Buckeyes hang on in second half to get past Indiana 42-35.

COLUMBUS – For the second game in a row #3 Ohio State (4-0) jumped out to a big first-half lead then struggled to maintain it.

It happened against Rutgers two weeks ago and again this week against #9 Indiana (4-1). ‘

The Buckeye start was absolutely torrid. Indiana managed one first down after taking the game-opening kickoff before punting the ball away to OSU. OSU took just two plays, a 65-yard completion and a ten-yard touchdown completion, both from Justin Fields to Garrett Wilson, to put seven points on the board just 2 minutes and 28 seconds into the game.

OSU’s defense followed up by forcing a three-and-out that resulted in the OSU offense taking over at midfield.

This looked like it complete mismatch,  but on the first play of OSU’s second possession Fields threw an ill-advised pass that was intercepted. It was an uncharacteristic play from Fields, and it was a portent of things to come.

The teams played the remainder of the first quarter to a stalemate on the scoreboard. OSU hurt themselves with critical penalties and the blitzing Indiana defense kept relentless pressure on fields. Indiana eventually tied the game at 7-7 in the second quarter with 11:03 remaining when they cashed in for a touchdown from two yards out. The score was set up but a 69-yard pass play by the Hoosier offense that carried to the OSU two-yard line.

OSU wasted no time regaining the lead.  On the next possession Ryan Day leaned heavily on the OSU running game and got what he wanted when Master Teague went 41 yards off left tackle and down the sideline for the score.  A three-and-out got the ball back for the OSU offense and once again the OSU ground game delivered a scoring drive, this one going 75 yards in eight plays. Teague went the final yard, but the big play in the drive was a 31-yard rush by fields to set up first and goal at the one-yard line.

The OSU defense gave up another big play on Indiana’s next possession, this one a 51-yard pass that carried to the OSU 13-yard line. On first down however the defense force a fumble that was recovered by linebacker Baron Browning to put OSU in possession on their own seven-yard line with 3:11 on the game clock.  The Buckeyes were able to drive the length of the field behind a mixture of running by Teague and passing by Fields to reach the Indiana nine-yard line with 25 second left to play in the half. On first-and-goal from the nine Fields kept the ball and dove over the last defender at the goal line for the score with 17 seconds remaining in the half to make it 28-7 Buckeyes.

OSU looked to  be in total control when they took the second-half kickoff and marched 75 yards to a touchdown to make the score 35-7.  A nine-yard pass from fields to Wilson accounted for the score and it looked for all the world like this game was over.

Someone forgot to tell the Hoosier.

On Indiana’s ensuing possession they hit a 63-yard scoring pass play to cut the Buckeye lead to 35-14.  Two possessions late I.U. hit another big play, this one a 33-yard pass for a touchdown, and suddenly it was 35-21 and a game that looked like it was all but over was suddenly not over all all.

OSU’s offensive woes continued on their next drive when they  drove to a first down at the Indiana 24, but a sack left the Buckeyes with third and thirteen at the 27.  They could not convert the third down and settled for a field goal attempt that went wide left.

The drive came up empty on offense, but the OSU defense changed that when on second and 10 from the 27 Shaun Wade intercepted a Charles Penix pass and returned it for a touchdown to make the score 42-21 as the third quarter came to to a close.

The Hoosiers had every excuse to fold at the point. They did just the opposite. They responded to the OSU score with a scoring drive of their own to cut OSU’s lead to 42-28. The Buckeyes failed to move the ball on their ensuing possession and punted. The Hoosiers then connected on yet another big pass play, this one a 44-yard touchdown toss to make it a one-score game at 42-35 with 10:26 left on the clock.

The OSU offense finally came back to life. They took the kickoff after the Hoosier score and drove from their own 25 to a fourth-and-one at the Indiana seven-yard line. OSU Head Coach Ryan Day elected to forego a field goal attempt and instead ran a bootleg pass with Fields rolling to his right. The pass was overthrown and the Hoosiers took over on downs with 4:39 remaining.

Indiana could not move the football and ended up punting it back to OSU when they faced a fourth-and-16 at their own 12-yard line. OSU’s offense was able to keep the ball long enough to run the clock down to 38 seconds before having to punt it away. Indiana was then unable to pull off a miracle finish and the Buckeye victory was preserved.

Indiana quarterback Charles Penix threw for 491 yards on 27 for 51 passing.  He threw for five TDs and one interception. OSU quarterback Justin Fields threw for 300 yards on 18 completions in 30 attempts. He threw an uncharacteristic three interceptions.

The difference in the game was in OSU’s ability to run the ball. OSU ran for 307 yards, led by a career-high 173 yards on 26 carries by Master Teague. Fields rushed for 100 yards on 15 carries and Trey Sermon added 60 yards on nine carries. Indiana rushed for a total of -1 yard.




14 Responses

  1. OSU’s D held IN to 7 points for the first 35 minutes of the game and made two key stops during IN’s last two possessions. Not bad. True, they gave up big plays, but illegal picks and maybe even a shove off may have contributed to their scores. Tell me a D that hasn’t been rattled this year? AL’s D got ripped by ‘Ole Miss, GA got toasted, so did FL, and even ND gave up huge points. No doubt this D does need to improve, but shown that for stretches it can do the job.

