Buckeye Flashback: Ohio State 13, Penn State 7
Ohio State and Penn State have only been playing regularly since 1993, but the Buckeyes and Nittany Lions have staged plenty of classic contests.
One stood above the rest in fan voting held earlier this year, and it came from Ohio State's most recent national championship season.
This game found Ohio State looking to move up from No. 4 in the national rankings and pitted star running backs Maurice Clarett and Larry Johnson against each other, but neither ended up having a major impact on the game.
No. 4 Ohio State 13
No. 18 Penn State 7
On a day when defense ruled, a flanker stole the show. With his team trailing 7-3 at the half, Chris Gamble picked off a pass thrown late over the middle by Penn State’s Zach Mills, then dodged and weaved his way down the west sideline to a 40-yard touchdown that electrified his home stadium and allowed the Buckeyes to lean heavily on their national championship blueprint for the year: a conservative offense and a stifling defense.
OSU held the Nittany Lions and record-breaking tailback Larry Johnson to 179 total yards, 58 in the second half. PSU gained only three first downs in the second half and its eight total first downs were the fewest they had made in the Joe Paterno era to that point.
As Penn State’s running game earned a net loss of six yards in the second half, the Buckeye defense, led by Will Smith, harassed Mills into a career-high three interceptions to go with his career-low 98 yards passing.
The Buckeyes gained only 253 yards themselves, but held a time-of-possession advantage of nearly a full quarter (37:27 to 22:31).
Craig Krenzel was the game’s leader in total yards with 151.
If you enjoyed that recap, you'll want to check out the other nominees and vote for your favorite.