It probably wasn't the way Urban Meyer drew it up, but Ohio State is going back to Indianapolis.
The sixth-ranked Buckeyes only led lowly Indiana by one at halftime, and actually trailed by six early in the third quarter, but a 54-yard punt return for a touchdown by Jalin Marshall sparked Ohio State's 42-27 comeback victory, ensuring the Buckeyes a second-straight trip to the Big Ten championship game.
Ohio State led just 14-13 at halftime and fell behind the Hoosiers, 20-14, on a 90-yard touchdown run by Indiana's Tevin Coleman early in the third quarter before Marshall's return put the Buckeyes ahead for good.
Quarterback J.T. Barrett hit Marshall for a six-yard touchdown pass early in the fourth quarter to put the Buckeyes ahead, 28-20, and Marshall followed that with two more touchdown receptions to seal the win.
Barrett finished the game 25 for 35 through the air for 302 yards and four touchdowns, but also threw two interceptions. His fourth-quarter pass to Marshall made him Ohio State's single-season leader for touchdown passes.
Running back Ezekiel Elliott carried the ball 13 times for 107 yards and had a 65-yard touchdown run on Ohio State's opening drive. Jeff Heuerman added five catches for 74 yards and a score, while Marshall had five catches for 95 yards and his three receiving touchdowns for the Buckeyes.
Ohio State takes on Michigan at noon next Saturday.
|5.8||AVERAGE PER RUSH||7.8|
|12.1||AVERAGE PER COMPLETION||10.4|
|11||RUSHING 1st DOWNS||6|
|13||PASSING 1st DOWNS||6|
|0||PENALTY 1st DOWNS||1|
|7.1||YARDS PER PLAY||6.3|
- Ohio State, on a nine-game winning streak overall, extended its Big Ten record to 23 consecutive regular season conference wins.
- The win clinched the Big Ten East Division title and a spot in the Big Ten Championship game for Ohio State. It is the third consecutive conference division championship for Urban Meyer’s teams.
- With the win, head coach Urban Meyer improved to 38-3 in the month of November since the start of the 2003 season.
- Ohio State improved to 8-0 under Urban Meyer when scoring a touchdown on each of the first two drives of the game.
- Ohio State earned its 19th consecutive win against the Hoosiers.
- J.T. Barrett set an Ohio State single-season record with 31 touchdown passes after his 6-yard touchdown pass to Jalin Marshall in the fourth quarter. The previous record of 30 was set by Troy Smith in 2006. Barrett added two more TD throws to Marshall in the quarter, putting the record at 33 touchdowns in a season.
- Barrett had 302 yards passing, completing 25-of-35 passes, his fourth 300-yard passing game of the season. With his four touchdown passes, he has now been responsible for at least four touchdowns in seven of 11 games this season.
- Barrett has been responsible for a school record 42 touchdowns this year, matching Drew Brees’ Big Ten record for single season touchdown responsibility first set at Purdue in 1998.
- With 380 yards of total offense, Barrett broke Braxton Miller’s record for total offensive yards in a single season of 3,310 set in 2012. Barrett now has 3,507 yards of total offense.
- Freshman Jalin Marshall had five catches for 95 yards and a career-high three touchdowns vs. Indiana, matching his season highs set vs. Minnesota last week.
- Marshall’s 54-yard punt return for a touchdown was the first for a Buckeye since Corey Brown returned a punt 68 yards for a he score at Wisconsin in 2012. It was the first punt return for a touchdown by an Ohio State freshman since Ted Ginn Jr. in 2004.
- With 107 yards on the ground, Ezekiel Elliott became the 30th Buckeye in program history and the fourth under Urban Meyer to top 1,000 yards in one season. The game marked Elliott’s fifth game this season and sixth of his career with more than 100 yards rushing.
- Elliott, who rushed for one touchdown, had a career-high seven receptions in the game.
- Elliott’s 65-yard touchdown run in the first quarter set a career long.
- Jeff Heuerman tied his career high with five catches against the Hoosiers. He had 74 receiving yards and a touchdown. It was his second touchdown of the year and the seventh of his career.
- Tyvis Powell had his fourth career interception (his third this season) in the fourth quarter.
- Indiana running back rushed for Tevin Coleman rushed for 228 yards, the first time Ohio State allowed an opponent to run for 200 yards in a game since Eric McCoo at Penn State Oct. 16, 1999.
- Joshua Perry, who had two sacks in his first 34 career games, had two sacks against Indiana. He had 5.5 tackles for loss this season and added three today.
- Punter Cameron Johnston had one of the biggest plays of the game, pinning the Hoosiers inside the 1-yard line late in the third quarter with Ohio State trailing. That was one of three punts downed inside the 20 on the day, giving him 19 of 31 punts downed inside opponents’ 20-yard line this season.