Five takeaways from No.6 Ohio State’s 33-24 win over No.22 Penn State

Head coach Ryan Day looks onto the field ahead of the Ohio State-Penn State game on Saturday. Ohio State won 33-24. Credit: Gabe Haferman | Photo editor assistant

The Ohio State No.6 has crushed his opponents in the past four weeks, but the Penn State No.22 gave the Buckeyes a fight they haven’t seen in week three.

The Buckeyes (7-1, 5-0 Big Ten) worked their way to a 33-24 victory over the Nittany Lions (5-3, 2-3 Big Ten) on Saturday at Ohio Stadium behind the Scarlet Sea in the stands .

Here are five things we learned from the win, as the Buckeyes dropped a spot in the AP Poll’s Top 25.

The rushmen have after Sean Clifford

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Ohio State junior defensive end Zach Harrison (9) jumps to crush a pass in the Ohio State-Penn State game on Saturday. Ohio State won 33-24. Credit: Mackenzie Shanklin | Photo editor

Penn State redshirt senior quarterback Sean Clifford had 361 yards in the air – the second-tallest for the Cincinnati native this season.

It didn’t tell the story, however, as he was under pressure all day, getting shot four times and rushing five more.

There were two pivotal moments when Ohio State chased Clifford, which led to his two turnovers.

Senior defensive end Tyreke Smith exploded in the end, blowing through junior offensive lineman Bryce Effner for his second sack in as many weeks since returning from injury.

Smith released the ball, falling directly into the hands of senior defensive tackle Jerron Cage who took it 57 yards the other way for Ohio State’s second touchdown of the game.

Clifford’s other turnout was also forced by the pressure, as the scramble was on his face, hitting his arm and forcing the float that junior cornerback Cameron Brown got. The Buckeyes led down and scored a basket to extend Ohio State’s lead to six.

Noah Ruggles hit him through the sticks

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Ohio State graduate kicker Noah Ruggles (95) hits a basket during the Ohio State-Penn State game on Saturday. Ohio State won 33-24. Credit: Gabe Haferman | Photo editor assistant

Ahead of Saturday’s game, graduate kicker Noah Ruggles had scored four field goals in the previous four weeks combined.

He tied that total against Penn State.

The Ohio State offense made it easier for Ruggles, however. The Buckeyes would travel to the red zone and fail to hit him, ending 4 of 6 red zone trips in field goals.

Over time, the role of Ruggles became more and more important as the improved play of both defenses gained points. The last two practices, not counting knees down late in the game, resulted in hoops of 25 and 26 yards to give the Buckeyes a two-goal lead and end the game.

Ruggles has yet to miss a kick this season, now 11 for 11 on field goals and 47 for 47 on extra points.

TreVeyon Henderson rebounded well after just 14 total yards in the first half

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Ohio State running back TreVeyon Henderson (32) evades Penn State defense in the Ohio State-Penn State game on Saturday. Ohio State won 33-24. Credit: Gabe Haferman | Photo editor assistant

Running back TreVeyon Henderson presented himself well in college football, which made the game easy in his first seven games of his career at Ohio State.

Game 8 presented a challenge for Henderson.

The open lanes he had to run at the start of the season were plugged by Penn State linebackers, making life difficult for Henderson to reach second tier, leading to just 14 yards on the ground in the first half.

Then, in the third quarter, as the student body sang Bon Jovi’s “Livin ‘on a Prayer,” Henderson smashed a 68-yard run to the 3-yard line – his longest sprint of the game.

He was paid two games later in a one-yard run, extending his streak of goals scored in every game as a Buckeye.

The Hopewell, Va. Native finished with 152 yards on 28 carries with one touchdown.

Pre-snap penalties hurt Ohio state

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Ryan Day coaches his team on the sidelines in the Ohio State-Penn State game on Saturday. Ohio State won 33-24. Credit: Mackenzie Shanklin | Photo editor

Generally hostile environments like the ‘Shoe create pre-crash issues for opposing teams, but the Buckeyes have fixed that on their own.

Ohio State is already one of the Big Ten’s most penalized teams, averaging more than six penalties per game.

The offense registered five false starts and red-shirted first-year center Luke Wypler committed two instantaneous infractions.

Three of the five false starts were made by players in skill positions in senior wide receivers Chris Olave and junior Garrett Wilson and Henderson.

Henderson’s false start in the third quarter particularly hurt the Buckeyes’ momentum as they lined up on Penn State’s fourth and 1-yard line goal – a potential touchdown that would have stretched the lead to 10 points. .

Ohio State managed to weather the penalties this time around, but in potential future top 10 clashes against the No.5 Michigan State and No.9 Michigan in the final two weeks of the regular season, this may not be so lucky.

Jaxon Smith-Njigba quietly emerges as a CJ Stroud staple

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Ohio State Redshirt freshman quarterback CJ Stroud (7) prepares for an assist in the Ohio State-Penn State game on Saturday. Ohio State won 33-24. Credit: Mackenzie Shanklin | Photo editor

Despite being a consensus No.3 wide receiver in the loaded Ohio State room, sophomore Jaxon Smith-Njigba led the team in receiving yards for his second straight week against Penn State.

It almost mirrored his performance against Indiana a week ago with six catches and 97 yards this week, and two of them were especially important.

The first reception came on a third and nine in the first quarter. Redshirt first-year quarterback CJ Stroud found Smith-Njigba 11 yards to move the chains, extending the drive that ended in a field goal.

The next came in the second half after the Nittany Lions tied the game at 17. In the Buckeyes’ first drive play that followed, Smith-Njigba turned a short pass into a 58-yard gain to the 17-line. Penn State yards.

While Ohio State had to settle for one more field goal as they reached the red zone, Smith-Njigba’s ability to post-catch yards certainly helped the Buckeyes regain the lead.

He’s no stranger to big games, either. After racking up a career-high 145 yards against Oregon, the Rockwall, Texas native has had at least five catches and 90 yards in four of the last five games.

With Wilson and Olave drawing the attention of defensive coordinators and opposition No.1 and 2 corners, this allows Smith-Njigba’s next level of agility and running to serve as a safety blanket for Stroud to turn around. again and again.

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