Instacap: Ohio State Bounces Back From Penn State Loss With 24-20 Victory Over Northwestern

By Tim Shoemaker on October 29, 2016 at 7:01p
Curtis Samuel carries the ball against Northwestern.
209 Comments

Ohio State entered Saturday's game against Northwestern hoping to make a statement following last weekend's stunning loss at Penn State.

That didn't exactly happen, but the Buckeyes did escape with a victory. Curtis Samuel scored on a 3-yard touchdown run with 9:43 to play to help lift Ohio State to a 24-20 victory against the Wildcats. 

With the game tied 17-all early in the fourth quarter, the Buckeyes' defense forced a three-and-out to get the ball back. Ohio State responded with a six-play, 63-yard drive that took just 2 minutes, 36 seconds and finished with Samuel's touchdown.

  1 2 3 4 F
NORTHWESTERN 0 10 7 3 20
OHIO STATE 10 7 0 7 24

The touchdown run was set up after K.J. Hill hauled in a 34-yard pass from J.T. Barrett to put the Buckeyes in the red zone. Two plays later, Samuel found paydirt. 

Northwestern had a chance to respond, but a 16-play, 60-yard drive resulted in only a field goal with 3:31 to play. Ohio State ran the clock out from there.

Ohio State's offense looked like it was back on track — at least for the first 28 minutes of the first half. The Buckeyes scored points on their first three possessions before a pair of attempts at the two-minute drill went awry to end the first half.

Mike Weber plunged in for a 1-yard touchdown run on Ohio State's opening drive — the first touchdown for the Buckeyes on an opening drive this season — to cap a nine-play, 94-yard drive just under three minutes into the game. 

Raekwon McMillan tipped a Clayton Thorson pass attempt on Northwestern's next drive and the ball was intercepted by Damon Arnette. Ohio State had to settle for a field goal, however, after gaining 33 yards on nine plays. Tyler Durbin's 35-yarder gave the Buckeyes an early 10-0 lead.

The Wildcats responded with a 16-play, 75-yard touchdown drive right after that, though, to get within 10-7 at the beginning of the second quarter. Weber scored his second touchdown of the day right after that, a 23-yard scamper that put Ohio State in front 17-7. Northwestern added a field goal to trim the lead to 17-10 at halftime.

The Buckeyes had 218 yards of total offense in the first half; Northwestern had 203. Barrett was 14-for-21 passing for 129 yards, Weber had nine carries for 63 yards and two touchdowns and Curtis Samuel had five catches for 46 yards.

Ohio State hosts Nebraska next Saturday at 8 p.m.

Ohio State Stat Northwestern
431 NET TOTAL YARDS 406
208 RUSHING YARDS 148
41 RUSHING ATTEMPTS 29
5.1 AVERAGE PER RUSH 5.1
3 RUSHING TOUCHDOWNS 1
223 PASSING YARDS 258
21–32 COMPLETIONS–ATTEMPTS 23–44
10.6 AVERAGE PER COMPLETION 11.2
0 PASSING TOUCHDOWNS 1
23 1st DOWNS 21
13 RUSHING 1st DOWNS 6
10 PASSING 1st DOWNS 15
0 PENALTY 1st DOWNS 0
73 TOTAL PLAYS 73
5.9 YARDS PER PLAY 5.6
3–4 RED ZONE 4–4
10–17 3rd DOWNS 8–16
0–0 4th DOWNS 2–2
2–10 PENALTIES 2–20
32:40 POSSESSION 27:20

Game Notes

  • Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer improved to 161-28 in his career, continuing to hold the highest winning percentage among active coaches with at least 10 years of FBS coaching experience at .852.
  • The Buckeyes have won their last six meetings against Northwestern and 30 of the last 31 overall.
  • The attendance of 107,296 was the ninth-highest in Ohio Stadium history.
  • Mike Weber’s two-rushing touchdown game marked the second of his career after scoring twice against Indiana Oct. 8.
  • Weber’s 15-yard catch in the first quarter marked a career long.
  • Damon Arnette’s first-quarter interception was the first of his career.
  • Malik Hooker’s 14 tackles marked a career high. 
  • Noah Brown tied his career high with five catches.
209 Comments
View 209 Comments