Just as No. 2 Ohio State was wrapping up a hard-fought win over No. 8 Penn State, a worst-case scenario for OSU fans flashed before their eyes.
Holding a 28-17 lead with 2:17 to play, Ryan Day curiously opted to keep his offense on the field on fourth-and-5 from the Penn State 27-yard line. Justin Fields, OSU’s star quarterback, dropped back, couldn’t find anybody open and felt pressure from Penn State safety Lamont Wade. With Wade crashing down, Fields tried to evade him but was sacked from behind.
As Fields went down, his foot was caught awkwardly beneath him.
Fields stayed down on the field for about a minute before gingerly jogging back toward the Ohio State sideline. The sack put the ball back in PSU’s hands, but the Nittany Lions were unable to muster any offense and the Buckeyes held on for the win.
After the game, Day said Fields should be OK.
Ryan Day said Justin Fields is good after taking that hit late. “He’s a warrior.”— Pete Thamel (@PeteThamel) November 23, 2019
That’s a major bullet dodged for the Buckeyes. Had Fields been seriously injured, Day might have faced some major criticism for his decision to keep the offense on the field instead of kicking a field goal.
With Saturday’s win, OSU improved to 11-0 and clinched the Big Ten East, another step toward a College Football Playoff berth.
The Buckeyes have their matchup against rival Michigan coming next week, and will likely need Fields to get a win. Behind him, the team does not have much depth at quarterback. The No. 2 quarterback is Chris Chugunov, a transfer from West Virginia. The Buckeyes also have Kentucky transfer Gunnar Hoak on the roster.
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