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5 Greatest Ohio State vs. Penn State College Football Games of All Time

Ohio State leads the series 22–14.
J.K. Dobbins, Ohio State Buckeyes Football vs. Penn State Nittany Lions

Ohio State-Penn State has developed into one of the Big Ten's most intense rivalries.

Second-ranked Ohio State and No. 13 Penn State face off this Saturday. The two teams first met in 1912 but have played regularly since the Nittany Lions joined the Big Ten in 1993. Here are their five greatest games.

5. Ohio State 13, Penn State 7

Oct. 26, 2002 – Columbus, Ohio

The Buckeyes were 8-0 and ranked fourth when they hosted 5-2 Penn State. They drove all the way to the one-yard line on their first possession, but quarterback Craig Krenzel fumbled. In addition, freshman phenom running back Maurice Clarett reinjured his shoulder and had to leave the game. However, the Ohio State defense picked up the slack, holding the Nittany Lions to a touchdown, 179 yards of offense, and eight first downs. The turning point came early in the third quarter when Chris Gamble picked off Zack Mills and returned the interception for a touchdown to put the Buckeyes up 10-7. Ohio State went on to win the national championship.

4. Penn State 7, Ohio State 6

Oct. 20, 1956 – Columbus, Ohio

The second meeting between these two schools was scoreless for the first 56 minutes. The Nittany Lions got on the board first with a touchdown run by Bruce Gilmore. When Ohio State got the ball, end Leo Brown caught two passes for 61 yards, setting up Don Clark’s three-yard touchdown run. The Buckeyes were penalized for having too many men on the field on the extra point attempt, negating Frank Kemblas’ kick. The next attempt from the 25-yard line went wide, giving Penn State a one-point win. Check out the grainy highlights.

3. Ohio State 27, Penn State 26

Sept. 29, 2018 – University Park, Pa.

Ninth-ranked Penn State jumped out to a 13-0 lead and led No. 4 Ohio State 26-14 with eight minutes remaining in the fourth quarter. The Buckeyes scored on a 47-yard touchdown pass from Dwayne Haskins to Binjimen Victor to cut the lead to 26-21 and then forced the Nittany Lions to punt. Ohio State got the ball back on its four-yard line and drove 96 yards in eight plays and Haskins tossed a 24-yard touchdown pass to K.J. Hill for the lead. The Buckeyes stopped Penn State on downs and ran out the clock.

2. Ohio State 39, Penn State 38

Oct. 28, 2017 – Columbus, Ohio

In this top-10 matchup, second-ranked Penn State led No. 6 Ohio State 35-20 in the fourth quarter, but J. T. Barrett threw two touchdown passes to close the lead to 38-33. The Buckeyes got the ball back with three minutes left and Barrett drove the team 58 yards in five plays, hitting Marcus Baugh with a 16-yard touchdown pass to take a 39-38 lead. The two-point conversion failed, but Ohio State stopped the Nittany Lions on downs to preserve the win.

1. Penn State 24, Ohio State 21

Oct. 22, 2016 – University Park, Pa.

Second-ranked Ohio State led 21-7 midway through the fourth quarter, but Penn State cut the lead to four with a two-yard touchdown run by quarterback Trace McSorley and a 34-yard field goal from Tyler Davis. The Buckeyes attempted a field goal to extend their lead with 4:39 remaining in the game, but the Nittany Lions blocked it and Grant Haley picked up the ball and ran it 60 yards into the end zone. Penn State then stopped Ohio State on downs and ran out the clock for the upset.

— Written by Aaron Tallent, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network. Tallent is a writer whose articles have appeared in The Sweet Science, FOX Sports' Outkick the Coverage, Liberty Island and The Washington Post. Follow him on Twitter at @AaronTallent.