Blue White Illustrated

Ohio State Postgame

Penn State Sports Magazine

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S E P T E M B E R 3 0 , 2 0 1 8 B L U E W H I T E O N L I N E . c O M 3 problems, particularly in the secondary, resurfaced late in the game, as the Lions had several chances to bring down Binji- men. They also missed opportunities to stop K.J. Hill on the 24-yard catch that supplied Ohio State with the winning points. "We didn't tackle well in open space," Franklin said. • Another problem that persisted from earlier games: dropped passes. Johnson had a couple of drops, Mac Hippenham- mer couldn't come up with a catch of a low pass that would have converted a third down in the second quarter, and Brandon Polk had a drop downfield that would have given Penn State a huge li; as it was trying to get something going on offense in the third quarter. • The "Lion" package didn't work at all. The longest of Tommy Stevens' three carries was a 2-yarder, and he had to fall on a backward pass for a 13-yard loss that all but scuttled a first-quarter drive. LOOKING AHEAD It's hard to imagine a crueler way to lose to Ohio State than to squander a double- digit fourth-quarter lead for the second year in a row. But what's done is done. The Lions can't do anything about their disappointing finish against the Buck- eyes, but they can do something about the rest of the season. The first step will be to avoid a reprise of last year's two- game losing streak, which began with a heartbreaking road loss in Columbus and continued with a defeat at Michigan State the following week. The Spartans are 3-1 following a 31-20 nonconference victory over Central Michigan on Saturday. It was a work- manlike win, as Michigan State was missing a number of starters, including injured running back L.J. Scott. The Chippewas scored 17 fourth-quarter points to make the game seem a bit closer than it really was. The Lions will get the Spartans at home this time, and they'll have an extra week to prepare with a bye coming up. Michigan State will visit Northwestern this Saturday. For Penn State's players, one order of business will be to put the Ohio State game behind them. But not too far behind them. Franklin said he doesn't want his program settling into a comfort zone as one of those handful of Big Ten teams that reside in the next tier down from the Buckeyes. "Right now, we're comfortable being great, and I'm going to make sure every- one in our program including myself, is very uncomfortable," he said. "Because you only grow in life when you're un- comfortable." A NEW WAY TO ACCESS POSTGAME COVERAGE Starting this season, Blue White Il- lustrated's postgame coverage will be available via All of our game stories, including the story above on Saturday's Big Ten opener at Illinois, can now be ac- cessed from the website. The change in format allows us to bring readers more gameday cover- age than ever before: game recaps, player features, notebooks, high- lights and lowlights, game grades and recruiting news. To find BWI's postgame coverage, visit the links below: HIGHLIGHTS AND LOWLIGHTS GAME GRADES FEATURE STORIES STATISTICS Johnson's spectacular one-armed catch in the first half was one of the game's high- lights. Photo by Steve Manuel

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