Saturday, November 19, 2011
Bucked from Big Ten contention
The Penn State Nittany Lions' Big Ten title dreams remain alive while the Ohio State Buckeyes' are officially over. Penn State’s 20-14 win over the Buckeyes means that for the first time since 2004, Ohio State will not earn at least a share of the conference title.
Penn State rebounded from its tough loss to the Nebraska Cornhuskers last week to give interim coach Tom Bradley his first career win. The last Penn State coach to earn a win besides Joe Paterno was Charles “Rip" Engle on December 4, 1965.
Penn State’s defense held Ohio State scoreless in the second half and forced two key turnovers. They now lead the Big Ten with 25 turnovers this season. The Buckeyes were also the seventh Penn State opponent in 11 games this season to be held under 300 yards of total offense.
Ohio State has now lost five games in a season for the first time since 2004, and has lost two games in November for the first time since 1999. They finished 6-6 that year and didn’t reach a bowl game after losing their final three games of the season.
The focus for Penn State now turns to next week’s matchup with the Wisconsin Badgers. The winner of that game will clinch the Big Ten Leaders division and a berth in the Big Ten Championship game.
Something’s gotta give in Madison next Saturday, as the Nittany Lions will bring their perfect 4-0 road record to Camp Randall, where the Badgers are 6-0 this season and outscoring opponents by more than 40 points per game.
Penn State beat Wisconsin 48-7 in its last trip to Madison in 2008, a game that was both its largest-ever win against the Badgers and the most points Penn State has ever scored against Wisconsin.
Elsewhere around CFB Nation
• The Houston Cougars improve to 11-0 for the first time in school history as they beat SMU 37-7. Case Keenum racks up two more NCAA career records, passing Graham Harrell in completions (1,427 to 1,403) while tying Timmy Chang with his 36th 300-yard passing game.
• The North Carolina State Wolfpack upset No. 7 Clemson 37-13 for their first win against an AP top-10 team since 2005 when they beat No. 9 Florida State. Wolfpack defensive back David Amerson intercepted his 11th pass of the season, tying the ACC record for most interceptions in a season set by UNC's Dre' Bly in 1996.
• The Arkansas Razorbacks defeat Mississippi State 44-17 as they improve to 10-1 heading into next week’s showdown with the LSU Tigers. Tyler Wilson (365 yards) now has 3,215 yards this season, joining Ryan Mallet as the only players in Arkansas history to throw for at least 3,000 yards in a season.