COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- Ted Ginn returned a punt 67 yards for a
touchdown and Tyler Everett ran back an interception for another
score to lead Ohio State to a 21-10 win over Penn State on
Two offenses ranked among the worst in the Big Ten struggled all
day, combining for four turnovers.
Neither team could pass in the gusting winds, with Penn State
going to the air for just 69 yards despite trailing all day and
Ohio State settling for 59 yards with a keepaway attack for the
final three quarters.
Ginn's return and Everett's TD in the first quarter gave the
Buckeyes (5-3, 2-3) an almost insurmountable lead against an Penn
State offense that was last in the conference in scoring and
Penn State (2-6, 0-5) lost its fifth game in a row. The Nittany
Lions lost six consecutive games just last season.
Penn State ran 16 plays in Ohio State territory in the opening
half (twice as many as the Buckeyes did on the Nittany Lions' side
of the field), had a 13-4 upper hand in first downs and a 157-63
advantage in total yards. Yet the Buckeyes led 21-7 thanks to two
Penn State turnovers, a long kick return by Maurice Hall and Ginn's
big punt return.
The Lions took the opening kickoff and drove to a first down at
the Ohio State 34, but a play later Michael Robinson's pass in the
right flat was intercepted by Ashton Youboty, who returned it 35
On their next possession, the Lions were forced to punt and Ginn
burned them. The freshman accelerated up the middle and then cut to
the Ohio State sideline for his second punt-return touchdown of the
season. He became only the fifth Buckeye to return two punts for
TDs in the same season and the first since Jeff Graham in 1990.
Three plays after the ensuing kickoff, Robinson's wide receiver
screen in the left flat was wide of the target and Everett ran
between two Penn State players to pick it off and return it 24
yards untouched for the score.
Ohio State ran a total of six plays and netted just 12 yards in
the first quarter but led 14-0.
The Buckeyes chipped in with a turnover of their own midway
through the second quarter when quarterback Troy Smith was hit from
behind by Matthew Rice and fumbled, with Derek Wake recovering at
the Ohio State 41. It took just six plays for Penn State to find
the end zone, Tony Hunt setting up his own 3-yard score by bursting
through a hole for a 26-yard gain.
It was only Penn State's third offensive touchdown in the Big
Ten this season.
Hall returned the ensuing kickoff 62 yards to the Penn State 35
-- at the same time setting Ohio State's career record for
kickoff-return yardage with 1,476 -- which led to Branden Joe's
4-yard touchdown run to push the lead back to 14 points.
The only points in the second half came on Robbie Gould's
21-yard field goal with 9:31 left, after Penn State coach Joe
Paterno disdained going for the touchdown from the Ohio State 3 on
Hunt finished with 85 rushing yards on 20 attempts, with
Robinson adding 58 on 20 carries. Robinson, filling in for Zack
Mills who missed the game with a concussion, completed just 7 of 21
passes with the two interceptions.
Hall rushed for 65 yards on 14 carries for the Buckeyes.
Smith hit on 6 of 8 passes without an interception as Ohio State
kept it on the ground and burned time off the clock after piling up
the early lead.