  2. Ok, lets look at the obvious, Coach Combs was given the defensive coordinator job on his return, and he is in over his head. He is overwhelmed you can see that by the defense and its play. Combs needs to just be involved with the defensive secondary. Combs also needs to take a page from departed coach Hathley playbook and start making the defensive backs look back for the ball. I thought 2018 defense was the worse i had ever seen of late, but this years, are mostly looking lost all game long. And when the players are in position to make a play on defense, the tackling is just terrible. CB Wade has really been a disappointment in my opinion this season, after showing so much promise last year, (could it be the coaching). Now on to the offense, what is wrong with the O-line? Wasn’t this area , suppose to have been a strong area? They were so confused with Indiana’s blitz package. I’m sitting watching game and screaming at the TV for the coaching brain trust, to stop running long developing pass patterns, and run some short crossing patterns, or throw to the TE or to a HB coming out of the backfield, to counter the blitzes. And if the running game is successful, why not keep doing it, till Indiana stops it? I hate to think that it may have been a top priority to pump up Justin’s stats in this game for the Heisman, but my mind thought did go there at times. As i see it, the Bucks have some major weak spots that need to be addressed and corrected or trouble lies ahead for sure. Come on Coach Day, stop making the excuses of this is a totally different environment for the players this season, we get that and understand, but all the teams this year are in the same situation. If schemes are not working , change them, coach up the players better, and make adjustments needed. Go Bucks!

  3. Coaching staff had two weeks to prepare and this is the best they have?

    OSU will be embarrassed in playoff game unless Fields has no turnovers and around 500 yards of passing and running offense.

    O line finally have a strong game run blocking but turn in their worse game pass blockng. I do not see a mean streak in our oline at all. No attempts to get the TEs the ball at all and no draws and only one screen pass late.

    Give me Clemson’s coaching staff .

    Will someone please explain to me that when Indiana does a 3 man WR bunch that we do not put 4 dbs over them? Indiana 5 oline man and OSU 4 d lineman so we have an extra man.

    Shaun Wade and his dad might think he is ready for the NFL but his tape says otherwise.

    Also, Fields needs to calm down, make quicker and better decisions.
    Last 2 interceptions were mental errors.

  5. Ohio State puts too much emphases on the defensive line getting pressure and it’s not working. The Bosa’s brothers and Chase Young are gone and the next man up is not effective.
    The secondary is a lost ball in high weeds. They have communications issues as they don’t know who they suppose to cover. The corners repeatedly get beat and have poor technique trying to defend the ball. They don’t turn their heads and flail their arms like someone drowning.
    Combs doesn’t teach to turn your head and look for the ball as we had the same issue when he was here with Meyer.
    One of the first statements from Jeff Hathley last year was, “yes, I can assure you our defense will turn and look for the ball”.

  6. Update on last post. After watching the replay review on Indiana’s third possession, this hack should not be allowed to work another game in this conference. His incompetence is only surpassed by the corrupt cheating of the SEC replay official from the playoff game.

  7. Finally watching the game this morning on DVR. Is the B1G incapable of hiring a replay official that’s not stunningly incompetent? Ignoring the clear and obvious fumble on Indiana’s second possession is inexcusable.

  8. Zach Harrison did not have any tackles today. He is supposed to be the next Chase Young or Joey or Nick Bosa? This should have been the game where we see him break out and get a sack or two.

    1. Don you cannot make plays when you are on the bench sitting next to a coach. Zach Harrison only had a couple of snaps maybe only one in the entire first half and he caused Indiana QB to fumble but of course BIgTen refs always go against Ohio State.

      Harrison only played at the end of the game because it was close. Go back and watch last weeks game and you will also notice Zach Harrison on the bench for most of the game.

      I am sure he has done something stupid and is being punished by the coaching staff but they are just not telling the public what he did.

    2. Don Harrison is big and can run but he is not football smart and is not productive. They dont have anybody who can rush the QB. Their DEs line up so wide they dont have a chance. It could get embarrassing against the elite. I can only imagine what the good teams would do to Indiana.

  9. Combs is officially on the clock. The way he has the LB’ers line up with the DL and do absolutely nothing or sprint back has me thinking Schiano all the way. They need to drop the single safety plan altogether. They don’t have the right guy for that. The DB’s are all very raw and will consistently miss assignments. So recognize what you have and simplify simplify simplify. Play 90% zone with two safeties and keep your LB ers right where they belong in the middle of the field. I am not even sure Combs will make it here here after watching today.

    1. That is a great post. Their defensive line cant rush the passer, their DBs cant cover college receivers and the scheme is pathetic. This is worse than 2018

  10. I don’t believe I’ve ever seen an Ohio State pass defense play so bad. I know one thing, they’re not a top-four football team.

    1. OSU put 28 on IN in the first half and played a less than better game and still had a 28 point lead. They are a top four team, because the first part of the 3rd quarter it was a statement game. I would agree with you IF IN/OSU see sawed back and forth. But no doubt, OSU’s 2nd half will need to get much better if we want to advance or even play with teams in the CFB playoff.

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