Ohio State-Indiana: Buckeyes survive Hoosiers’ aerial assault, win 42-35

Credit: David Jablonski

Credit: David Jablonski

COLUMBUS -- No. 3 Ohio State led by as many as 28 points but had to hold on at the end for a 42-35 win over No. 9 Indiana.

The Buckeyes improved to 4-0 while handing the Hoosiers their first defeat.

Leading 28-7 at halftime, Ohio State went right to work in the second half as Justin Fields and Garrett Wilson connected three times for 59 yards on the Buckeyes’ first possession.

That included a 39-yard play and an 11-yard touchdown.

The Hoosiers wasted no time striking back as Ty Fryfogle found a seam in the Ohio State secondary and Michael Penix Jr. found him for a 63-yard touchdown pass that made it 35-14 with 10:48 to go.

They pulled within 14 when Penix hit Fryfogle again from 33 yards out with 5:14 left in the third quarter, and the Hoosiers had a chance to make it a one-score game after Jake Seibert missed a 44-yard field goal for Ohio State.

That did not last long.

After Penix, who finished the day with 491 passing yards, overthrew an open David Ellis on first down, he was intercepted by Shaun Wade on second. The Ohio State cornerback had nothing but green turf in front of him and returned the pick 36 yards for a touchdown to push Ohio State’s lead back to 21 points at 42-21 with 49 seconds left in the quarter.

The Hoosiers kept coming, though, as Penix hit Ellis on a crossing route for a 16-yard touchdown pass with 12:26 left.

After Ohio State went three-and-out, Penix and Fryfogle needed just 14 seconds to strike again, this time a 56-yard touchdown pass on which Fryfogle took the ball away from Wade and went in for the score to make it 42-35 with more than 10 minutes left.

Ohio State had a chance to extend the lead to 10 points, but Ohio State coach Ryan Day eschewed a short field goal with his backup kicker and called a pass play on fourth-and-1. Fields was rushed and threw incomplete, giving the Hoosiers the ball inside the Ohio State 10.

They were forced to punt, but Ohio State was unable to run out the clock on its ensuing possession.

Indiana took over at its 22 with :38 seconds left. The Hoosiers moved to their 38 but could get no further. A final play full of laterals ended up as a fumble recovered by the Buckeyes with no time on the clock.


Ohio State struck first with a two-play drive that consisted of a long pass from Justin Fields to Garrett Wilson and a short pass from Fields to Wilson.

First, Fields found Wilson running behind the coverage for a 65-yard gain down to the 10. On the next play, the quarterback saw Wilson in single coverage in the slot and let him go to work, easily beating his man to come free over the middle for a touchdown.

On the first play of the next Ohio State possession, Fields stood in the pocket and tried to fit a deep ball into a tight coverage window to Wilson. Jamar Johnson had other ideas, stepping in front of the ball from his deep safety spot and returning it to the Ohio State 44-yard line.

The Hoosiers couldn’t do anything with the ball, though, as Ty Fryfogle dropped a Penix pass on a crossing route. He was wide open and would have easily gotten the first down, but instead the ball went back to the Buckeyes at their own 36.

That began a run of futility for the Ohio State offense that included two punts and another interception of Fields.

The Hoosiers drew even early in the second quarter when Whop Philyor fought through a Marcus Williamson tackle attempt to score from four yards out. That was set up by a 68-yard pass from Penix to Miles Marshall two plays earlier.

Ohio State went back on top just over two minutes later when Master Teague took a handoff and went around end for 41 yards to the end zone. He picked ups blocks from his tight ends, gained the edge and was able to outrun the pursuit to find pay dirt.

That made it 14-7 with 8:57 left in the second quarter.

Teague found the end zone from two yard out a little more than four minutes later, a run set up by Fields’ 30-yard scramble on the previous play.

Fields finished the scoring in the second quarter with a 9-yard scramble for a touchdown.

The Ohio State quarterback completed 11 of 17 passes for 193 yards and a touchdown with the two interceptions in the first half. He also ran for 49 yards.

Teague had 98 yards on 11 carries while Trey Sermon added 49 yards on five carries.

Chris Olave had six catches for 90 yards while Wilson had 83 yards on three catches.

The Buckeyes outgained the Hoosiers 389-191.

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