Ohio State survives a scare from Indiana with a career-day from Buckeye running back Ezekiel Elliott

The Ohio State Buckeyes deflected a last second pass from Hoosier quarterback Zander Diamont to leave Indiana with a 34-27 victory behind 274 yards on the ground from Ezekiel Elliott. Cardale Jones throws for 245 yards and a score, to go along with an interception in the win.

The weather was unseasonably cool, and the Ohio State Buckeyes needed all of the first three quarters to warm up.

Yet it still took all 60 minutes to solidify a win.

Indiana backup quarterback Zander Diamont, who was playing for an injured Nate Sudfeld, had one last chance to possibly tie the game from the 9-yard line, but threw incomplete after a bad snap and Ohio State survived a last-minute scare, 34-27 in Bloomington, Ind.

After only rushing for 14 yards in the first half, the Buckeyes traded punts with the Hoosiers to start the second frame and brought its power run game to Memorial Stadium.

Facing third-and-1 on the second drive of the half, Buckeye running back Ezekiel Elliott broke outside and flew into the end zone on a 55-yard touchdown run to give Ohio State its first lead of the game, 13-10.

It was the first of many long runs for Elliott, who finished the game with a career-high 274 yards and three scores.

Momentum stayed with the Buckeyes for most of the third quarter as Indiana was forced to punt on four straight possessions, but after Ohio State quarterback Cardale Jones threw a red zone interception with 4:01 remaining in the third quarter Indiana, led by Diamont, drove 55-yards and scored to take a 17-13 lead with 2:23 in the third quarter.

Elliott came back in a big way, taking a fourth-and-1 carry 65 yards to the end zone to give Ohio State back the lead, at 20-17.

After Indiana was forced to punt on the ensuing possession, the Buckeyes opened the fourth quarter with a 23-yard touchdown pass from Jones to Michael Thomas to extend the Ohio State lead to 27-17.

Jomes finished the day 18 of 27 for 245 yards and the score to Thomas, to go along with an interception.

The Buckeyes again forced an Indiana punt, but Ohio State wide receiver Jalin Marshall fumbled after catching a pass from Jones for the second time in the game, and Indiana put together a 10-play, 34-yard drive ending in a field goal, to cut the Buckeye lead to 27-20.

Ohio State had a chance to end the drive at the goal line, but Buckeye safety Tyvis Powell dropped an easy interception in the end zone to help keep the drive alive for the Hoosiers.

Again, Elliott answered taking the first play of the following drive 75 yards for his third score of the game to give the Buckeyes a two-touchdown lead.

The haymakers kept coming from both sides, as Diamont took the first play of the next Indiana drive 79 yards up the sideline to bring the Hoosiers within seven, at 34-27 ultimately ending the scoring.

Offensive mishaps plagued Ohio State in both halves, as the Buckeyes lost five total yards on their first possession and failed to score a touchdown in the red zone on three first half possessions.

A fourth possession would have started in the red zone, but after picking up 34 yards on a long pass play, Marshall was stripped of the football from behind and Indiana recovered.

The Hoosiers proceeded to go three and out on their next possession, then attempted a fake punt which the Buckeyes stuffed inside the Indiana 13 yard line. However, Ohio State quarterback Cardale Jones misfired on second and third down in the red zone and forced the Buckeyes to attempt, and convert their second field goal of the game making the score 10-6.

Despite moving the ball out to midfield, the Hoosiers were once again forced to punt and the Buckeyes used two big pass plays to Marshall and Corey Smith into the red zone again.

Jones found Ohio State running back Elliott on a swing pass for a Buckeye score just plays later, but the touchdown was called back for an illegal block by Buckeye H-Back Braxton Miller.

On the ensuing play, Jones took a sack and after a completion to Michael Thomas, Willoughby clanged his third field goal attempt off the right upright to ultimately end the half with the score still 10-6.

Coming into the game, Indiana running back Jordan Howard was leading the Big Ten in rushing, but he was plagued throughout the game with a lower body injury.

Despite losing Howard, the Hoosiers would score the first half’s lone touchdown with a 1-yard plunge from reserve running back Devine Redding to take a 10-0 lead.

Howard would return for the first play of the second half, and played sparingly as Redding got the bulk of the carries.

Without Howard, the Hoosiers struggled to run the ball effectively, as they finished with 176 yards on 55 carries as a team.

Both teams were hit hard with the injury bug, as Howard and Indiana starting quarterback Nate Sudfeld left the game with ankle injury for the Hoosiers, while the Buckeyes saw Smith leave on a cart with an air cast on his leg.

Sudfeld, who did not return after being injured midway through the third quarter, finished 10-21 passing for 134 yards with no touchdowns.


Buckeye Sports Top Stories