While Penn State had a lot of momentum after blocking a punt for a touchdown in the second quarter against Ohio State on Saturday, it went away on the game’s next punt.
The Nittany Lions were flagged for a holding call on a punt, which was fair caught by Jesse Della Valle. The call resulted in an automatic first down for the Buckeyes, and they scored their first points of the game on the possession.
“It was obviously a big penalty, but that drive following, it killed our momentum,” said linebacker Mike Hull, who blocked the punt for Penn State’s first touchdown. “It kind of changed the game from that standpoint.”
In the second half, tides turned again when Penn State lined up to punt. Bill O’Brien called a fake punt, but it was poorly executed by punter Alex Butterworth.
Instead of punting, Butterworth was called on to throw the ball on a 4th-and-9. Hull and Derek Day were the targets on the play, and while Hull noted he was open, Butterworth lobbed a pass to Day, which fell incomplete.
Ohio State took over at its own 43-yard line, and the team went down the field and scored a touchdown to take an 11-point lead.
“On the fake punt I just felt like at that point in time we wanted to get something going and we had it, we just didn’t execute it as well as we could have at that point,” O’Brien said. “So again, we got to coach it better and I was just trying to make a play there.”
Day to remember
Offense: WR Brandon Moseby-Felder
Coming off a solid showing against Iowa, Moseby-Felder had another good performance in the loss. The wideout had four catches for a career-best 70 yards.
More than half of his production came on a 42-yard reception in the third quarter in which Moseby-Felder nearly found the endzone.
Defense: DT James Terry
The senior made two tackles against the Buckeyes and recorded his first sack of the season. Though Penn State’s penalty on a punt followed it, Terry took down Ohio State quarterback Braxton Miller for a loss of three on a third down in the second quarter.
Day to forget
Offense: RB Bill Belton
Penn State struggled on the ground all night against Ohio State, and Belton was limited to 26 yards on 10 carries. This was a step back for the sophomore, who went off for 103 yards and three touchdowns against Iowa.
Defense: S Stephen Obeng-Agyapong
Many members of Penn State’s front seven will probably have flashbacks of missed tackles, and Miller jukes, but Obeng-Agyapong missed a golden opportunity in the first quarter. The safety undercut a route and had a pass from Miller bounce off his chest.
If Obeng-Agyapong was able to make the play, it’s likely he would’ve been able to walk into the endzone for the game’s first points.
Did you notice?
Butterworth was practicing field goals during warmups. After the game, kicker Sam Ficken said Butterworth had recently started kicking at practice and is now the backup kicker.
“[Butterworth] kicked in high school, it’s not too hard to pick up if you’ve done it before,” Ficken said.
Adrian Amos picked off Miller in the third quarter for his second career interception. It was the Lions’ seventh interception of the season, but the first by a member of their secondary.
Tight end Garry Gilliam on Penn State’s offensive line against Ohio State’s pressure: “Our offensive line has to handle that. Whether it’s a big guy, a little guy or whatever schemes they’re doing. We prepare for that stuff. You got to bring your big boy pants to handle it. I think we did well, we just didn’t do it to our potential where it needed to be exactly.”
To email reporter: email@example.com