Game 4 Recap: Ohio State 42 – Indiana 35
For the second game in a row, the opponent who was a multiple touchdown underdog kept the game close. Ryan Day mentioned in his after game press conference that Ohio State needs to work on how to finish games. I think Buckeye Nation is glad it was a win, but can agree with that sentiment. Tom Allen had Indiana turning into a good team, and a team that is establishing a culture of competitiveness, and gave everything it could on the field, but the reality of it is, Ohio State played a very average game offensively, and a poor game defensively, and still won. This game could have been over by the 4th quarter, but the Hoosiers were not giving up.
The game started off as what could have been expected, the defense forced a stop on Indiana’s first possession, and it took the Buckeyes 2 plays, two Justin Fields’s passes to Garrett Wilson to make it 7-0. It was on Ohio State’s second possession that Justin Fields made an uncharacteristic error in throwing an interception after missing a read to Garrett Wilson.
The Buckeye offense stalled the rest of the 1st quarter, and Indiana finally broke through the defense with a touchdown pass to Whop Philyor, which was set uo by a big 68 yard pass to Miles Marshall. The Buckeyes responded with a touchdown of their own, capped off my a Master Teague run, and led 14-7.
After that, the Buckeyes seemd to have woken up, and scored on its next two possessions, taking a 28-7 lead into halftime, and getting the ball back to start the 3rd quarter.
Fields was in Fields form to start the half, connecting once more with Garrett Wilson for a back of the endzone pass, and extending the lead 35-7. It was at this ppint, that many felt that Ohio State was going to put this game away, and flex it dominance, but the Hoosiers never quit. Penix bombed another long pass to Ty Fryfogle, to cut the lead down to 35-14. The rest of the half, the Buckeyes had drives, but could not finish them off with points, and the Hooiser kept chipping away at the lead. At the end of the third quarter, Shaun Wade picked off Michael Penix to extend the Buckeyes lead to 42-21.
The 4th quarter was all Hoosiers, who rallied to cut it to 42-35, but the defense stopped a last second lateral attempt to try and force the game into overtime.
Justin Fields finished the game 18-30 passing with 300 yards, 2 touchdowns and 3 interceptions, his first of the year. He also was needed to extend plays based on the rush attack of the Indiana defense, and 78 yards and a touchdown on 15 carries.
Master Teague was the work horse in this game, with 26 carries for 169 yards and 2 touchdowns. Tre Sermon made good use of his playing time as well, getting 60 yards on 9 carries.
Garrett Wilson recorded his 4th straight 100 yard receiving game, with 7 catches for 169 yards and 2 touchdowns. Chris Olave also broke the 100 yard barrier with 8 catches for 101 yards. 3 other players recorded 1 catch in a game where Fields did not have the time he usually does, but they made the plays when they were needed.
Shaun Wade had been beaten by Fryfogle several instances this game, showing that he still has a lot to learn with the switch to outside corner. He did however make the play that ended up being the play of the game, which he picked off Michael Penix Jr for his first ever interception return for a touchdown as a Buckeye. With those points, Ohio State was able to manage a lead that was too big for the Hoosiers to catch up.
Star of the Game
Master Teague. Ohio State had gone so long with questions about their running game, and Teague solidified himself as the top back in this game. Justin Fields showed he was human, forcing 2 bad interceptions, and another that was picked off after a 4 player tip drill. Garrett Wilson also gets consideration for this spot because he eclipsed 100 yards receiving for his 4th straight game, trailing only Chris Carter, who recorded 5 games.
We may need to give more credit to Indiana, who did not quit even being down 35-7 to start the second half. Alabama rolled over Kentucky, and Notre Dame had a bye week. Clemson was set to play this weekend again Florida State but the medical staffs could not come to an agreement to play the game, or push it back, and instead postpone the game until potentially December 12. All of this being said because the playoff committee will release their first playoff rankings this Tuesday, and the Buckeyes have hovered around the top 3 in both polls so far. All the Buckeyes have to do is win out, and at the moment, it appears they will most likely be playing Northwestern in Indianapolis for the Big Ten Championship. Flashbacks to 2018 anyone?
Ohio State (4-0) travels to face Illinois (2-3)
Indiana (4-1) returns home to host Maryland (2-1)
Photo credit: Buckeyes Wire