for this game

Unbeaten Penn State stops Ohio State

Oct 26, 2008 - 4:46 AM COLUMBUS, Ohio (Ticker) -- "The Horseshoe" finally proved lucky for Penn State.

The third-ranked Nittany Lions stymied the 10th-ranked Buckeyes, 13-6, in a Big Ten Conference showdown Saturday before an Ohio Stadium record crowd of 105,711. The old mark of 105,708 was set in 2006 against Michigan.

A fourth-quarter fumble recovery led to a seven-play, 38-yard drive over 3:44 that was capped when backup quarterback Pat Devlin sneaked in from a yard out.

"Mentally, this is what we practiced every day," said Devlin, who entered the game when starter Daryll Clark was shaken up in the fourth quarter. "Surprisingly, I didn't have butterflies. I was confident in our offensive line. This is what you prepare for, you don't remember the fear."

Trailing 6-3, Penn State (9-0, 5-0 Big Ten) recovered a fumble when safety Mark Rubin popped the ball out of Terrelle Pryor's grip and - after a wild scramble - freshman linebacker Navorro Bowman came away with the ball with 10 minutes left.

Devlin came on in place of Clark, who had taken a blow to the head. The sophomore from Downingtown, Pennsylvania led the Nittany Lions to the game-winning score.

"I think Pat is a heck of a quarterback and we have two or maybe three guys I think are good," Penn State coach Joe Paterno said. "He had a lot of confidence and did everything you wanted him to do at the end of the game."

Kevin Kelly added a 35-yard field goal with 1:07 left to cap the scoring.

"I'm happy for the kids. They worked hard tonight against a good football team," Paterno said. "We changed a couple things at halftime and came out with a lot of confidence. They kept their poise and that one turnover was the ballgame because nobody had good field position until that play."

After a touchback on the last kickoff, Ohio State moved from its 20 to midfield before Pryor was intercepted by Lydell Sargeant at the goal line with less than a half-minute left.

Pryor passed for a career-high 226 yards, hitting 16-of-25 attempts with one interception. This was his first loss in six career starts.

"This is not what we saw for ourselves. This is not how we saw our season panning out," Ohio State senior punter A.J. Trapasso said. "Penn State is a good team, though, and played a good game.

"We played hard. We didn't get it done."

The Nittany Lions snapped a 10-game road losing streak against ranked opponents and beat Ohio State in Columbus for the first time since 1978. After a bye next week, the Nittany Lions are at Iowa on November 8 before finishing the season at home against Indiana and Michigan State.

"This week will definitely be a big help for our team," Paterno said. "We are tired after three tough games, two being away in tough enthusiastic crowds. There is a lot of emotional strain along with the physical. This week off will be good for us."

Ohio State coach Jim Tressel felt his offense needed to do more.

"Penn State did a nice job of moving and attacking the line of scrimmage," Tressel said. "And we did not run the ball nearly as well as we needed to, to score a lot more points than we did."

The Buckeyes (7-2, 4-1) had taken the lead at 6-3 in the third quarter when Aaron Pettrey kicked a 36-yard field goal. The key plays on the drive were passes from Pryor to Brandon Saine for 20 yards and Brian Robiskie for 17.

Penn State drove down the field. The drive eventually stalled and Kelly missed a 45-yard field goal early in the fourth quarter.

The game was almost dead-even after three quarters. Times of possession was 22:35-22:25 in favor of Penn State while total offense also favored the Nittany Lions, 221-219.

The first 30 minutes were a defensive stalemate with each team notching only a field goal.

Chris "Beanie" Wells finished with 22 carries for 55 yards for Ohio State, which totaled 61 yards rushing.

Kelly kicked a 31-yard field goal with 1:33 left in the half after an 11-play, 76-yard drive to open the scoring. The Buckeyes responded with a field goal by Pettrey from 41 yards to tie the contest at the end of the half.

"My experience in life is that the hardest ones are the ones I've grown the most from," Tressel said. "So it's a tough loss ... and I'm sure that we'll grow from it. So, that's all you can do."