven’t seen everybody play across the country, but it would be hard for me to find somebody who’s better in the country. I don’t know how he gets on these lists or doesn’t get on these lists, but to me he’s one of the most special players in the country.”

The Nittany Lions were shut out in the second half until Allar hit Kaden Saunders for an 8-yard touchdown in the last 30 seconds. In the first half, Alex Felkins was only able to muster field goals of 40 and 41 yards.

Allar was sacked four times by the Buckeyes.

“It sucks to lose like this — especially on the road,” Allar said. “(They’re) a really good team.”