OSU 27, Indiana 14

On a lovely afternoon in front of a Buckeye contingent that definitely seemed to be well into the five figures in attendance, OSU bested Indiana in Bloomington, 27-14. It wasn't a dominating performance, but the Buckeyes didn't play poorly either.

On a day filled with unbelievably exciting games across the country, OSU and Indiana put on a more laid-back show as the Buckeyes, led by a breakout game by true freshman Lydell Ross, topped the Hoosiers, 27-14. It was a workmanlike performance for OSU, and while the Buckeyes didn't overwhelm anyone with their showing, they didn't play poorly by any means.

The scoring started on OSU's first drive as they took the opening kickoff and scrapped down the field inside the IU five-yard line but were stopped short of a TD and settled for a short Josh Huston field goal. Indiana followed with a good drive of their own that was capped with a Levron Williams TD run.

After that, Lydell Ross became a surprise factor. In a drive which featured Ross as well as true freshmen Chris Gamble and Angelo Chattams at WR, the Buckeyes were able to put their first TD on the board on a Ross TD run. Later on in the second quarter, the Buckeyes made it 17-7 on another Ross run. Ross had 69 yards on 16 carries in the first half.

The Buckeyes got off to a big start in the second half as they blocked an IU punt, but they couldn't turn the big play into a TD as another Josh Huston FG made it 20-7. IU made things interesting though as Antwaan Randle-El hit Levron Williams for a 44-yard TD pass to make it 20-14. But that was as close as IU got. The Buckeyes would add a TD from Jonathan Wells to make it 27-14 and seal the victory.

Some interesting things came out of today's game, most notably Ross. No one expected him to be the story of the game. He had seen little time in the first two games, and when he was in there running the show, it was a bit of a surprise (Sammy Maldonado, who everyone thought was right behind Wells on the depth chart, didn't play at all today... we're not sure what the story is there). But Lydell took this chance and definitely ran with it, finishing with 124 yards and two TDs. He showed nice moves and made some tough runs.

Steve Bellisari also had a solid game, going 15 for 21 for 194 yards with no INTs. It helped that IU's secondary seemed to be not exactly up to the task (from high above the field, it seemed like OSU WRs were wide open a lot more than not), but it was good to see Steve bounce back today and have a better game. Perhaps the most interesting statistic concerning Steve's day was how much he spread it around as he hit nine different targets today. Michael Jenkins led the receivers with 60 yards on three catches. The OSU offense had good success against the maligned IU defense as they racked up 197 rushing yards to go with the 194 passing yards. There were no turnovers.

Lots of folks expected the defense to come out and dazzle after last week's inspired performance at UCLA. While this week's showing was not as good as last week's, the OSU defense did the job. The total yardage of IU wasn't too far behind OSU's, but Antwaan Randle-El is a very tricky player to defend, and the Buckeyes prevented him from hurting them too badly today.

The special teams performance was a bit better. Andy Groom... well, what can you say about what he's done in two games? I may be getting carried away here, but if he keeps it up, he'll compete for All-Big Ten honors! He had two particularly good punts today where he pinned IU deep in their own territory. That kind of play out of the punter cannot be underestimated. Josh Huston did miss a field goal, but he made two from twenty yards and no PATs were missed. One interesting moment came when Maurice Hall was inserted to return a kick, but that experiment suffered a set back when Maurice fumbled (the fumble was recovered by OSU).

Overall, it was a step forward for OSU. IU is struggling and is expected to be towards the bottom of the Big Ten this year, so folks aren't getting carried away about the win. However, there were a lot of positives. We'll need for them to carry over into next week though, because Northwestern will present a much stiffer challenge to the Bucks. But for now, it was indeed a lovely day in Bloomington, and I cannot say how great it was to see all the OSU fans there and how fun it was to help an O-H-I-O chant take over an opposing stadium. Go Bucks!

Game Stats from the Official Site

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