This was the season opener for both teams and also Bill O'Brien's debut as the head coach at Penn State. The spread in this game was six points in favor of the Nittany Lions so there was an expectation that it would be a fairly close game. Penn State was coming off of an extremely rough off-season and had suffered several roster defections due to it's NCAA sanctions.
On paper this was expected to be a ball game but this was still Penn State and they were coming off of a 9-4 season in which they only lost to top twenty foes and had not lost a season opener since 2001. There was an inkling that an upset might be in the air but it was one that we had to see to believe.
The Nittany Lions came out and looked like they were going to handle their business as they took a 14-3 lead into the locker room at half. After Matt McGloin hit Matt Lehman for a 14 yard TD pass in the second quarter, Penn State would not score again. In the second half, the Nittany Lions only had four possessions. The first ended in a turnover on downs, the next two ended in punts and the final possession ended in an INT. On the other hand, Ohio had drives of 70 yards, 50 yards, 93 yards and then ran out the clock on their final drive. It was a workman like victory for the Bobcats.
Despite Ohio being the victor and the Nittany Lions losing, it would be Penn State that would go on to have the better season. After starting 7-0, Ohio would lose four of their last five. After starting 0-2, Penn State would win eight of their next ten.
Biggest Upsets of 2012
#11 Oregon State 10 Wisconsin 7
#10 San Diego State 21 Boise State 19
#9 Louisville 33 Florida 23
#8 Pittsburgh 35 Virginia Tech 17
#7 Toledo 29 Cincinnati 23
#6 NC State 17 FSU 16
#5 Middle Tennessee 48 Georgia Tech 29
#4 Ohio 24 Penn State 14