Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Buckeyes Crash Party Miller's Strong 2nd-Half Effort Lifts Ohio State over Penn State

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Buckeyes Crash Party Miller's Strong 2nd-Half Effort Lifts Ohio State over Penn State

Article excerpt

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- By the start of the fourth quarter, the white-outed mass was still impressive in its size, and the speaker on the closed-circuit public-address system announced that 107,818 people comprised its whole. The party atmosphere that had abounded all weekend was visible and audible.

The bars were full Friday night, and scalpers already were hawking their wares on College Avenue. The tailgaters started early in Saturday morning. All the seniors linked arms for the coin toss.

Happy Valley was truly booming again, setting everything into place Saturday for one of those memorable games Penn State fans talk about for years, but the official guests would not acquiesce to the plans. Ohio State quarterback Braxton Miller did what he usually does, which is run the momentum out of stadiums, while linebacker Ryan Shazier and the Buckeyes (9-0, 5-0 Big Ten) defense held Penn State (5-3, 3-1) to its lowest point total in Big Ten play this season as No. 9 Ohio State won, 35-23.

The past month had been a party. Matt McGloin had played like the best quarterback in the Big Ten, and a blog or two even christened him a Heisman candidate. Michael Mauti tackled and intercepted everyone and everything. But Ohio State provided an abrupt ending just when it seemed everything was falling into place.

Credit Miller for authoring much of the conclusion. His second- half totals looked like this: 85 rushing yards, 2 touchdowns, 98 passing yards, 1 touchdown. He scored a touchdown from the 1 in which he evaded and then hurdled over a would-be tackler. That made it 21-10 late in the third quarter. Ohio State's next possession ended with another Miller rushing touchdown, and the game was never close afterward.

"It's just surprising, the elusiveness," linebacker Mike Hull said. "It's hard to describe. You just think he's there, and he's cutting on a dime."

Penn State never had played a regular-season game like this. And that's not hyperbole. It's truth, based on the extraordinary circumstances enveloping both teams. …

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