Several top-10 teams made statements with big wins on Saturday, and you can count Ohio State among them. The Buckeyes had a 28-0 lead on Penn State halfway through the second quarter, and they would eventually open a 63-7 lead in the second half before ultimately winning, 63-14.
The Buckeyes are on the outside of the national title picture looking in, and while the style points may not help them, the victory assured that they would remain in the hunt. It also effectively clears the way to an 11-0 start with Purdue, Indiana and Illinois up next.
Ohio State isn't being challenged by a tough schedule this season, leaving some questions about just how this team stacks up against the nation's best. Over at Land-Grant Holy Land, they're wondering if the defense is talented enough to stop a high-powered offense. The defense did a nice job containing the Nittany Lions, and LGHL's Ted Glover is encouraged by the performance:
Buy: This team being national championship caliber, if this defense is legit. The big concern, the 600-pound gorilla in the room, was whether or not the OSU defense could step up and stop a good offense for an entire game. You can argue how good Penn State's offense is, but they have playmakers, and it's an offense that posed matchup problems for Ohio State entering the game. We can split hairs on individual stats, like Bill Belton getting almost 100 yards on the ground, or Allen Robinson's big night, but make no mistake--this much maligned defense stepped up in a big way Saturday night.
Whether or not the Buckeyes get a shot at proving their national championship worthiness remains up in the air.
Penn State fans were left picking up the pieces from big defeat that also cost the team starting quarterback Christian Hackenberg, who left in the third quarter because of a shoulder injury. Devon Edwards of PSU blog Black Shoe Diaries discussed the limitations of the team after the game:
The Buckeyes are a good football team, and this Penn State one is a talented but extremely flawed one, flawed, especially defensively, in ways that are blatant and clear and easy for any well-coached offense to exploit, and flawed on offense with youth and with inexperience, destined to repeat the past because they must before it gets any better. It's not that Penn State didn't learn from the Indiana game, it's almost that they couldn't, and they certainly won't, so don't get your hopes up for any improvement the rest of the way.
Penn State has now given up at least 40 points in each of its last three games, including 44 to the Hoosiers. The defense allowed season worsts in points, total yards and yards per play against Ohio State.
Here are the highlights from Ohio State's victory: