Penn State's defense plays tough with two veterans back on the field

Well after the biggest victory of the post-Joe Paterno era was over, the cries of "We Are!"

In many ways, the loss to Penn State provides an opportunity for the Buckeyes to get back on track to what we saw early on in the season.

Ohio State is coming off a surprising 24-21 loss at Penn State this past weekend despite leading 21-7 in the fourth quarter.

"Our defense is unbelievable", coach James Franklin said.

"It was a lot of little things that in games like that become big things when exploited", he said. But I feel that everybody is on the same page this year, everybody wants the same goal and there aren't hidden agendas.

Northwestern is 0-5 ATS in its last five games against Ohio State.

That's not what Franklin's team did, though. "And their first against a top-five team since 1999 (Arizona)".

∫ First against a top-two team since 1990 against No. 1 Notre Dame.

21 points for the nation's No. 2 team. The Buckeyes are still hopeful with a game against MI still on the schedule, but the loss to Penn State on Saturday was a blow to the program and much like Louisville, help is needed to get inside the top four before seasons end.

Playoff? You kidding me?

All things considered after Penn State upset then-No.

The Buckeyes (6-1, 4-1 Big Ten) had their 20-game road winning streak snapped and the Big Ten East race that looked like an inevitable march toward an Ohio State-Michigan showdown on November 26 in Columbus, Ohio, took a bit of a detour.

It is, perhaps, this depth that could keep the Buckeyes in the College Football Playoff top-four, assuming that they win out and defeat MI in November, and which vicariously benefits the rest of the Big Ten.

Urban Meyer is one of the best head coaches in College Football, and will likely be in the Hall of Fame when he officially retires.

The Buckeyes are in much better position to recover. That means double-digit victories over Northwestern, Maryland, and Michigan State as well as wins by any means over Nebraska and Michigan.

Entering this game, the Nittany Lions had only five senior starters, with two on offense, but there's normal depth at every position group, including an O-line that was paper thin through Franklin's first two years. "This is who we are".

At the start of each season, you are the team that everyone on your schedule puts a big, fat, red circle over. Barrett was 28 for 43 for 245 yards and he was sacked six times as the Buckeyes, especially right tackle Isaiah Prince, struggled to protect their quarterback.

"I said this very, very early on that for us to get where we wanted to be we need this entire community together and a win like tonight, I know I'm biased, but I believe that football has the ability to bring a community together like nothing else, so I want to thank everybody."

Defensive line: The Lions were formidable against the troublesome Ohio State running game and they forced J.T. Barrett to make some hasty decisions. The win, combined with Ohio State's loss, makes the Tide the clear team to beat in the nation. The way Michigan State has utterly collapsed, maybe this week's game in East Lansing won't e that much harder than the trip to Piscataway. Outstanding guard JaQuan Lyle (11.2, 4.7) returns, along with guard Williams (8.3, 1.8) and 7-foot centre Trevor Thompson (6.5, 5.1), who tested the National Basketball Association waters but didn't make the leap. Instead a sack mucked up that drive and Ohio State punted from the Penn State 38.

Basically, because of tiebreakers, the Nittany Lions will need Michigan to lose two of their next five games, at Michigan State, vs. Maryland, at Iowa, vs. IN and at Ohio State. Even with the reductions of scholarships, Penn State has yet to finish a season under.500 with the sanctions in place.

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