Ohio State edges Penn St.

Antelope Valley Press (Sunday) - - Sports - By MITCH STACY

J.K. Dob­bins rushed for 157 yards and two touch­downs and No. 2 Ohio State locked up the Big Ten East ti­tle Satur­day, sur­viv­ing its first real test of the sea­son with a 28-17 vic­tory over No. 9 Penn State. The Buck­eyes held on after Penn State ( 9- 2, 7- 2 Big Ten) took ad­van­tage of two sec­ond­half turnovers to climb back into the game in the third quar­ter after go­ing down 21-0.

COLUM­BUS, Ohio — After cruis­ing through the first 10 games against teams that didn’t put up much a fight, No. 2 Ohio State found it­self in a slugfest with No. 9 Penn State.

The Buck­eyes re­sponded, win­ning with de­fense.

Justin Hil­lard in­ter­cepted Penn State backup Will Le­vis’ pass and the Buck­eyes stopped the Nit­tany Lions on fourth down on two late drives to seal a 28-17 vic­tory and lock up the Big Ten East ti­tle.

J.K. Dob­bins rushed for 157 yards and two touch­downs, and Justin Fields threw for 188 yards and two scores for Ohio State (10-0, 8-0).

Ohio State held on after Penn State (9-2, 7-2) took ad­van­tage of two se­cond-half turnovers to climb back in the game after trail­ing 21-0. This was a far dif­fer­ent sce­nario for Ohio State, which hadn’t yet had to play hard into the se­cond half.

“We talked about go­ing into a big heavy­weight match, and you have to take shots,” Ohio State coach Ryan Day said. “One of the things about play­ing in a game like this is you have to be will­ing to take punches and you have to not flinch when it hap­pens. That was a great ex­am­ple. That was the first time we re­ally were tak­ing shots there.”

The Buck­eyes were cling­ing to a 21-17 lead early in the fourth quar­ter when Fields threw a 28-yard touch­down pass to Chris Olave to cre­ate some breath­ing room.

Ohio State, with Chase Young back from a two-game sus­pen­sion, then got the in­ter­cep­tion from Hil­lard be­fore shut­ting down two late Penn State drives on fourth down, aided by deaf­en­ing crowd noise. The last drive in­cluded back-to-back sacks of backup quar­ter­back Will Le­vis by Young and line­backer Baron Brown­ing. FIELDS FIGHTS BACK Fields fum­bled away the ball twice, once as he was cross­ing the goal line for what would have been a touch­down. But he got crit­i­cal yards on the ground, rush­ing for 68 yards on 21 car­ries and threw beau­ti­ful se­cond half touch­down passes to K.J. Hill and Olave.

And he got knocked around plenty, and at one point late in the game was slow to get up after be­ing sacked but stayed in the game.

“He’s a war­rior, I’m telling you,” Day said. “He’s got the heart of a lion.”

CHASE RE­TURNS

Young was back in ac­tion after sit­ting out two games as a penalty for break­ing the rules by ac­cept­ing a per­sonal loan. And he was a force, pick­ing up nine tack­les, in­clud­ing three sacks. He has 16 1/2 for the sea­son, the most ever by a Buck­eye. CLIF­FORD OUT Fresh­man QB Le­vis fin­ished up Penn State’s first scor­ing drive in the third quar­ter — capped by an 18-yard touch­down run by Jour­ney Brown — after Sean Clif­ford left the game with an in­jury. Coach James Franklin said Clif­ford was avail­able to come back in but wasn’t 100% so he stayed with Le­vis, who scored on a 1-yard run in the third quar­ter.

As­so­ci­ated Press

CLOSE Ohio State re­ceiver Gar­rett Wil­son, right, runs after a catch as Penn State de­fend­ers make the tackle dur­ing the first half of a game on Satur­day in Colum­bus, Ohio.

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