Thursday, December 14, 2017
Sports

Upset loss to Penn State exposes Buckeyes' flaws

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. — After a loss, so much seems wrong with Ohio State. Even though very little has changed.

The passing game has all kinds of problems, from poor protection to lack of separation by the receivers. Ohio State's most explosive player touched the ball only 10 times against Penn State. The special teams came undone in that 24-21 loss Saturday night.

Coach Urban Meyer fell back on a most common coaching cliche after the then-No. 2 Buckeyes let one slip away in Happy Valley: "Well, every goal is still alive."

But, he added: "We're just not a great team right now."

The Buckeyes outgained Penn State 413-276 and held the ball for almost 15 more minutes. Ohio State went up 21-7 in the third quarter after Curtis Samuel ripped off a 74-yard run on one of his 10 touches, then Penn State gave up a safety.

A few minutes later Ohio State had second and 5 at the Penn State 40, but a sack mucked up that drive.

Ohio State forced a three-and-out, but a sack stalled another drive. The Buckeyes allowed six sacks after allowing five in the first six games. Then special teams fell apart. Penn State blocked a punt in Ohio State territory and turned it into a field goal, then blocked Tyler Durbin's 47-yard field goal that Grant Haley returned 60 yards for a score.

YARDAGE MARK: Baker Mayfield passed for seven TDs and 545 yards to help Oklahoma beat Texas Tech 66-59 late Saturday in a game that broke the Divsion I-A record for combined offensive yards with 1,708. The teams also set the combined passing yards record with 1,279. The Red Raiders' Patrick Mahomes broke the single-game record with 819 total yards and tied the single-game passing yards mark with 734, matching Washington State's Connor Halliday in 2014.

AP POLL: Ohio State dropped four spots to No. 6 after its loss to Penn State, which moved into the rankings for the first time since 2011 at No. 24. Alabama received all but one of the 61 first-place votes. Florida State and Florida both moved up one spot, the Seminoles to No. 12 and the Gators to No. 14. No. 23 Colorado and No. 25 Virginia Tech moved into the rankings, and Houston, Ole Miss and Arkansas fell out.

FRESNO STATE: Coach Tim DeRuyter was fired after the team dropped to 1-7 in his fifth season. He was 30-30 overall.

USF WOMEN'S BASKETBALL: Junior forward Laura Ferreira, the team's No. 2 returning scorer, is out indefinitely with a plantar fascia injury that could force her to take a redshirt.

Times staff writer Joey Knight contributed to this report.

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