Penn State Earns First National Ranking Since 2011; Nittany Lions in at No. 24 in AP Top 25

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – Following a thrilling comeback win over No. 2 Ohio State Saturday night in the Penn State White Out, the Nittany Lions entered the Associated Press Top 25 the 24th slot Sunday.

(Marcus Allen blocking the field goal in the fourth quarter that Grant Haley returned for the game-winning touchdown. Photo by Paul Burdick. Check out more of Burdick’s work here)

This marks the first time that Penn State has been ranked since week 15 of the 2011 season.

Junior safety Marcus Allen blocked a 45-yard field goal attempt with just over five minutes remaining in the game. The blocked kick was scooped up by junior cornerback Grant Haley, who took it 60 yards for the game-winning touchdown.

The Nittany Lion defense was outstanding, holding Ohio State scoreless in two quarters for the first time since the Michigan State game last season. In their return, linebackers Brandon Bell and Jason Cabinda combined for 31 tackles, 2.0 sacks and 3.0 tackles for loss.

Penn State is 5-2 overall and 3-1 in Big Ten play after the victory over the Buckeyes. The Nittany Lions are back in action at Purdue Saturday at noon on ABC (with an ESPN2 mirror).

Also, West Virginia moved up two spots in the AP Poll to No. 10 and are also up four spots to No. 9 in the Coaches’ Poll, where Penn State comes in under others receiving votes in what would be the 27th spot.

Alabama remains No. 1 in both polls with Michigan moving up to No. 2 in both. Ohio State dropped to sixth in the AP poll and eighth in the coaches’ poll.

See the polls via ESPN.

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