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On an 'Off Day' Ohio State Still Wins by Three Scores Over Indiana, 38-17 - News and Notes
By Patrick Murphy

COLUMBUS – Sluggish. That seemed to be the consensus word for Ohio State for most of the day against Indiana. Despite a stop-and-start game, the Buckeyes (5-0) still found a way to win by three scores, 38-17 over the Hoosiers.

After picking up 17 yards on two rushes up the middle to start the game, OSU called a pitch play on the third. Quarterback J.T. Barrett’s toss was high and hit running back Mike Weber in the facemask before falling to the ground. The fumble was recovered by the Hoosiers for the first turnover of the day.

Barrett has started slow multiple times this season, but in this contest he never seemed to get going in the passing game. While he finished with 137 rushing yards and one touchdowns, he was just nine-for-21 passing for 93 yards, one score and one interception.

The quarterback finished the game with 26 carries, more than Weber and H-back Curtis Samuel combined.

Ohio State held the Hoosier running game in check, allowing just 99 yards on the ground. Indiana was able to hit in the passing game with quarterback Richard Lagow going 14-of-28 for 182 yards and two touchdowns.

When it mattered the most, the Silver Bullets stepped up, forcing six three-and-outs and an interception by Malik Hooker on IU’s final drive.

Weber was the only Buckeye to find the endzone on more than one occasion, doing so early in the second quarter and again in the third to help Ohio State take and then extend the lead.

Game-changing play

Robert Lagow had just led Indiana on a seven-play, 65-yard scoring drive and just over a minute remained on the clock. The lead was only seven and Ohio State looked for a spark to take momentum into halftime.

Return man Parris Campbell gave the Buckeyes exactly that, returning the kickoff 91 yards to the Hoosier six-yard line. Two plays later and J.T. Barrett carried the ball into the endzone from five yards out to give his team a 24-10 halftime lead.

When it was over

Following J.T. Barrett’s interception by IU’s A’Shon Riggins early in the fourth quarter, the Hoosiers got the ball to the Ohio State four-yard line. Indiana rushed Mike Majette up the middle for no gain and called a timeout before a fourth-and-one play.

The Hoosiers needed a first down and a score in order to cut into the 31-17 Buckeye lead, but the combination of freshman defensive end Nick Bosa and redshirt junior nose tackle Michael Hill – along with early penetration by redshirt freshman defensive tackle Robert Landers – stuffed Devine Redding behind the line of scrimmage.

Hitting hard

Linebacker Jerome Baker wasn’t a starter to begin the year, but has made his case to be one while deputizing for the injured Dante Booker.

Baker made his fourth start of the season against the Hoosiers and recorded a career-high 11 total tackles to lead the Buckeyes defense. This included one drive where Baker was on the sideline being looked at by trainers, but he returned with no noticeable issue.

What’s next

Ohio State begins a tough two-game road stretch next week when the Buckeyes travel to Madison to take on No. 11 Wisconsin. The Badgers were off this week, meaning they should be rested and prepared to face the Scarlet and Gray Saturday night.

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