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Tuimoloau shines as #2 Ohio St beats #13 Penn St 44-31 | WGN 720 Radio

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (AP) — Jay T. Tuimolau had a strip sack to set up No. 2 Ohio State’s score on a breakaway in the fourth quarter and then picked off a 6 to cap off an impressive defensive performance for the Buckeyes. overcame a fourth-quarter deficit to beat No. 13 Penn State 44-31 on Saturday.

C.J. Stroud found his groove for Ohio State in the fourth quarter and finished with 354 yards passing as the Buckeyes (8-0, 5-0 Big Ten) extended their streak to six straight — none longer than 13 points.

As has often been the case when these teams get together recently, the Buckeyes were a double-digit favorite and the Nittany Lions (6-2, 3-2) played them tough.

In this case, however, Penn State isn’t just hanging out. The Nittany Lions went up 21-16 with 9:26 left in the fourth quarter on a tough 1-yard touchdown run by Kaytron Allen on fourth down.

Ohio State outscored Penn State 28-3 the rest of the way, with Tuimolau providing the key play after the Buckeyes went up 23-21.

Tuimolau also recovered a fumble after tipping the ball away from Sean Clifford with 8:26 left in the fourth quarter. One play later, Stroud connected with Cade Stover, who rumbled through the Pennsylvania defense for a 24-yard touchdown to make it 30-21.

Tuimolau also had his first career interception in the first quarter, a pass at the line of scrimmage that led to Ohio State’s first interception of the game and another sack.

On his final act, Tuimolou overcame his block, reached up and grabbed Clifford’s short pass attempt at the 14-yard line and into the end zone to make it 44-24.

Clifford threw for 371 yards and three touchdowns, but committed four losses.

Treveyon Henderson scored twice in Ohio State’s fourth-quarter drive, including a 41-yard run 35 seconds after Penn State took the lead. He added a 7-yard touchdown run with 2:52 left to make it 37-24.

Clifford, a sixth-year quarterback whose up-and-down play left some Nittany Lions fans clamoring to see more of five-star freshman Drew Allar, has thrived since the early losses.

Parker Washington broke free from two Ohio State tackles and ran 58 yards to cut Ohio State’s lead to 10-7 in the second quarter and wake up the lunchtime crowd of more than 108,000 at Beaver Stadium.

Clifford connected with KeAndre Smith-Lambert up the middle for a 23-yard touchdown to give Penn State a 14-10 lead, prompting the ‘Sweet Caroline’ chant from the ‘Striped’ fans.

The visit from Ohio State is usually a White Out game for Penn State, which plays at night. This time it was the big afternoon with Fox in town and the Nittany Lions coming off last week’s White Out game against Minnesota.

Two weeks removed from being beaten on the road by Michigan, Penn State battled the Buckeyes for four quarters.


Ohio State: Days before the first College Football Playoff rankings were released, the Buckeyes faced their toughest test of the season — by far — and pulled through. Only a major upset over the next three weeks will prevent the Buckeyes from making it to the Michigan Finals undefeated.

Penn State: The Nittany Lions limped out of the Big House after rushing for over 400 yards, but their athletic defense seemed to be the Buckeyes’ best matchup. At least for a while. Penn State heads into the final month of the season still hoping for a 10-win season, but a Big Ten title is out of reach.


Ohio State: The Buckeyes are on the road again at Northwestern.

Penn State: The Nittany Lions start the shutout at Indiana.


Follow Ralph D. Russo at https://twitter.com/ralphDrussoAP and listen at http://www.apppodcasts.com


For more AP college football: https://apnews.com/hub/college-football and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25. Subscribe to the AP Football Newsletter: https://bit.ly/3pqZVaF


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