In empty white out, No. 3 Ohio State beats Penn State

Columbus Dispatch-USA TODAY Sports
1 Comment

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. — Justin Fields passed for 318 yards and four touchdowns, two to Chris Olave, and No. 3 Ohio State beat No. 18 Penn State 38-25 on an eerily quiet Saturday night at what is usually one of the most raucous settings in college football.

Jeremy Ruckert also caught a pair of touchdowns, Master Teague II ran for another and the Buckeyes generated 526 yards of offense in their 15th straight Big Ten win and 10th straight on the road against a ranked opponent.

Ohio State (2-0) didn’t take long to break the game open and hand Penn State (0-2) its first 0-2 start since 2013.

Garrett Wilson took an opening sweep 62 yards to set up Teague III’s short touchdown run two plays later.

The Buckeyes only needed five plays on their next drive to take a 14-0 lead when Fields zipped a 26-yard pass over corner Joey Porter Jr.’s shoulder to Olave in the end zone.

A white out at Penn State is normally one of the great spectacles in sports and the recent ones involving the Buckeyes have been classic games. The last three have been decided by a total of 11 points, with Ohio State taking two.

But the Big Ten is playing in mostly empty stadiums because of the pandemic.

Instead of an almost glittering sea of more than 100,000 white-clad Nittany Lions fans singing along to “Shout” and shaking the stadium as they bounce to “Zombie Nation,” about 1,000 friends and family of players were scattered in the stands behind each bench in Beaver Stadium.

The student-section was filled with cardboard cutouts of fans and the only glow on Halloween night came from the lights bouncing off the empty metal bleachers.

Maybe it would have helped the Nittany Lions to have had the home-field advantage because they never really threatened the Buckeyes without it.

Penn State got on the board when Jake Pinegar capped an 11-play, 61-yard drive with a 31-yard field goal.

But Fields stayed hot The Buckeyes’ quarterback, who completed 20 of 21 passes a week ago, completed his first seven and went 15-for-18 in the first half.

The Nittany Lions got a break when Ohio State turned the ball over on downs with a second left before halftime. Fields took a knee on fourth down too quickly to burn the clock. Penn State’s Jake Stout used it to make a 50-yard field goal and cut it to 21-6.

Sean Clifford, who finished 18-for-30 for 281 yards with three touchdowns and an interception, found his first rhythm on the Nittany Lions first drive of the second half. He went 5-for-5 with a 14-yard scoring toss to Jahan Dotson that cut Ohio State’s lead to 21-13.

But the Buckeyes answered back seven plays later when Fields laid a deep ball into Olave’s hands for a 49-yard touchdown.

Dotson caught touchdown passes of 21 and 20 yards in the fourth, but a 22-yard field goal from DiMaccio and another short touchdown catch by Ruckert had already put the game out of reach.

Dotson finsihed with eight catches for 144 yards in a breakout game.

For Ohio State, Olave had seven catches for 120 yards and Wilson made 11 grabs for 111.


Ohio State: Fields looks even better than last year when he was a Heisman Trophy finalist. As long as his offensive line continues to protect him well, he will continue to torch defenses with his accuracy.

Penn State: The offense was out of sorts all night. Only four players caught passes, Clifford had nowhere to run for much of the game and Penn State didn’t have a chance to work in running backs Keyvone Lee or Caziah Holmes playing from behind.


The Buckeyes Will Likely stay put. Penn State could potentially drop as No. 22 SMU, No. 23 Iowa State and No. 25 Boise State all turned in convincing wins.


Ohio State: Hosts Rutgers (1-1) next Saturday.

Penn State: Hosts Maryland (1-1) next Saturday.

Vick, Fitzgerald and Suggs among stars on College Football Hall of Fame ballot for 1st time

RVR Photos-USA TODAY Sports

Michael Vick, Larry Fitzgerald and Terrell Suggs are among the college football stars who will be considered for induction to the Hall of Fame for the first time this year.

The National Football Foundation released Monday a list of 78 players and nine coaches from major college football who are on the Hall of Fame ballot. There also are 101 players and 32 coaches from lower divisions of college football up for consideration.

Vick, who led Virginia Tech to the BCS championship game against Florida State as a redshirt freshman in 1999, is among the most notable players appearing on the ballot in his first year of eligibility.

Vick finished third in the Heisman Trophy voting in 1999. He played one season of college football before being drafted No. 1 overall by the Atlanta Falcons in 2001. Vick’s professional career was interrupted when he served 21 months in prison for his involvement in dog fighting.

Fitzgerald was the Heisman runner-up in 2003 to Oklahoma quarterback Jason White. He scored 34 touchdowns in just two seasons at Pitt.

Suggs led the nation in sacks with 24 in 2002 for Arizona State.

The 2024 Hall of Fame class will be chosen by the National Football Foundation’s Honors Court and announced in January. Induction into the Atlanta-based hall is the following December.

Alabama freshman DB Mitchell says he wasn’t sure he’d get to play again after arrest

Mickey Welsh / Advertiser / USA TODAY NETWORK
1 Comment

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Alabama defensive back Tony Mitchell said he feared his football career was over after his arrest on a drug charge.

The Crimson Tide freshman said in a video posted Sunday on social media that he knew “something much bigger could have happened.”

A judge in Holmes County, Florida, sentenced Mitchell to three years of probation with a fine and community service on May 24 after Mitchell pleaded guilty to a charge of possession of more than 20 grams of cannabis.

“I didn’t know if I’d be able to play football again, but I continued to work out and stay close with the Lord and those who love me unconditionally,” Mitchell said. “During those times, it helped me to keep my mind off it. But when I was by myself looking at social media, what everybody had to say about it, it just felt like it happened again.

“I didn’t sleep at night.”

He was suspended from the Alabama team following the arrest, but Mitchell’s father, Tony Sr., posted on Facebook last week that the defensive back had been reinstated. An Alabama spokesman declined to comment on Mitchell’s status.

Tony Mitchell Sr. shared his son’s video on Facebook, saying it was filmed during a talk to youth.

“I was doing things I knew I shouldn’t to try to fit in,” the younger Mitchell said, “but not everybody’s your friend.”

Mitchell, who is from Alabaster, Alabama, was a four-star prospect and the 15th-rated safety in the 247Composite rankings.

He had been charged in March with possession of a controlled substance with intent to sell after a traffic stop when authorities said he drove over 141 mph (227 kph) while trying to evade deputies in the Florida Panhandle. A deputy had spotted Mitchell’s black Dodge Challenger traveling 78 mph (125 kph) in a 55 mph (88 kph) zone on a rural highway north of Bonifay.

He also received 100 hours of community service and paid a fine of $1,560.

Mitchell and a passenger were both charged with possession of marijuana with the intent to sell or deliver, according to a Holmes County Sheriff’s Office arrest report. The other man also was charged with carrying a concealed gun without a permit.