STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (AP) - Maligned the last few weeks, Ohio State's defense has emerged just in time for the season's stretch run.
Two weeks after giving up 49 points to Indiana, and a week after nearly losing at home to Purdue, the Buckeyes (9-0, 5-0 Big Ten) held Penn State's up-tempo offense in check in a 35-23 win Saturday night at hostile Beaver Stadium.
Ohio State is in control in the Leaders Division and may have just minted itself as the Big Ten's best team - even if NCAA sanctions will prevent them from going to a bowl game.
But an undefeated season isn't out of the question. Ohio State has three games left, with a trip to Wisconsin sandwiched by home games against Illinois and Michigan.
The Buckeyes moved up three spots to No. 6 in the AP poll released Sunday.