In today’s edition, we celebrate number 6, the Ohio State’s margin of victory over Penn State on October 26th, 2002, 13-7.
The Buckeyes moved to 9-0 on the season by edging the Nittany Lions in a defensive stalemate. Some of the offensive woes could be attributed to Maurice Clarett being injured in the 1st quarter, necessitating Ross/Hall to run the tailback position. Ohio State survived four turnovers (2 fumbles, 2 interceptions) while Penn State did not survive three interceptions. Despite the fact that Penn State had a 1st quarter 80 yard TD drive, this game was won on the shoulders of Ohio State’s defense and special teams. Will Smith intercepted a pass at the PSU 32 to set up a short Mike Nugent FG to pull the Buckeyes to within 7-3.
Less than two minutes into the 3rd quarter, Chris Gamble made OSU’s 3rd interception of the game and returned it 39 yards for a TD, of course. Later in the period, Nugent capped one of Ohio State’s few sustained drives with a 37 yard FG to seal the deal.
In addition to providing the scoring fireworks for OSU, Gamble had the distinction to be the first two-way starter in nearly 40 years for the Buckeyes.