The Ohio State Buckeyes found themselves in early trouble on Saturday, down 14-0 at home after Penn State capitalized on a Parris Campbell fumble. The Nittany Lions seemed to have complete momentum of the game after four minutes, yet as things settled it quickly became clear that the Buckeyes had an advantage on the field. Urban Meyer’s group out gained Penn State 529 to 283 as Heisman Trophy hopefully J.T. Barrett masterfully led the way with 423 total yards and four passing touchdowns. Penn State made the most of two Ohio State fumbles and was able to hold the lead for most of the game, but 2:05 remaining in the fourth quarter Barrett found tight end Marcus Baugh for a 16 yard strike that gave the Buckeyes the 39-38 victory.
The victory launched Ohio State right back into the top four and now control their own destiny the rest of the way. With a win against #2 Penn State to spearhead their resume, Ohio State would surely make the Playoff if the team avoids a second loss on the season. The Scarlet and Gray will undoubtedly be favored in each of their remaining regular season games and would likely also be favored to beat #4 Wisconsin if the two were to face off in the Big Ten Championship Game.
With their toughest opponents behind them, the Buckeyes have given themselves seriously strong chances to return to the College Football Playoff for the third time in four years. Games at Iowa, at Michigan and vs #24 Michigan State could all be interesting tests for Ohio State if Barrett was still struggling some, but with the senior quarterback playing at such a high level no one should beat the Buckeyes before the Playoff.