"It's still one game at a time," said senior quarterback Matt McGloin. "We only have four games left. That's our mind-set. We can't worry about what happened in the past. We have to keep pushing forward and moving on. Purdue is a good football team. They took Ohio State to overtime and we have to be prepared for that game."
McGloin called the Lions' performance "one of those nights," unlike what Penn State had seen in its previous three Big Ten games when its "NASCAR" no-huddle offense - averaging 90.3 plays and 37.3 points per game - had defenses gasping for breath.
Through three quarters, the Buckeyes (9-0, 5-0) held a 28-10 lead. The Nittany Lions had just 46 plays and 236 yards of total offense and were 1 of 12 on third and fourth downs. The numbers were better in the fourth quarter when the offense scored its only two touchdowns of the game, but the Lions still saw their five-game win streak snapped.
"Everyone is a little heartbroken right now," middle linebacker Glenn Carson said. "But we have a bunch of warriors on our team. We have a lot of guys that have been through a lot. There is no doubt we will bounce back from this. Everyone is going to rebound in a positive way."
O'Brien, as is his custom, faulted himself for the loss, saying, "It starts with me. I didn't do a very good job tonight as the head football coach and I have to do a much better job for this football team."
Some calls that usually succeed for O'Brien did not work Saturday night. He passed on a field-goal attempt in the second quarter with the ball on the Ohio State 20 but didn't make the first down. And an incomplete pass on a fake punt enabled the Buckeyes to take over at their own 43 and drive to a touchdown, the second of three they scored in the third quarter.
"I think that was the turning point of the game," Ohio State coach Urban Meyer said.
The Nittany Lions play their next two games on the road, at Purdue and Nebraska, and feel they will bounce back. "It's not a letdown," senior cornerback Stephon Morris said. "We have a lot of sane leaders on this team and we just want to keep moving forward. We have a good record still. We still have the same goal, to win our division. So it's not a letdown. We can't let it affect the rest of our season."
Starting time set. A Penn State spokesman said the Nittany Lions' game against Purdue in West Lafayette, Ind., will begin at 3:30 p.m. It will be televised on ESPNU.
Contact Joe Juliano at email@example.com. Follow @joejulesinq on Twitter.