Quick Recap: Ohio State was expected to roll over an Indiana team that had struggled offensively after injuries and defections at the quarterback position, but the Hoosiers gave a game effort on an icy day in Columbus before OSU pulled away. It looked like the Buckeyes would roll early, taking a 14-0 lead 6:32 into the game, but the offense went into a funk and Indiana scored 20 straight points to take the lead. The last score, a 90-yard run by Tevin Coleman midway through the third quarterback, put the Buckeyes on upset alert, but the game changed when Jalin Marshall returned a punt 54 yards for a touchdown with 2:20 left in the third. Marshall helped OSU pull away from there, taking a jet sweep for a TD, making a one-handed TD grab after a Tyvis Powell interception and then going 54 yards for another jet-sweep score that put the game away. Coleman later added another long TD run to get to 228 rushing yards and three scores on the day, but J.T. Barrett threw for 302 yards and four touchdowns.
Urban Said: “I shared with our players, what a great place to play where you win a conference or a division championship, you put 500-some yards on the board, you still feel like you didn't play very well. And you win whatever straight conference games or whatever – I'm not sure what all that stuff is going on. But no place else you'd rather play or coach that you have high expectations.
“And so the good thing is we won the championship, a division championship. It will give us a ticket to the championship game. And then we can all focus on our rival. So certainly we could have played a little better in some areas, the darned turnover thing and missed tackles. We get out of that thing with only giving up 20 points after those turnovers, you're pleased but just that last big hit that kid had the 90-yarder and that last one, just sits in your stomach the wrong way. We've got some work to do.”
Play of the Game: Marshall’s punt return. Ohio State punter Cameron Johnston pinned the Hoosiers deep in their own territory and the defense held for a three-and-out, forcing Indiana’s Erich Toth to punt out of his own end zone. Marshall caught the ball on the right side of the field at the OSU 46, went left to get around the initial wave of gunners, then cut upfield and sped by some more Hoosiers. With just Toth to beat, he gave a juke right and was gone, sparking the Buckeye comeback and giving OSU a 21-20 lead.
Player of the Game: One week after his two fumbles helped Minnesota stay in the game – and resulted in an avalanche of criticism on social media – Marshall shined with his four scores and 151 total yards. He was clearly feeling it as the day went on, and his last two TDs came on the only play of drives to help bury the Hoosiers. It was an inspiring day for the redshirt freshman from Middletown, Ohio, who hadn’t had a breakout game until that point.
What Was Accomplished: Ohio State got to the nitty gritty and avoided a late-season upset bid from an Indiana team that had been left for dead since an injury to QB Nate Sudfeld but had beaten SEC East champ Missouri earlier in the season. The Buckeyes overcame a lackluster crowd – the stadium had plenty of empty seats early in the game as a morning ice storm gummed up highways and sidewalks around town and campus – in the early going and a lackluster start to pull away and set up two games that would determine the fate of the season. The game also clinched a return to the Big Ten Championship Game, site of last year’s meltdown vs. Michigan State.