October 28, 2012 at 12:52 AM
The first person Bill O'Brien blamed for Penn State's 35-23 loss to Ohio State was himself.
"Well it starts with me," O'Brien said. "I didn’t do a very good job tonight as the head football coach and I have to do a much better job for this football team. And so yeah, we made mistakes but we win as a team, we lose as a team and it starts with me."
O'Brien's made some aggressive plays on special teams Saturday, opting against a field goal attempt when the Nittany Lions were fourth-and-12 from the Buckeye's 25-yard line. He also attempted to fake a punt with Alex Butterworth in the third quarter, but Butterworth threw an incomplete pass.
The Lions strung together several opportunities on Saturday, on offense and defense, but penalties often fizzled their momentum. They were flagged nine times for 85 yards. Many were committed by the offense, which kept Ohio State's offense on the field.
"The penalties were killing us at the end of the day," defensive end Deion Barnes said. "We [forced] a couple 3-and-outs, and then you have a 15 yard penalty where they keep staying on the field. One time the punt there was a penalty right there and we had a 3-and-out and they get back on the field. Penalties killed us."
And Ohio State quarterback Braxton Miller was able to make some plays. Miller started off slow, missing open receivers on several occasions. But he eventually started making plays with his legs, scoring two touchdowns on the ground.
Penn State's offense struggled to stay on the same page, too. McGloin was often under duress in the pocket, and he didn't connect as often with his favorite targets.
"I think a lot of times, we really killed ourselves," wide receiver Allen Robinson said. "Just some miscommunication with the line, missed assignments by the backs and receivers. I think it's a game that we definitely could have made some big plays. Kyle had a couple of big plays. I had a big catch early in the game. Brandon had a big play. I think that we were able to make big plays, we just couldn't finish them."