Oct. 26, 2002
Recap| Box Score| Quotes| Photo Gallery
Attendance: 105,103 (stadium record)
Penn State’s Adam Taliaferro accompanied the Nittany Lions toOhio State this weekend, as Penn State played in Columbus for thefirst time since Taliaferro suffered a serious neck injury, endinghis football career. A cornerback from Voorhees, N.J., Taliaferrosuffered the severe neck injury while making a tackle in the fourthquarter of the game in Ohio Stadium Sept. 23, 2000. He fracturedthe fifth cervical vertebra near the base of his neck when tacklingBuckeye running back Jerry Westbrooks with 1:39 to play. Despitethe initial prognosis that his chances were slim of ever walkingagain, Taliaferro was walking without assistance six months afterthe horrific injury. Maurice Clarett’s run of 30 yards on his firstcarry of the game put him over 1,000 rushing yards for the season.It was the longest run Penn State had allowed so far this year.Clarett has 1,019 rushing yards on the season, 107 behind the OSUfreshman record of 1,126 rushing yards by Robert Smith in 1990.Clarett had just four carries for 39 yards in the game beforesuffering a shoulder injury in the first quarter that took him outof the rest of the game. Chris Gamble started at both wide receiverand cornerback for the Buckeyes. It was his first start on defense.Redshirt freshman fullback Brandon Schnittker and true freshmanlinebacker A.J. Hawk made their first career starts. A.J. Hawk’sinterception in the first quarter was the second of his career. Healso picked off a pass against Kent State. Will Smith’ssecond-quarter pick was the first of his career. Chris Gamblepicked off a Zack Mills pass in the third quarter, his team-bestthird interception of the season and of his Buckeye career.Gamble’s return of 40 yards for a touchdown following theinterception was the third time a Buckeye has returned a pick for ascore this season (twice against Kent State). He now has onetouchdown offensively to go with the interception return today fora touchdown. Michael Jenkins now has caught a pass in his last 21games. He finished with three catches for 34 yards vs. the NittanyLions. Ben Hartsock tied his career high with three catches (for 29yards) against the Nittany Lions. He also had three catches againstWisconsin last week. Craig Krenzel finished the game completing 13of 20 passes for 112 yards. He has 9 TD passes on the season and 10for his career. Krenzel completed 61 of 98 passes (.622) betweenhis last interception (vs. Cincinnati) and the pick that ended thefirst half today. Sophomore kicker Mike Nugent now has made an OhioState record 19-consecutive field goals with two vs. the NittanyLions. Nugent’s streak spans 11 games. He has made an OSU-record13-consecutive in Ohio Stadium. Nugent has made all 18 field goalattempts this seasons. Ohio State converted on 1 of 3 opportunitiesinside the Penn State 20-yard line. The Buckeyes have converted on35-39 red zone chances this season. Defensively Ohio State has heldopponents to 12 of 23 (.521) on scoring chances in the red zone.For the second-consecutive game, the Buckeyes did not allow a pointin the second half. They also shut out Wisconsin last week. OSU isholding opponents to 4.2 points a game in the second half. The lasttime Ohio State scored 13 or fewer points and won a Big Ten gamewas Oct. 22, 1988 at Minnesota, 13-6. The Buckeyes allowed justseven points to Big Ten opponent Penn State. The last time theyheld a conference foe to seven or fewer points was in a 23-7 win atWisconsin Oct. 7, 2000. The game before that Wisconsin win, OhioState allowed Penn State just six points at home in a 45-6 win.Ohio State is 8-10-0 all-time against Penn State, including a 6-5record in Columbus. Ohio State has not lost in Columbus to theNittany Lions since a 19-0 setback in 1978, before Penn Statejoined the Big Ten. The Buckeyes have won the last five meetings inColumbus. Ohio State is 4-6 vs. Penn State in Big Ten play. OhioState is 6-3 all-time against Penn State when the Buckeyes andNittany Lions both are ranked in the Top 25 in the Associated PressPoll. Ohio State is 259-63-9 all-time when ranked in the AP Top 10.Ohio State is 359-116-14 all-time when ranked in the AP Top 25.Ohio State is 9-0 for the first time since 1996, when Ohio Statestarted the season 10-0. Ohio State plays host to Minnesota nextSaturday in sold-out Ohio Stadium. The game time and televisioninformation will be released later today or early Sunday. MauriceClarett’s 30-yard run in the first quarter is the longest againstPenn State this season. Wide receiver Gerald Smith (So.) made hisfirst career start as Penn State started the game with threewideouts. Anwar Phillips’ first-quarter fumble recovery and returnfor 58 yards was the first of his career. Safety Chris Harrellforced two fumbles in the first half, the first two of his career.The second was recovered at the Penn State 15-yard line ending anOSU drive with 1:32 left in the half. Shawn Mayers’ first-halffumble recovery was his first of the season and the third for hiscareer. His fourth quarter interception was the third of the seasonand the fourth of his career. Bryan Scott’s second quarterinterception was his team-leading third of the year and fourth ofhis career. Penn State’s two fumble recoveries are the most on theseason. Penn State’s 51 plays and 179 total yards are its lowesttotal this season and lowest since gaining 131 on 45 plays vs.Wisconsin in 2001. Penn State’s 98 yards passing are its lowestoutput this season. Penn State’s eight first downs are a season-lowand are the lowest in the Joe Paterno era. Penn State’s 98 yardspassing are a season-low. Zack Mills’ three interceptions for thegame are a season high and match his career high. Penn State’sthree interceptions are the most as a team in 2002. Penn Stateforced a season-high four turnovers. They also had four againstLouisiana Tech. Penn State’s three turnovers are its most on theyear. Larry Johnson set a Penn State record for receptions in aseason by a running back. His six catches on the day brought hisseason total to 35, surpassing the previous record of 32 catches ona season by Curtis Enis in 1996. This is the first time that PennState had been shut out in the third quarter all season. Today wasthe first time that Penn State has been shut out in second halfthis year. Zack Mills’ 98 yards passing marks the first time in theseason he has been held under 100 yards passing in a game. This isthe second straight game the Penn State defense has not allowed anoffensive touchdown. The 66 yards by Larry Johnson is his lowestrushing output of the season. His previous low was 68 against Iowa.