For the second year in a row, Indiana was hanging around with No. 3 Ohio State into the second half. For the second year in a row, the Buckeyes just kept coming.
Indiana had a second quarter 17-14 lead, but a Buckeye wave put them in front 35-20. After pulling back to within 35-26, a third quarter interception by IU defensive back Bryant Fitzgerald had Indiana in Buckeye territory looking to turn the game back into a one possession game. Instead the Hoosiers were forced to punt.
After forcing an OSU punt on the ensuing possession, the Hoosiers got the ball back in good field position once again with a chance to get within one score. Instead, IU kicker Logan Justus badly missed a 50-yard field goal — and then the next Ohio State wave came.
.@IndianaFootball scores again in Columbus and keeps the pressure on the Buckeyes.
A failed 2-point conversion keeps it a two-score game, 35-26: pic.twitter.com/UxQa840zEY
— Big Ten Network (@BigTenNetwork) October 6, 2018
You can’t just can’t miss opportunities against an offense as good as Ohio State’s.
Fourth quarter Buckeye touchdowns on consecutive possessions quickly stretched the lead out to the final margin of 49-26. Ohio State rolled to 609 total yards, including 455 passing yards against an Indiana passing defense that had been ranked in the top 20 coming into the game.
Buckeye quarterback Dwayne Haskins was 33 of 44 for 455 yards and six touchdowns. The Hoosiers did force him into two interceptions, both on plays where Haskins was hit as he threw.
The game was closer than the final score would suggest, but there are no moral victories in the Big Ten, and Iowa looms next Saturday.
IU quarterback Peyton Ramsey was not as accurate as he has been on the season, but he still managed to go 26 for 49 for 322 yards and three touchdowns with no interceptions. After appearing to suffer a leg injury, he hit an unusual cold streak in the second half, leading to multiple key drives that stalled out.
Ramsey’s relative inaccuracy was also in part due to a more vertical Hoosier passing attack.
Indiana was also looking for more downfield opportunities against an Ohio State defense that was stacking the box and playing press coverage at the line of scrimmage. The Hoosier offensive line had struggled in recent weeks, but they did a decent job on this day giving Ramsey time to take his shots.
With IU receivers Whop Philyor and Luke Timian still out with injuries, Nick Westbrook and J-Shun Harris led the way, with each surpassing the 100 yard mark.
Go get it, @_Jshun_! ✋ One handed grab.
? » @FOXTV pic.twitter.com/dYw50XdeYP
— Indiana Football (@IndianaFootball) October 6, 2018
Freshman running back Stevie Scott got loose early for a big 45 yard run to set up a field goal on IU’s first drive of the game. The Hoosiers largely abandoned the running game, however, and he finished with 64 yards. Indiana had just 84 yards rushing on the day.
The Hoosiers fall to 4-2 on the season. The schedule doesn’t let up, with Iowa coming to Bloomington next Saturday at Noon. The Hawkeyes moved to 4-1 today after a 48-31 win over Minnesota.
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