Penn State started a new era of Nittany Lion football on Saturday with a disappointing 24-14 loss to Ohio. After an ugly first half, the Bobcats would take control in the second half, coming back from an 11-point deficit and scoring three touchdowns to walk out of Happy Valley with the upset. It was heralded as the biggest win in program history.
Ohio entered the game projected as one of the top teams in the MAC but Frank Solich's offense struggled in the first half. That changed after the intermission as Tyler Tettleton opened the second half by moving the Bobcats down the field for a 12-play touchdown drive. Tettleton caught a lucky break when he heaved it into double coverage in the middle of the field. The tipped ball fell right into the hands of Landon Smith, who covered the final 43 yards for the Bobcats first touchdown of the game. The quick strike cut the lead to 14-10.
OU would take the lead for good on their next drive, as Tettleton plunged into the pile from one-yard out to break the plane. It was a close call in the scrum on the goal line, but replay review upheld the touchdown and the Bobcats took the 17-14 lead.
The Bobcats would seal the game with a clock-killing drive in the fourth quarter that ended with a pretty Tettleton touchdown pass to Donte Foster in the left corner of the end zone. The drive started on OU's own seven-yard line and ate up nearly seven minutes of clock time, taking the Beaver Stadium crowd out of it.
Bill O'Brien's team didn't exactly light it up in the first half, but the offense was steady and took advantage of the mistakes made by their MAC opponent. PSU started the game with an impressive drive, executing O'Brien's script and moving the ball through the first 11 plays until the drive disappointingly ended with a Bill Belton fumble.
The Nittany Lions would get on the board two drives later, however, to break the scoreless tie as the first quarter came to a close. Matt McGloin dumped it off to Belton who took it to the right pylon from six yards out for the 7-0 lead. Penn State would then add to a 7-3 lead on their final possession of the second quarter, taking advantage of a blocked punt. PSU got to the OU punter inside the 20, and the Nittany Lions recovered after the deflected ball shot up in the air. McGloin hit Matt Lehman in the right flat and the PSU tight end cut it up to take it in for the 14-yard score.
The two scores at the end of the first and second quarter would be it for the PSU offense, however, as the Bobcats stormed back with the 21 unanswered points in the second half.
Box Score Hero: Tyler Tettleton finished the game 31 of 41 for 324 yards and two touchdowns for the Bobcats. He also carried it nine times for 47 yards and a touchdown, averaging more than five yards per carry.
Rankings Ramifications: Ohio, which was projected as the top team in the MAC, may start receiving some votes in the polls
But Did They Cover? OU pulled off the upset as Penn State could not cover the six-point spread.
Next Week's Schedule: Penn State visits Virginia in a nationally televised game. Ohio will host New Mexico State in Athens.