Run and Shoot: Statement game

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Statement game

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. - Ohio State solidifies No. 1 ranking by dominating Penn State at Beaver Stadium on Saturday night.

A crowd of 110,134 fans at Beaver Stadium were ready for the kickoff of Saturday night's huge Big Ten showdown between No. 1 Ohio State and homestanding No. 25 Penn State.

The chants of "'We are Penn State" rained downed on the Ohio State sideline, but it didn't bother senior linebacker Larry Grant. He encouraged the chants, waving his arms, getting the Nittany Lions faithful in an uproar.

It was like the Buckeye linebacker knew something the rest of the stadium didn't know. He knew Ohio State not only came beat the Nittany Lions, but also to make a statement.

Ohio State rolled up 453 total yards of offense and dominated time of possession in a 37-17 victory in front of the second largest crowd in Beaver Stadium history.

"We kept fighting and kept putting points on the board," Ohio State quarterback Todd Boeckman said.

"We played a good football team, that played really well," Penn State coach Joe Paterno said. "They might be the most balanced offensive team in the country."

Ohio State (9-0 overall, 5-0 Big Ten) took control of the game after Penn State had taken a 7-3 lead on its first possession, putting together two long touchdown drives around a Nittany Lion punt, to take a 17-7 lead at halftime.

With Penn State leading 7-3, the Buckeyes put together a six-play, 80-yard drive, which consumed 3:26 off the clock. Boeckman found Brian Robiskie for a nine-yard TD pass to give Ohio State a 10-7 lead. The big play on the drive was a 60-yard Boeckman to Ray Small. It was the longest play from scrimmage Penn State has given up this season.

After forcing the Nittany Lions to punt, Ohio State went on a 15-play, 91-yard march, capped by a 16-yard pass from Boeckman to Brian Hartline. The Buckeyes used its ground game effectively on the drive as Chris Wells and Maurice Wells combined for seven carries for 49 yards on the drive.

The Penn State defense struggled to get off the field in the first half as Ohio State converted seven of eight third downs in the first half.

The second half started out more of the same for the Nittany Lions. Penn State was forced to punt on its first possession of the third quarter and the Buckeyes marched down the field again. This time back-up tight end Jake Ballard caught a 15-yard pass from Boeckman to cap a 13-play, 87-yard drive to give Ohio State a 24-7 lead with 6:10 left in the third quarter.

The teams exchanged field goals to make the score 27-10, before Ohio State clinched the game early in the fourth quarter. Malcom Jenkins stepped in front of a Morelli pass and returned it 24 yards for a touchdown and a 34-10 lead with 9:36 left in the game.

Boeckman finished with 253 yards on 19-of-26 passing and three touchdowns. Chris Wells had 133 yards on 25 carries for the Buckeyes.

Penn State's offense didn't play poorly. Morelli finished with 111 yards passing, while Rodney Kinlaw had 88 yards on 11 carries and a touchdown.

"Our thought the offense played well. We just didn't score enough points," Paterno said. "We had to score more points than I thought we would to win this game."

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