Saturday, September 1, 2012
Instant analysis: Ohio 24, Penn State 14
By Josh Moyer
It was over when: Tyler Tettleton ran up the middle for a 1-yard touchdown in the third quarter. Penn State trailed for the first time all game after that -- 17-14 -- and couldn't recover. Tettleton made his presence felt after throwing two passes longer than 30 yards on back-to-back drives, but that short run clinched it.
Game ball goes to: Tettleton. He disappeared in the first half but came on strong in the second. The Ohio signal-caller led his team to three touchdown drives, and threw for 207 yards in the second half. The Bobcats wouldn't have won without him.
Stat of the game: Four. That's the number of passing plays longer than 25 yards that Penn State's defense allowed. Three of those came during Ohio's three touchdown drives.
Second guessing: Putting in a linebacker on the kick returns was a gutsy idea ... but definitely an unusual one. Gerald Hodges returned three kicks and made at least two questionable plays before he was pulled. He fumbled a punt return and brought the ball out of the end zone, ending up at the 12 on the opening kickoff. This experiment might be over.
Best call: With 2:59 left in the game, on 3rd-and-Goal from the 5, Ohio lined up with three receivers in the shotgun. Tettleton found Donte Foster in the corner of the end zone to ice the game and put the score at 24-14.
What we learned about PSU: Penn State's offense has potential, and the secondary's in trouble. The offense had a few mistakes -- one fumble, at least four dropped passes -- but it moved the ball downfield better than last season. The secondary was picked on in the second half and, as most thought, appears to be the weak link to the defense. Ohio's fourth-quarter drive -- 14 plays, 93 yards -- showed Penn State's defense might not dominate like past years.
Who we should see more of: For Ohio, Beau Blankenship appears to be a guy to watch in both the running game and passing game. He ran for 109 yards and led the team in receptions (7). For Penn State, Allen Robinson had a strong debut. He had six catches for 74 yards in the first quarter. Yes, just one quarter. His route-running separates him from other receivers here, and he'll lead the team in receptions this season.