The play became the focus of Penn State's postgame, though fourth and five is a low-percentage conversion play in college football - particularly with under a minute left. That's what the Badgers get for losing to BYU and scheduling Western Kentucky and New Mexico.
Maybe it was adjustments or exhausted legs or both, but the wheels slowly fell off in the fourth quarter as Penn State's biggest demons, open-field tackling, and a sudden inability to defend the screen, led to two pivotal Ohio State scoring drives. But that's a long shot - and a long way off. One week later, it was a three-point lead that didn't hold up in the final frame, losing to Michigan State 27-24.
"Absolutely", Sanders said when asked whether he thought the play would convert. Miles Sanders coughed up the ball after being hit by Ohio State linebacker Tuf Borland, and the Buckeyes' Dre'Mont Jones hopped on the ball at the Penn State 25. Hours before kickoff, Haskins replied: "You poking the wrong lion buddy". Haskins gets flustered by pressure, not hits.
Considering this group gave up 24 points in the first half to IL last week and then proceeded to give up 27 points to the No.2 ranked offense in the nation, it's hard to find much fault with the steps forward this unit made in such a short span. The first was a dazzling 47-yard catch-and-run by Binjimen Victor with 6:42 left that cut the PSU lead to 26-21. Dwayne Haskins has led the offense by throwing for 1,194 yards and 16 touchdowns with just one interceptions. Penn State coach James Franklin called two timeouts, and Ohio State coach Urban Meyer called one. "That was a bad call".
"I appreciate your input", Franklin responded. I attempt to give you an insight on how we got to the climax as well as describe how well each unit for the Buckeyes played in particular.
Instead, for the second straight season, Ohio State made a fourth-quarter rally from a double-digit deficit. With Ohio State focusing its efforts on stopping Trace McSorley, who had rushed for a career-high 175 yards, it had the blocking advantage in the box: Five blockers going up against four Buckeyes defenders.
"I fully believe we're the best punt team in America".
A great team makes big plays.
Four losses. By eight points. That, as Franklin eluded to, was an example of the Buckeyes getting their athletes in space and letting them make plays.
Frost might also need to be more disciplined in what he says.
"It was tough, but we wanted it to be tough", Haskins said.
"This one hurts, obviously", the coach said.
Exactly who made the call is unclear.
The Wolverines' front seven is spectacular, and Shea Patterson showed impressive mobility on a nine-yard scramble on a third-and-6 midway through the fourth quarter. Both moves by the officials hurt each team.
When push came to shove on the biggest defensive play of the season for Ohio State, Chase Young and his teammates delivered, and it was in Bosa-like fashion.