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2016 Ohio State–Penn State football game
1234 Total
Ohio State 01290 21
Penn State 07017 24
DateOctober 22, 2016
Season2016
StadiumBeaver Stadium
LocationState College, Pennsylvania
Attendance107,280
United States TV coverage
NetworkABC[1]
Nielsen ratings8.2

The Kick Six was a blocked field goal by the Penn State Nittany Lions football against the Ohio State Buckeyes, resulting in a 71-yard return touchdown in the final minutes of a 2016 rivalry game between the two teams in Happy Valley. The play led Penn State to beat Ohio State for the first time in five years, with a final score of 24–21.[2] It is regarded as the best play in Penn State football history, and marked the program’s return to national relevance following the Jerry Sandusky scandal.[3]

The Game

Penn State was a 19.5-point home underdog in this matchup, as they were not ranked in the AP poll. Much of this was attributed to this game being a White Out in State College, and the Buckeyes scraping by Wisconsin in an overtime road win the week before. Penn State was on a winning streak since falling to then-No. 4 Michigan in early September, while Ohio State was undefeated.[4]

The game was initially very low scoring; neither team was able to get points on the board in the first quarter. By the beginning of the second quarter, however, Ohio State answered with two Tyler Durbin field goals and a Marcus Baugh touchdown, making the Buckeyes have a 12–0 lead. However, in the final seconds of the second quarter, a pass by Trace McSorley to Chris Godwin in the endzone completely changed the dynamics of the game for Penn State.[5][6]

The third quarter saw Ohio State pick up another touchdown (by Curtis Samuel) and a high snap on a punt resulting in a safety. However, the Buckeyes remained scoreless throughout the fourth quarter. This was while Trace McSorley scored a touchdown with a successful conversion, as well as a 34-yard field goal by Tyler Davis.[7]

The Play

With just over four minutes remaining in regulation time and the score 21–17 Ohio State, the Buckeyes were within field goal range but were held to a fourth-down-and-seven at the 31-yard line. Tyler Durbin looked to make Ohio State score for the first time in the quarter with a 45-yard field goal. Speculators were highly anticipating the kick to be good, making the (eventual winning) score 24–17 Ohio State, as Durbin was described to be "super reliable from inside of 40."[8]

However, the kick was blocked by safety Marcus Allen and knocked into the hands of cornerback Grant Haley, who sped past Durbin and another Buckeye, running 71 yards for a Penn State touchdown, making the final score of the game 24–21 Penn State.[9]

Facts

Aftermath

In the stadium

The crowd at Beaver Stadium was stunned by the play, as it gave the Nittany Lions the first lead in the waning seconds of the game. Immediately upon Haley's touchdown, spectators stormed the field as Zombie Nation's Kernkraft 400 played from the stadium's loudspeakers. Head Coach James Franklin stated that he was "very happy for our kids" to experience a White Out win, the first win over Ohio State in eight years.

Celebratory riots

One controversial event that occurred immediately following the game was a celebratory riot in Downtown State College, centered along Beaver Avenue. Approximately 10,000 fans, primarily Penn State students blocked several roads and wreaked havoc, such as breaking light posts and lighting sofas on fire. Centre County Police were assisted by the Pennsylvania State police, who came in riot gear to break up the riot. Total damages were estimated to be $17,000,[12] and 13 individuals were charged as a result of not following orders.[13]

References

  1. ^ "Penn State vs. Ohio State: Television Coverage, Announcers, Live Stream". October 21, 2016.
  2. ^ "Penn State Topples Ohio State After Blocked Field-Goal Attempt". The New York Times. Associated Press. October 23, 2016.
  3. ^ Bodani, Frank. "Ranked: These 10 Penn State football plays resonate the loudest in the past 25 years". The York Daily Record.
  4. ^ "No match for Michigan: Penn State is wiped out at scrimmage in a 49-10 loss ... and James Franklin is now 0-7 against The Big Three". pennlive. September 25, 2016.
  5. ^ "Penn State-Ohio State, a different look: 5 under-the-radar moments that shaped the Lions' upset". pennlive. October 25, 2016.
  6. ^ "Chris Godwin - Football". Penn State University Athletics.
  7. ^ "Ohio State vs. Penn State - Game Summary - October 22, 2016 - ESPN". ESPN.com.
  8. ^ "Penn State Wrestlers Troll Ohio State With Blocked Kick Re-Enactment". Onward State. February 9, 2019.
  9. ^ "It's the 3-year anniversary of Penn State's blocked kick six leading to an upset of Ohio State". pennlive. October 22, 2019.
  10. ^ "Penn State upsets No. 2 Ohio State, 24-21".
  11. ^ https://www.daytondailynews.com/sports/ranking-the-losses-the-urban-meyer-era-ohio-state-most-surprising-least/CL41IETG1ke8HQCsIMA2AM/
  12. ^ "State College police prep for Penn State-Ohio State riots | Centre Daily Times". www.centredaily.com. Archived from the original on September 29, 2018. Retrieved January 14, 2022.
  13. ^ lehighvalleylive.com, Tony Rhodin | For (November 15, 2016). "13 charged in Penn State riot after Ohio State game". lehighvalleylive.