Mandatory Credit: Photo by Wade Payne/AP/Shutterstock (13554343r) Tennessee quarterback Hendon Hooker (5) rolls out to pass during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Kentucky, in Knoxville, Tenn Kentucky Tennessee Football, Knoxville, United States – 29 Oct 2022
#2 Ohio State 44, #13 Penn State 31
The Nittany Lions kept this one close until the middle of the fourth quarter. Ohio State just took over at the end of this game on both sides of the ball. Ohio State came in as one of the best offensive teams in the country and they showed how multi-faceted they can be. Star QB C.J. Stroud only threw one touchdown pass, but was extremely efficient with the football, which ended up being the difference in the game. Stroud completed 26 of 33 pass attempts for 354 yards and did not turn the ball over. WR Marvin Harrison Jr. continued to be a big contributor in this offense pulling in ten catches for 185 yards. However, the star of the day for the Buckeyes was on the defensive side of the football. J.T. Tuimoloau had the game of his life, as he was responsible for three of the four Penn State turnovers. He intercepted two passes from the line, one for a touchdown, forced a fumble which he recovered, and sacked QB Sean Clifford twice. Ohio State put together a huge 28-point fourth quarter to win this one after being held mostly in check the rest of the game. This was the Buckeyes’ biggest test of the season so far and it showed in the first three quarters, but Ohio State proved they could blow a game open at any moment. The rest of their schedule should be a breeze until they run into Michigan at the end of the year.
Penn State played well in this game on the defensive end. This defense gave them a legitimate chance to win. However, we knew from the beginning, QB Sean Clifford needed to play efficiently with the football in order for the Nittany Lions to have a shot. Clifford racked up plenty of offense, but three interceptions and a lost fumble did him in. Clifford threw for 371 yards with the three touchdowns and three picks on 32-47 attempts. Penn State asked him to do a lot and he came through a bunch, but too many mistakes costed him a chance to pull an upset. WR Parker Washington had a phenomenal day pulling in 11 catches for 179 yards and a score. It would have been a major story if Penn State were to earn a win against a top two team in the country, but this loss likely puts them out of reach for a Big 10 title. A tough loss for Penn State after playing so well defensively for so long throughout the game.
Up Next (Ohio State): @ Northwestern
Up Next (Penn State): @ Indiana
#3 Tennessee 44, #19 Kentucky 6
Nobody should be able to convince you that Tennessee is not a college football playoff team at this point. The Volunteers have played as good of football as any team in the nation and against supreme competition. They have motored through the toughest conference in college football with relative ease while also boasting an incredible win against Alabama a couple of weeks ago. Make no mistake, Kentucky is a very good football team, but Tennessee looked to be in a different class on Saturday. QB Hendon Hooker continues to make his case for the Heisman Trophy with another great performance. Hooker completed 19-25 pass attempts for 245 yards and three touchdowns. He also ran for a touchdown, one of Tennessee’s three rushing scores on the night. Star WR Jalin Hyatt put up another great day pulling in five catches for 138 yards and two touchdowns. Usually it is Tennessee’s offense that jumps off the screen, but their defense put in work to make future NFL QB Will Levis look mediocre. The Vols’ defense picked off Levis three times and only allowed 205 yards of total offense. Tennessee shutout Kentucky from the four-minute mark in the first quarter on and did not give the opposition much hope. This was a beat-down and a perfect primer to get people excited for next week when Tennessee plays number one ranked Georgia in Athens.
This was the first time all season where Will Levis truly looked outmatched. Levis threw for only 98 yards with three interceptions on 16-27 pass attempts. Kentucky struggled to gain momentum all night, as they could not convert in critical situations. The Wildcats were 2-13 on third down and did not have any control over the pace of the game. RB Chris Rodriguez scored Kentucky’s only points, but was held to just 64 yards on 15 carries, as Tennessee was able to keep him in check despite his incredible play as of late. In virtually every aspect of the game, Kentucky got beat tonight. They could not move the ball offensively, and their defense, which is generally fairly tight, could not contain the Vols in the slightest. This game was less about Kentucky’s poor play and more about Tennessee’s dominance. This is Kentucky’s third loss in their last four games after getting off to a hot start early on. They will head back on the road next week to play Missouri.
Up Next (Tennessee): @ #1 Georgia
Up Next (Kentucky): @ Missouri