After jumping out to a 14-0 lead early in the first quarter and Ezekiel Elliott going over the 1,000-yard mark for the season on a 65-yard opening touchdown run, it was expected that Indiana would simply roll over and concede, but that wasn't the case. The Hoosiers reeled off 10 straight points after forcing a Michael Thomas fumble and followed it up with a 53-yard Zander Diamont run followed by Tevin Coleman pushing through the Buckeyes defensive line into the endzone, bringing the score to 14-10.
The turnovers from the Minnesota game last week reared their ugly heads once more, this time against Indiana. The Thomas fumble was followed by two back-to-back interceptions from Ohio State quarterback J.T. Barrett. The Hoosiers would use the second interception to cut the Buckeyes' lead to 14-13 in the second quarter and knock Ohio State's offense off its course.
The second half started off with Ohio State quickly stalling Indiana's first drive while the Buckeyes had a few shots down field that fell overthrown. Then things got a little crazy. Indiana running back Tevin Coleman took a handoff 90 yards for a long touchdown run with their backs against their own endzone to give Indiana a 20-14 lead late in the third quarter. A 54-yard punt return for a touchdown from Jalin Marshall would provide some much needed momentum for Ohio State and give them back the lead for good, 21-20. If that wasn't enough from the H-back, Marshall added a six-yard touchdown reception that came on a touch pass from J.T. Barrett to give the Buckeyes a 28-20 fourth quarter lead.
Indiana had a couple of opportunities to try and tie the game, but a late fourth quarter interception from Tyvis Powell would help seal the victory over the Hoosiers as Jalin Marshall made a one-handed touchdown grab with less than five minutes left in the game to make it a 35-20 lead. The Buckeyes wrapped up the Big Ten East division after Jalin Marshall scored his fourth touchdown of the day, taking yet another touch pass for 54 yards to put Ohio State up 42-20. Tevin Coleman would add one final touchdown on a 52-yard run to make the final score 42-27.
J.T. Barrett also added to his outstanding season, breaking the single-season passing touchdown record at Ohio State, with his 31st touchdown pass of the year. Barrett went 25-35 and threw for over 300 yards along with four touchdowns against the Hoosiers while also carrying the ball 20 times for 78 yards.
3 things we learned
1) Turnovers are fun for no one. Ohio State's offense has had record-breaking success this season, led by redshirt freshman quarterback J.T. Barrett's outstanding first season. Many times this year, the only way Ohio State could be stopped was by themselves. Turnovers are costly in any game, but against Indiana, the Buckeyes had three first half turnovers, including a fumble and two interceptions. The Hoosiers were even able to take advantage to the extent of making it a one-point game late in the first half. The turnovers also got Ohio State's offense completely out of sync and we saw a couple of rare three and outs from the offense, looking all out of sorts for the majority of the game
2) Stopping the run is going to get even harder. The Buckeyes ranked 30th in the country in rush defense coming into Saturday, but faced stiff competition going against one of the better rushers in the nation. Indiana running back Tevin Coleman and quarterback Zander Diamont combined for just under 100 yards and a touchdown in the first half and were able to keep things close enough to make it interesting. Then in the second half, Coleman exploded for a 90-yard run for a touchdown to give Indiana a 20-14 lead. Coleman finished with over 200 yards on the day and three touchdowns. In the coming weeks, Ohio State will likely be going against the nation's leading running back, Wisconsin's Melvin Gordon, in the Big Ten championship. The Buckeyes will have to get the defense sorted out in hopes to contain the star running back.
3) Redemption is the sweetest feeling. After receiving an unfair amount of criticism for his turnovers against Minnesota, Jalin Marshall channeled the negativity and turned it into the clutchest performance of the day against Indiana, returning a punt 54 yards for a touchdown to give the lead and momentum back to Ohio State. Marshall also contributed five receptions for 95 yards, including a touch pass reception that went six yards, a highlight reel one-handed grab for a score, and a 54-yard reception to wrap up his four touchdown day. Marshall's punt return was perhaps the brightest play on a fairly disappointing performance from the Buckeyes overall against the Hoosiers, but the fourth quarter explosion from Marshall propelled Ohio State to a closer than expected victory.