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STATE COLLEGE, Pa. -- The Nittany Lions' defense swarmed and nearly came away with the upset win Saturday night. Nearly.

Instead, they walked off the field silently after falling 31-24 against No. 12 Ohio State in double overtime. The Buckeyes scored two touchdowns in the overtime periods and sacked Christian Hackenberg on the final play.

Penn State's Anthony Zettel returned an interception 40 yards for a touchdown, and the defense held J.T. Barrett to just 74 passing yards.

The Buckeyes showed they were the better team with a strong defense and ground game. Penn State didn't enter the red zone until the final quarter, and Ohio State limited PSU to 16 rushing yards on 31 carries.

With the win, Ohio State improves to 6-1, 3-0 in the Big Ten. Penn State drops to 4-3, 1-3 in the conference.

How the game was won: Ohio State’s defense dominated, as the Nittany Lions just couldn’t get anything started until the final quarter. Penn State finished with 240 total yards -- and didn’t reach the red zone until the final quarter. By then, it was too late. Two controversial calls in the first half also helped Ohio State, as a questionable interception call led to an Ohio State touchdown and a field goal counted despite the snap coming after the play clock had expired.

Gameball goes to: Ohio State's Joey Bosa. He finished with six tackles and 2.5 sacks -- but his final sack was most important of all. He tackled Hackenberg in the backfield to end the game. Ezekiel Elliott and Mike Hull also deserve mentions here, but Bosa's play had the biggest impact.

Playoff implications: The Buckeyes are still in this. For them to truly be considered, though, they’ll have to win out. Nothing is guaranteed, but the College Football Playoff committee might be willing to overlook the Week 2 loss to Virginia Tech – as long as the Buckeyes beat Michigan State in two weeks and then win the Big Ten title.

What’s next: Ohio State will take on Illinois at the Horseshoe next week, while Penn State remains at home against Maryland. The Illini are coming off a surprise win against Minnesota, and the Terrapins are coming off a big loss to Wisconsin.
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Christian Hackenberg sacked by Joey Bosa for a loss of 8 yards to the OhSt 28
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J.T. Barrett run for 4 yds for a TD (Sean Nuernberger KICK)
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J.T. Barrett run for 6 yds to the PnSt 4
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J.T. Barrett run for 5 yds for a TD
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J.T. Barrett run for 17 yds to the PnSt 5 for a 1ST down
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Bill Belton run for 1 yd for a TD
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Christian Hackenberg pass complete to DaeSean Hamilton for 12 yds to the OhSt 2 for a 1ST down
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Christian Hackenberg run for 2 yds to the OhSt 14 for a 1ST down
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Christian Hackenberg pass complete to DaeSean Hamilton for 18 yds to the OhSt 17
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Sam Ficken 31 yd FG GOOD
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Christian Hackenberg pass incomplete to Chris Godwin
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Christian Hackenberg pass complete to DaeSean Hamilton for 10 yds to the OhSt 18 for a 1ST down
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Christian Hackenberg pass complete to DaeSean Hamilton for 7 yds to the OhSt 43 for a 1ST down OHIO ST Penalty, Roughing Passer (Curtis Grant) to the OhSt 28 for a 1ST down

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ESPN Films Presents: Nixon's National Champs - Nixon vs. Paterno
In 1969, Joe Paterno thought a National Championship was on the horizon, but President Richard Nixon was standing in his way. Nixon's National Champs premieres Sunday December 28th at 10:30pm ET on ESPN.
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BIG TEN SCOREBOARD

Saturday, 12/20
Monday, 12/22
Tuesday, 12/23
Wednesday, 12/24
Friday, 12/26
Saturday, 12/27
Monday, 12/29
Tuesday, 12/30
Wednesday, 12/31
Thursday, 1/1
Friday, 1/2
Saturday, 1/3
Sunday, 1/4
Monday, 1/12