STATE COLLEGE, Pa. — Grant Haley returned a blocked field goal 60 yards for a touchdown with 4:27 left in the fourth quarter and Penn State upset No. 2 Ohio State 24-21 Saturday night for the Nittany Lions’ biggest win in the post-Joe Paterno era.
Penn State (5-2, 3-1 Big Ten) took its first lead when Marcus Allen leaped high to block Tyler Durbin’s 45-yard field goal attempt and Haley made the scoop and sprint to the end zone. The white out crowd of 107,280 at Beaver Stadium went nuts and Penn State’s defense closed out the Nittany Lions’ first victory against Ohio State since 2011 with two sacks of J.T. Barrett.
The Buckeyes (6-1, 4-1 Big Ten) had their 20-game road winning streak snapped and the Big Ten East race that looked like an inevitable march toward an Ohio State-Michigan showdown on Nov. 26 just took a detour.
Now Penn State is in the mix.
Trace McSorley cut the Ohio State lead to 21-14 early in the fourth quarter with a 2-yard touchdown run, and on the next Ohio State possession Cam Brown blocked Cameron Johnson’s punt to set up Penn State at the Buckeyes 28.
Ohio State forced Penn State to settle for Tyler Davis’ 34-yard field goal with 9:33 to make 21-17.
The Buckeyes were driving to try to seal the game, but it stalled and instead of padding their lead, they gave it up to Penn State.
Ohio State: The Buckeyes became the highest ranked team to lose to an unranked team this season. Problems with the passing game left them unable to put Penn State away and now their road to the playoff is much tougher.
Penn State: For the first time in James Franklin’s three-year tenure as coach, Penn State beat a ranked team and the Nittany Lions got to celebrate with their field-rushing fans.
Ohio State: The Buckeyes return home after two straight road games to face Northwestern, which is on a three-game winning streak.
Penn State: The Nittany Lions visit Purdue. Penn State has won seven straight meetings.