The No. 4 Ohio State Buckeyes romped all over the Penn State Nittany Lions today in Columbus, 63-14, extending their unbeaten season to 8-0 and taking another step toward sealing a bid in the final season of the BCS.
Braxton Miller came out firing in this one -- the 6'2 junior completed all four of his pass attempts on the opening drive for 66 yards, and 15 of his first 18. It was Carlos Hyde who would finish things off on that first drive, though, kicking off the scoring with a two-yard touchdown run.
Penn State freshman phenom Christian Hackenberg led the Nittany Lions down the field to respond, but was picked off in the end zone, the first of two on the evening. Ohio State would punt on the next drive, so it didn't end up hurting the Nittany Lions directly, but Miller did soon after that -- he would dash 39 yards into the end zone to put Ohio State up two scores with 1:39 to go in the first.
That was the first of many scrambles for Miller on the evening -- some planned, some unplanned, but all of which immensely frustrated the Penn State defense, which proved unable to contain him. Though his Heisman chances are now shot, Miller showcased all the talent people expected of him coming into the season.
Ohio State's C.J. Barnett would reel in Hackenberg's second interception, and this time, Penn State would not be so fortunate. Miller would end the subsequent possession with a six-yard touchdown run -- his second on the evening -- putting Ohio State ahead 21-0 in the second quarter. Soon after that, he would throw a three-yard touchdown pass to Chris Fields to extend the lead to 28-0.
The Nittany Lions got on the board with a Hackenberg touchdown pass, but it would make little difference, as Ohio State tossed in two more scores of their own -- one on a connection from Miller to Corey Brown and one on a 39-yard touchdown run by Carlos Hyde.
It was 42-7 at halftime, and it didn't get better in the second half. Though the Buckeyes had the second string in by the middle of the third, Penn State was still unable to get anything of note going. A late touchdown to Allen Robinson would double their point total, but that was about it for the Nittany Lions.
Kenny Guiton -- OSU's backup quarterback -- nearly outscored Penn State by himself, with two second-half rushing touchdowns.
Box Score Hero: If you couldn't tell already, Braxton Miller gets this space. He threw for 252 yards on 18 of 24 passing and three touchdowns, while chipping in another 68 yards and two touchdowns on the ground.
Rankings Ramifications: Penn State was not ranked and will remain there after this one -- Ohio State is also unlikely to see any movement. They remain in the unenviable position of having to wait for a team above to lose.
But Did They Cover? Ohio State was a 16-point favorite coming in. Needless to say, the Buckeyes covered.
Next Week's Schedule: The Buckeyes will travel to Purdue next week. Penn State will host Illinois.