STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (AP) -- Maybe now No. 1 Ohio State will get the respect it's looking for.
Todd Boeckman threw for 253 yards and three touchdowns and Chris Wells ran for 133 yards, leading the Buckeyes to another easy victory, 37-17 over No. 24 Penn State on Saturday night.
The Buckeyes' vaunted defense didn't play up to its typical stingy standards, but it didn't need to be at its best with Boeckman on a roll and Ohio State's massive offensive line dominating.
``We couldn't stop them,'' Penn State coach Joe Paterno said. ``That was a good football team and they played really well.''
Several Buckeyes (9-0, 5-0, Big Ten) earlier this week complained they weren't getting enough respect despite their No. 1 ranking in the polls and Bowl Championship Series standings. Penn State (6-3, 3-3) was only the second ranked team Ohio State has faced. While the competition has been so-so, the Buckeyes have been blowing out their opponents.
This was Ohio State's toughest test yet, a night game one of the loudest venues in the country. A crowd of 110,134, the second-largest in Beaver Stadium history, started out loud but was quieted quickly and the Buckeyes went on to their seventh double-digit victory.
Ohio State has won 19 straight Big Ten games, tying the mark set by Michigan in 1990-92. The Buckeyes' last Big Ten loss came Oct. 8, 2005, 17-10 at Penn State.
This time, they left Happy Valley in a very good mood.
``They were one step ahead of us all night,'' Paterno said.
Boeckman, a first-year starter, silenced the Nittany Lions' rowdy white-clad student section early with two long first-half touchdown drives. He finished 19-of-26 passing with one interception.
Wells softened the defense by getting Ohio State into short-yardage situations on second or third downs.
Penn State's experienced secondary got burned for long gains by Boeckman.
The Nittany Lions, seventh in the nation in total defense coming in, had breakdowns on numerous third-down plays. Ohio State was 7-of-8 alone in the first half on third-down conversions and gained 453 yards in total offense.
The Buckeyes scored on five of their first seven possessions, each of their scoring drives starting at no better than their own 22.
A 15-play, 91-yard drive that ate up 6:26 of clock in the first half exemplified the Buckeyes' success.
After three straight runs by Wells of at least 6 yards, Boeckman rolled right from the Penn State 31 and threw a perfect pass through coverage to Brian Robiskie for a 19-yard gain.
Three plays later, a holding call negated Wells' touchdown from the 4 and pushed the Buckeyes back to a third-and-14 from the 16.
With Penn State playing back in a zone, Boeckman hit Brian Hartline for a short pass left. Left tackle Alex Boone threw an open-field block on cornerback Lydell Sargeant, and Hartline eluded safety Anthony Scirrotto's tackle to get into the end zone for a 17-7 lead.
A 13-play, 87-yard drive in the third quarter proved to be decisive.
Penn State stopped Wells for a 1-yard gain on third-and-2, ending a streak of seven consecutive third-down conversions. Boeckman converted on a quarterback sneak to give Ohio State a first-and-10 from the Penn State 23.
Three plays later, Boeckman hit tight end Jake Ballard in the end zone - on third down, of course - for a 21-yard touchdown to put the Buckeyes ahead 24-7.
Buckeyes cornerback Malcolm Jenkins intercepted a wobbly pass by quarterback Anthony Morelli and returned it 24 yards for a touchdown to increase the lead to 34-10 with 9:36 left in the game, sending sad Nittany Lions fans to the exits early.
SOURCE: NCAAFOOTBALL.COM; PHOTO CREDIT: COLLEGIATE IMAGES