In a major Big Ten showdown, Ohio State football held off a furious Indiana comeback to win 42-35. What did we learn from this one?
We may have seen two de facto semi final games today in the Big Ten. The Big Ten West had a showdown between Wisconsin and Northwestern with the winner finishing the day in first place. And the Big Ten East had the same scenario with No. 9 Indiana visiting Columbus to play the No. 3 Buckeyes.
Ohio State only needed two offensive plays to take a 7-0 lead over the Hoosiers, after being set up by a 65 yard reception by Garrett Wilson. Indiana did not wither defensively, responding by forcing a punt and two interceptions in the next three drives by Ohio State.
Offensively, it was a challenge for the Hoosiers as the heavy passing attack resulted in punts or turnover on downs for the first five drives. They did manage to get it on track with a second quarter touchdown drive that was started by a 68-yard connection between Michael Penix and Miles Marshall.
Ohio State started to figure it out after being tied at 7-7, responding with four straight touchdown drives to pick up a 35-7 lead. Despite getting off to huge lead, it was not all perfect for the Buckeyes.
Justin Fields had three interceptions in his career coming into Saturday. He finished Saturday’s game with three interceptions and was under constant pressure. He was sacked five times, and chased out of the pocket for a lot of the ballgame. The Buckeyes’ secondary also allowed four completions that went for 50-plus yards.
Indiana changed the tempo of the game in the second half. The Hoosiers outscored Ohio State by a score of 28-14 in the second half led by Penix and the passing attack. At one point they were able to get the deficit down to seven points after Ty Fryfogle hauled in a 56-yard dot by Penix.
Regardless of those mistakes made by Ohio State, they were still able to close this game off by a score of 42-35 and are in prime position to play for the Big Ten Championship. What did we learn?