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Ohio State handles Penn State, 24-7

Buckeyes put themselves back in control of the Big Ten race with a convincing victory at Beaver Stadium.

November 08, 2009|Associated Press

STATE COLLEGE, PA — . -- The Ohio State Buckeyes are back in control of the Big Ten Conference title race.

Terrelle Pryor threw two touchdown passes and ran for another score in his return to his home state, Ray Small burned No. 11 Penn State with two long punt returns and No. 15 Ohio State won a duel of the league's top two defenses in a 24-7 victory Saturday.

The Buckeyes (8-2, 5-1 Big Ten) got an added bonus too: a tie for the conference lead with Iowa after Northwestern handed the Hawkeyes their first loss of the season.

Left for dead in the Big Ten after a demoralizing loss at Purdue last month, Ohio State's hopes for a fifth straight league title look much brighter. A showdown with Iowa at home awaits next Saturday.

"November is for contenders, we always say that," Ohio State Coach Jim Tressel said. "It's hard to get too ecstatic right now, because you know the Hawkeyes are coming to town."

The Buckeyes head home with a confident Pryor, the western Pennsylvania native who came up with several clutch plays in his first game against the team he turned down as a highly touted high school recruit. Ohio State scored the game's final 17 points to silence the crowd of 110,033, the fourth-largest in Beaver Stadium history.

Leading by three, Pryor connected with receiver DeVier Posey in stride down the left sideline for a 62-yard touchdown pass with 1:47 left in the third to extend the lead to 17-7 over Penn State (8-2, 4-2).

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