Ohio St. Rolls Penn St. - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Ohio St. Rolls Penn St.

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - Devon Torrence tipped and snagged an

interception and returned it 34 yards for the go-ahead touchdown to

turn the tide in No. 8 Ohio State's 38-14 win over Penn State on

Saturday.

The Buckeyes added scores when a long pass into double coverage

ricocheted off a defender to Dane Sanzenbacher for a 58-yard score

and Travis Howard picked off a pass and brought it back 30 yards,

also in the fourth quarter.

The two defensive scores were nothing new in the series. Penn

State (6-4, 3-3 Big Ten) has had six interceptions returned for TDs

in the last seven meetings.

The victory sends the Buckeyes (9-1, 5-1) into a critical

showdown at Iowa next week tied for first place with Michigan State

and Wisconsin.

Instead of win No. 401 for Nittany Lions coach Joe Paterno, the

second-half scores tagged him with his 133rd loss, while the

comeback from an 11-point deficit was the biggest in coach Jim

Tressel's 10 years in Columbus.

The game swung on one play.

With a 14-10 lead on second and 9 at the Nittany Lions 37 midway

through the third quarter, Penn State quarterback Matt McGloin

fired a pass into the left flat meant for Michael Zordich. Torrence

had slipped off coverage of another receiver, sliding inside and

streaking in front of Zordich to tip the ball in the air. He tipped

it once, juggled it off his shoulder and then finally collected it,

racing for the touchdown and a 17-14 lead.

It was the second interception of the season for Torrence, a

former outfielder in the Houston Astros system, and McGloin's first

in his last 91 attempts.

Ohio State then forced a punt and on second and 23 from his own

42, Buckeyes quarterback Terrelle Pryor lobbed an arching pass down

the middle of the field for DeVier Posey, with D'Anton Lynn and

Drew Astorino pounding him as the ball arrived. But the ball

squirted directly to Sanzenbacher trailing the play and he casually

caught the ball and walked into the end zone.

Howard then stepped in front of McGloin's pass with 8:57 left to

end the drama.

Ohio State outscored the Lions 21-0 in the fourth quarter,

reeling off the final 35 points. Pryor, who was 8 of 13 for 139

yards with one interception and two scores, also hit Jake

Stoneburner with a late TD pass.

The Buckeyes trailed 14-3 at the half and forced a punt, but had

to start from their own 4.

But they covered the 96 yards - actually 98 because they had a

false start penalty before they ran a play - in 11 plays. For the

most part, they stayed on the ground, with Boom Herron going the

final 5 yards through a gaping hole up the middle. Herron finished

with a career-best 190 yards on 21 carries.

Then came the interception that flipped the game.

Tressel improved to 27-4 in November games as Ohio State's head

coach - and just 3-4 in the week after a bye.

The Nittany Lions, angry that they were listed as 2½-touchdown

underdogs, appeared to be the team that was rested and focused.

They took a 7-3 lead when McGloin engineered a 67-yard drive

capped by his 23-yard TD pass to Justin Brown. McGloin, who

finished 15 of 30 for 159 yards with two touchdowns and two

interceptions, was leveled on the play, getting the pass off just

in time to Brown, who was all alone at the goal line.

Amazingly, the Nittany Lions had never thrown a touchdown pass

in Ohio Stadium in eight trips since joining the Big Ten in 1993.

Ohio State punted the ball away - as it did on its last four

possessions in the half after the field goal - and Penn State

motored 82 yards with McGloin hitting Derek Moye on a high 6-yard

pass for the score. McGloin was 13 of 18 for 141 yards in the

opening half.

Paterno's teams had never before scored more than 13 points in a

conference game at Ohio Stadium.

Boos rained down on the Buckeyes as they left the field at the

half. But everything changed on Torrence's return in the third

quarter.

 

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

 

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