Jack Park, a leading Ohio State football historian, checks in each week during the college football season with a retrospective about the Buckeyes.

Nittany Lions Ohio State handled Nebraska with ease two weeks ago, 56-14, after leading 35-0 at halftime. Interestingly, exactly 50 years earlier at Ohio Stadium on October 14, 1967, the Buckeyes trailed No. 2 Purdue 35-0 at halftime.

In both games, thousands of hometown fans headed for the stadium exits at halftime. The final score in 1967 was 41-6.

The No. 6 Buckeyes have a huge home clash against No. 2 Penn State this weekend.

Ohio State was just 2-6 in this series before the Nittany Lions joined the Big Ten in 1993.

Since then, OSU is 16-8 over the last 24 seasons. Ohio State’s first victory over Penn State came in 1975. The third-ranked Buckeyes used the big play to conquer the seventh-ranked Nittany Lions, 17-9, before an Ohio Stadium crowd of 88,093.

It was OSU’s first win over PSU after setbacks in 1912, 1956, 1963 and 1964. It also was the first encounter between coaches Woody Hayes and Joe Paterno.

Ohio State opened the game with an 80-yard drive to lead 7-0. The key play of the series was a surprise 49-yard reverse by wingback Brian Baschnagel. Fullback Pete Johnson scored the touchdown from the three behind a key block by Archie Griffin.

Penn State came right back with a 55-yard field goal by Chris Bahr to make the score 7-3. At the time, Bahr’s field goal was the longest in the 54-year history of Ohio Stadium (it now is tied for the second longest.

Michigan State’s Morten Anderson kicked a 63-yarder in 1981). Ohio State’s Tom Klaban booted his first field goal of the season, from 45 yards out, to put OSU on top after one quarter, 10-3.

The Nittany Lions’ defense stiffened to hold the Buckeyes scoreless the next 30 minutes. Meanwhile, Bahr connected on a 31-yard second-quarter field goal, then added a 25-yarder in the third period to bring PSU within one at 10-9.

The Buckeye offense got rolling again in the final period with Johnson scoring his second touchdown on a powerful burst from the PSU 11. Klaban’s conversion concluded the game’s scoring at 17-9.

The clinching drive was kept alive when Griffin made a breathtaking, one-handed grab of a Cornelius Greene pass on a third-and-eleven from the Nittany Lion 45.

Griffin led all rushers with 128 yards, his 23rd consecutive regular season game of rushing for at least 100 yards. Johnson, who gained 122 yards, was effective with his plunges between the tackles.

Paterno admitted that Penn State underestimated Johnson’s strength. Punter Tom Skladany was a factor, averaging 47.6 yards on five kicks.

Hayes was especially proud of his young defense, which had not given up a touchdown in the first two games of the season.

Tackle Nick Buonamici, playing with an injured hand, led all tacklers with 12 participations. It was the first time Penn State had been held without a touchdown in its last 27 games.