With the help of many happy returns, specifically the return of Maurice Clarett from injury and Indiana penalties on punt and kick returns, Ohio State rolled to their fifth victory of the year by the score of 45-17 over the Indiana Hoosiers. Clarett rushed for 103 yards and 3 touchdowns, and the Hoosier special teams play killed their chances as penalties and mistakes gave Ohio State short field for several drives.
The game, which was fairly short for a college game as it clocked in at under three hours, started off with an Indiana drive that began at the their own 29-yard line and lasted for five plays before a punt. The Buckeyes began the following drive at their own 20, and it appeared they had gone three-and-out (an incomplete deep pass, a false start, a pass to Lydell Ross, and a Krenzel keeper that fell short), but an unexpected call was made on fourth down as the Buckeyes faked the punt with a direct snap to Donnie Nickey, who ran 28 yards for the big play. However, the Buckeyes could not do anything after that and had to punt for real this time.
Indiana received the punt on their own seven and wound up punting again after a few plays, but they made their first special teams blunder as a personal foul on the return set up OSU nicely with field position at midfield. The ensuing drive featured a lot of Maurice Clarett, as he had several carries along with a fourth down conversion on the way to a 2-yard TD run. The PAT made it 7-0.
Indiana started the next drive at their own 20 but moved the ball downfield with the help of a couple nice passing plays, but the drive stalled before crossing the OSU 30. The Hoosiers were able to add a 49-yard Bryan Robertson field goal though, making it 7-3.
After a three-and-out by OSU on the next drive, IU got the ball back and went three-and-out themselves, but they were pinned back deep and the Buckeyes wound up getting nice field position again, this time at the IU 45. The Bucks promptly moved downfield for a score with the help of a few Clarett carries and a 27-yard Krenzel to Jenkins pass, and Clarett ran it in from 2 yards out for his second touchdown. The PAT made it 14-3 OSU.
The Hoosiers answered though, this time with their best drive as they took the ball from their own 20 and passed the ball downfield on a drive that was capped with a 15-yard Gibran Hamdan to Tyke Spencer touchdown. IU looked back in the thick of it as it was now 14-10, but momentum wouldn't stay with them for long as Chris Gamble returned a short kickoff for 27 yards, and another 15-yard personal foul call on IU gave OSU great position at the IU 45 with only a couple minutes left in the half. The Buckeyes took advantage, moving the ball downfield on a drive that included a 21-yard screen to Chris Gamble, a 16-yard pass to Chris Vance, and a 15-yard pass to Michael Jenkins. Clarett punched it in from 4 yards out as he fought off the defender and reached to the goal line for the score. The PAT made it 21-10, which is where it stood at the half.
The Buckeyes didn't wait long to score in the second half as they took the opening kickoff, promptly moved into IU territory with some Clarett running, and then scored as Chris Gamble ran it in from 43 yards out on a reverse. The PAT made it 28-10. IU failed on their next drive, and then another special teams blunder -- this time a blocked punt by Dustin Fox -- gave the Buckeyes the ball at the Hoosier 18. The Buckeyes would take it in for a touchdown on a 4-yard pass from Krenzel to Jenkins, and the PAT made it 35-10.
IU went three-and-out on the next drive, and on the punt back to the Buckeyes, another special teams penalty -- this time a 10-yard halo violation -- gave OSU the ball at their own 43. The Buckeyes moved the ball a little bit, but a strange botched snap (Krenzel went to call a time out but the ball was snapped anyway and was recovered by Lydell Ross for a 14-yard loss) and an illegal substitution penalty did not help as they could not get a TD this time. However, Mike Nugent stepped up from deep as he was able to boot a 51-yard field goal to make it 38-10.
On the next drive, Indiana started on their own 18 and moved the ball downfield and was threatening from inside the 20, but they could not convert a fourth down play and turned the ball over on downs. Scott McMullen came in to guide the ensuing OSU drive, and he went 6-6 for 66 yards (three of those passes went to Redgie Arden for 35 yards) and guided the Buckeyes down for their final TD of the day on a Michael Jenkins 15-yard catch, making it 45-10. The Hoosiers would add one more touchdown on a Tommy Jones-to-Courtney Roby 30-yard pass, but the Buckeyes had more than enough as the game finished up at 45-17.
- Could be a long year for IU D - The OSU offense sputtered a bit at first, but as the game moved along, things went smoother as the Buckeyes racked up 470 total yards (255 on the ground, 220 passing). OSU is indeed a better team with Maurice Clarett, and if he can stay healthy, Jenkins and Gamble can continue to get involved, and the line play can be consistent, the offense will certainly move the ball. However, the Indiana defense is not the sternest test they will face. They have a young unit and did not do much to stop OSU from doing what they needed to do today. It could be a long year for them.
- No turnovers, but there were a few mistakes - Neither team turned over the ball today, but there were some penalties on each side, and Indiana's (as mentioned) were particularly costly. Indiana was penalized 5 times for 55 yards, with 40 of those yards coming on special teams. OSU had 7 penalties for 45 yards, including a holding call or two and a couple of 12-men on the field penalties (those get a bit old, regardless of whether or not it was the second or third-team players who caused the problem), but it didn't turn out to be a difference maker in the outcome.
- Run D - The OSU run D was strong today. Indiana TB Yamar Washington had posted some pretty good numbers coming into this game, but he had nothing today (10 carries, 16 yards), and the Hoosiers had 59 yards on the ground total. When Indiana moved the ball, it was through the air as they got 282 of their 327 yards via the pass. The Buckeyes sacked the QB 3 times today, and IU got to Craig Krenzel just once.
- Your eyes don't deceive you - In case you are reading the box score and did not see the game, Scott McMullen did catch a pass today on a deflection. He caught the ricochet and moved it forward a few yards to prevent a loss.
- Banged up D-Line - The Buckeyes sported a different look on the defensive line to start the game. The starting lineup was Simon Fraser and Will Smith at DE and David Thompson and Darrion Scott at DT.
- Topsy-turvy Big Ten - OSU opened Big Ten play with success, but the same can't be said for Penn State. The Nittany Loins fell behind big at home to Iowa, and they stormed back to tie it at 35 in the fourth quarter only to lose 42-35 in overtime. TV reports stated that LaVar Arrington was escorted from the stadium due to his "riding" of the referees. So Big Ten play has already started out pretty crazy, and there should be more exciting and unexpected results throughout the year. Iowa looks strong offensively though, and they're going to give headaches to everyone w