J.T. Barrett engineered a 15-point fourth-quarter comeback, leading the No. 6 Ohio State Buckeyes to a stunning 39-38 victory over No. 2 Penn State on Saturday at Ohio Stadium.
Barrett threw three touchdown passes in the final quarter, two to Johnnie Dixon and one to Marcus Baugh. The 16-yard touchdown catch by Baugh with 1:48 to go was the game-winner.
The Buckeyes trailed 35-20 entering the fourth quarter. Penn State’s only score in the final quarter was a field goal.
The Buckeyes (7-1, 5-0) won their sixth straight game. They avenged a 24-21 loss at Penn State last season. The Nittany Lions (7-1, 4-1) suffered their first loss.
Saquon Barkley’s 97-yard kickoff return for a touchdown to open the game set the tone in the first half.
A blocked field goal returned for a touchdown in the fourth quarter carried the Nittany Lions to a 24-21 victory over Ohio State in 2016 in State College, Pa. Barkley’s return was just as stunning, though Ohio State’s kickoff unit has struggled for much of the season.
Not much went right for Ohio State for the first three quarters. Parris Campbell lost a fumble on Ohio State’s first drive, following Barkley’s touchdown. Penn State turned that into a 13-yard touchdown pass by Trace McSorley to DaeSean Hamilton, giving it a 14-0 lead.
In the first half, Barkley rushed seven times for 41 yards and a touchdown. He also caught three passes for 23 yards.
Barrett threw a 14-yard touchdown pass to Terry McLaurin in the second quarter to cut Penn State’s lead to 21-10. Mike Weber’s 2-yard run with 4:56 left in the half left Ohio State within striking distance at halftime, trailing 28-17.
The Buckeyes cut Penn State’s lead to 28-20 on Sean Nuernberger’s second field goal but didn’t score the rest of the quarter.
McSorley threw a 37-yard touchdown pass to DeAndre Thompkins with 7:25 left in the third quarter to give Penn State a 35-20 lead.
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