PSU wins, one win from Big Ten Championship



COLUMBUS, OhioOhio Stadium has been a tough place to play for the Nittany Lions. Before this weekend's trip to Columbus, Penn State had won just two of its last 10 games at The Shoe.

Make that three of its last 11. The Nittany Lions beat the Buckeyes 20-14 on Saturday. That was the good news for Penn State. The bad news was that the victory ultimately didn't matter as far as the Big Ten standings are concerned.

With the win, No. 21 Penn State (9-2, 6-1) clinched at least a share of the Big Ten Leaders Division title. But because No. 15 Wisconsin (9-2, 5-2) defeated Illinois on Saturday, the Nittany Lions were unable to secure a berth in the Big Ten Championship. Penn State plays at Wisconsin next week. The winner will be crowned Leaders Division champions and advance to the Big Ten title game.

Penn State scored on its opening drive against the Buckeyes when running back Stephfon Green reached the end zone on a 40-yard run with 12:27 remaining in the first quarter. Green added another touchdown in the second quarter and led the Nittany Lions with 94 rushing yards on 16 carries. Penn State amassed 239 yards on the ground. Quarterback Matt McGloin completed 10 of 18 passes for 88 yards. He also threw an interception.

I dont think any team in the history of college football has been through so much in such a short time period, Penn States interim head coach Tom Bradley said. To be able to hang in there and fight their way through it, theyve done everything Ive asked them to do. Theyve been great on the field, great going to class. I couldnt be prouder of them.

It was the first road game for the Nittany Lions since former defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky was charged with sexually assaulting at least eight children over 15 years. It was also the first time since the 1960s that Penn State has played a road game without Joe Paterno as the teams head coach. Paterno, who was recently diagnosed with a treatable form of cancer, (see story) was fired by the universitys Board of Trustees last week as a result of the scandal.

Ohio State (6-4, 3-3) played the game amid speculation that former Florida Gators head coach Urban Meyer was set to accept the Buckeyes head coaching job. Ohio State is currently led by Luke Fickell, who served as a defensive coordinator under former Buckeyes head coach Jim Tressel. Fickell took over as head coach when Tressel was fired after it was revealed that Tressel knew about Ohio State players taking money and accepting free tattoos from a man being investigated in a federal drug-trafficking probe. Ohio State is still waiting for the NCAA to sanction the school as a result of those infractions.

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