October 28, 2012 at 1:02 AM
With 91% of Penn State’s yards coming through the air, the offense was far from two-dimensional against the Buckeyes.
Matt McGloin threw for a career-high 324 yards, yet the offense sputtered on the ground with 32 total rushing yards.
Bill Belton followed up his 100-yard rushing performance last week with just 26 yards on the ground. He said the main difference this week was the strength of the Ohio State front seven.
“They’re real physical with you,” Belton said. “Up front, that was the best front seven that we probably will see all year.”
Coach Bill O’Brien’s ‘NASCAR’ offense, which has shined in recent weeks, was rarely used against the Buckeyes.
The slower-paced offense failed to grab much momentum and McGloin said mental errors were the biggest reason for this.
“We kind of beat ourselves tonight,” McGloin said.
“That determines whether or not you’re going to win the game. We can’t keep doing this. We can’t have drives [stalling] because we’re having offsides or miscommunication problems.”
Going hand-in-hand with the communication problems, McGloin’s protection struggled more than it has at any point during the Lions’ five-game winning streak.
The offensive line allowed four sacks, or half of the amount it had allowed in the first seven games combined.
McGloin said the lack of protection was primarily a result of the Buckeyes’ defensive line attacking Penn State with a powerful rushing attack.
“They were definitely well prepared,” McGloin said. “They knew what we were trying to do, and they brought a lot of pressure.”