OSU Rolls, Clinches B1G Title Game Berth

Third-ranked Ohio State rolled to a 42-14 Senior Day victory over Indiana on Saturday, establishing a new school record with a 23rd consecutive win and clinching a berth in the Big Ten Championship Dame. Braxton Miller accounted for 304 yards of total offense while Ryan Shazier had a career-high 20 tackles, including five for loss.

Third-ranked Ohio State took care of business on a snowy Saturday afternoon, jumping out to a 42-0 lead over Indiana before cruising to a 42-14 Senior Day victory in front of 104,990 fans at a chilly Ohio Stadium.

The Buckeyes not only extended their winning streak to a school-record 23 games, they clinched the Leaders Division championship and punched their ticket to the Big Ten Championship Game, set for Dec. 7 in Indianapolis. Earlier in the day, Michigan State clinched the Legends Division title and earned the right to face the Buckeyes for the conference championship.

"These players have been incredible for performing the way they have these past two years," OSU head coach Urban Meyer said after the game. "Secondly, I have to give credit to our coaching staff. We haven't had any (staff) turnover and we are perfectly aligned right now. You look around the country and see some other scores and wonder, ‘How did that happen.' We have been so consistent these past two years, and I give all the credit to our players and coaches."

Junior quarterback Braxton Miller accounted for more than 300 yards of total offense against the Hoosiers, rushing for 144 yards and two touchdowns while throwing for 160 yards and two more scores.

Meanwhile, senior tailback Carlos Hyde carried 18 times for 117 yards and two touchdowns. Hyde moved his season rushing total to 1,064 yards, making him the first running back to crack the 1,000-yard mark in Meyer's 12-year coaching career.

Freshman running back/receiver Dontre Wilson also had an excellent game. He caught three passes for 32 yards and a touchdown, and rushed four times for 26 yards.

Tight end Jeff Heuerman added two receptions for 59 yards, and junior wideout Devin Smith turned his only catch of the game into a 39-yard touchdown.

Ohio State totaled 471 yards in the game, 311 of which came on the ground. Meanwhile, Indiana had 442 total yards, but got 320 of those through the air. Starting QB Nate Sudfeld completed 25 of 41 attempts for 224 yards and two touchdowns, while backup Tre Roberson connected on 7 of 12 throws for 96 yards.

Roberson was also his team's leading rusher with 79 yards on 12 carries.

OSU junior linebacker Ryan Shazier was the defensive player of the game with five tackles for loss and one sack among his career-high 20 tackles. Junior cornerback Bradley Roby added 10 stops – all solos – in his final home game as a Buckeye. Roby has announced he will forgo his final season of college eligibility and make himself eligible for the NFL draft next spring.

Junior defensive lineman Michael Bennett added two sacks for the Buckeyes.

Fans were still streaming into the stadium when Ohio State scored its first touchdown. Miller faked a handoff and then broke three tackles during a 41-yard run, setting up a 7-yard touchdown run by Hyde to make it 7-0 at the 12:41 mark of the first quarter.

OSU's second possession also resulted in a touchdown and it featured another long run by Miller. This time, the junior quarterback faked a handoff to Hyde and shot through a huge hole in the middle of the line. Quickly zipping to his right, Miller outraced a couple of Indiana defenders to the end zone, somersaulting across the goal line to complete a 37-yard touchdown run and make it 14-0 with 8:11 remaining in the opening period.

Roby's blocked punt midway through the second quarter gave the Buckeyes the ball at the IU 8-yard line, and two plays later Ohio State dialed up a little trickery. After splitting out wide left, Miller cut back across the field and took a handoff from senior Kenny Guiton. Miller seemed ready to throw the ball, but he found no one open and motored toward the end zone, making another spinning dive as Indiana cornerback Tim Bennett submarined him at the goal line.

The 5-yard touchdown run made it 21-0 Buckeyes with 8:36 left until halftime.

Indiana had two chances to score in the first half. Senior kicker Mitch Ewald clanged a 42-yard field goal attempt off the right upright on the first play of the second quarter – Ewald's first miss after going a perfect 9 for 9 in three-point attempts this year – and Sudfeld was sacked on a fourth-and-6 at the OSU 31-yard line with 1:29 remaining in the half.

That fourth-down failure proved doubly costly for the Hoosiers when Ohio State quickly went the other way, moving 69 yards in just 52 seconds, tacking on a 5-yard touchdown run by Hyde before the half ended to make it 28-0.

Indiana played much of the second half on the OSU end of the field, but the Hoosiers couldn't convert the field position into points until the outcome had long been decided. Ewald missed another field goal, this time hitting the left upright from 41 yards out at the 9:30 mark of the third quarter.

Then after Indiana safety Greg Heban intercepted a tipped pass from Miller, the Hoosiers failed on a fourth-and-5 pass play at the OSU 34.

The offense took over on downs and went 66 yards in six plays to make it 35-0. Miller took a shotgun snap and flipped the ball in front of him as Wilson raced past, and the freshman running back hit a seam for a 24-yard touchdown play.

OSU's defense thwarted another Indiana scoring opportunity early in the fourth quarter when IU receiver Cody Latimer could not corral a pass in the end zone. Once again, the Buckeyes took the ball the other way and marched 98 yards in eight plays, a drive capped by a perfectly thrown pass from Miller to Smith for a 39-yard post-pattern touchdown to make it 42-0 with 10:37 remaining in the game.

Indiana finally broke through to score a pair of meaningless touchdowns during the final six minutes – Sudfeld touchdown passes of 4 yards to receiver Shane Wynn with 5:59 remaining, and 25 yards to backup running back D'Angelo Roberts at the 2:03 mark.


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