Indiana Debriefing: Ohio State Rides The Marshall Plan to 42-27 Win

By Michael Citro on November 23, 2014 at 9:15 am
Jalin Marshall: Magician Warrior

The Buckeyes returned home after two straight road games and three trips out of Columbus in four weeks. It must have been nice to finally play at home, but a nooner against Indiana probably wasn’t the best situation for Urban Meyer, who wanted his charges to play angry and hungry as the regular season winds down (and how depressing is that phrase?).

The Hoosiers entered the game winless in the Big Ten and assured of not going to a bowl game. But the team boasts one of the country’s best running backs in Tevin Coleman, who had to be feeling pretty good after seeing Jeremy Langford and David Cobb both have big days against the Buckeye defense.

Would Ohio State be able to get emotionally up for the Hoosiers at noon?  Could the defense make a statement against a top running back? Would the offense clean up the mistakes of the Minnesota game and get back to rolling over people? Could J.T. Barrett break Troy Smith’s single-season school record of 30 passing touchdowns?

Kind of, no, no, and yes. Ohio State jumped all over Indiana to take a 14-0 lead early and then spent about 40 minutes of game time flopping around like a fish out of water. Indiana hung around due to three costly first-half turnovers, so there’s a lot of work still to be done on ball security. Coleman was kept under completely wraps until he busted a 90-yard scoring run and later added a 52-yarder. Barrett threw four touchdown strikes to destroy Smith’s record in a tougher-than-it-should-have-been 42-27 win.

Here are your Indiana game talking points:

Water Cooler prep (Everything you need to know…in one paragraph)

Ohio State built a 14-0 lead and looked ready to blow Indiana out of the building. Then two interceptions and a Michael Thomas fumble after a catch allowed the Hoosiers to pull within 14-13 at the half. Jalin Marshall took over after the half with a punt return TD and three touchdown receptions as Ohio State pulled away in the fourth. Barrett threw for 302 yards and ran for 78. Ezekiel Elliott carried 13 times for 107 yards and a 65-yard score. The Buckeyes clinched a berth in the B1G championship game.

Talk before the game  

“No let downs. Take care of business!”

“Let’s get through this game without injury and move forward.”

“Freezing rain. No one’s moving. I should get to the game around the third quarter at this rate.”

And the ever-popular: “What’s a Hoosier?”

Talk in the aftermath

“An ugly win is still a win. Avoid the upset and move on.”

“It’s Michigan week. Get ready, Mirror Lake.”

And it turns out that Tyvis Powell’s interception was a vital one.

Give that man a buckeye leaf (Player of the game)

Marshall was exceptional, especially in the second half. He sparked Ohio State with an electric 54-yard punt return touchdown and added scoring receptions of six, 15, and 54 yards. He finished with five receptions for 95 yards, shaking off last week’s muffed punts and fumble into the end zone. His redemption story just barely overshadowed outstanding games by Barrett Joshua Perry and punter Cameron Johnston.

Did you see that?! (Play of the game)

Speaking of Johnston, his line drive punt to the 1-yard line turned the game around. Indiana took a second-half lead on a 90-yard touchdown run by Coleman to make it 20-14. Ohio State was forced to punt on its next possession and Johnston stepped up and made a play. His low liner appeared on course to bounce into the end zone for a touchback but it dropped dead at the one. The Hoosiers went three-and-out on their possession and the punt from the end zone was taken to the house by Marshall. Perhaps the two special teams plays should be a combined play of the game.

Here’s the first:

And that led to:

Slobber Knocker of the Game

Indiana received the second half kickoff and quickly gained two first downs, trailing just 14-13. The Hoosiers appeared to be on the move, but the defense stopped Coleman for a one-yard loss on first down. Then Zander Diamont dropped back on second-and-11. The Buckeyes got after him with Adolphus Washington applying pressure and forcing Diamont into Michael Bennett, who lowered the boom for a sack. After an incompletion on third-and-long, Indiana had to punt.

Jim Tressel's Least Favorite Moment of the game

A lot of people don’t know it, but Tressel just loves to work out. And even fewer know that his preferred form of working out is zumba. He decided to put on his favorite workout mix tape (which is, literally, a cassette tape) and watched the game on BTN with the sound muted. He quickly built up a sweat watching the Buckeyes jump out to a 14-0 lead. But after the second touchdown, Kyle Clinton’s kickoff sailed out of bounds for the sixth time this season. Tressel removed his headband, threw it down and stomped on it. The workout was over.

When you sank into your chair (The moment Buckeye football disgraced your family)

Ohio State had bottled up standout running back Tevin Coleman all day. He was averaging only 2.9 yards per carry in the third quarter when Indiana took over at its own 10. His slow day quickly evaporated when Perry and Curtis Grant both got picked off by one blocker, leading to a 90-yard touchdown run. Tyvis Powell was undone by biting on a stutter step and Coleman’s speed did the rest. What had been a very good defensive game turned into…well, something else.

A second, similar moment happened when Indiana conceded the game by running the ball late and Coleman broke another 52-yard scoring run anyway. Coleman finished with 228 yards rushing on 27 carries (8.4 YPA) to become the first back to run for 200+ yards against Ohio State since Eric McCoo of Penn State did it in 1999.

What you texted your friend at the end of each quarter

First: “Can’t we have one game where we take care of the ball and keep kickoffs in bounds?”

Second: “This game is so stupid.”

Third: “Glorious way for Jalin Marshall to shut everyone up.”

Fourth: “B1G East champs!”

It was over when

Marshall stuck out one hand and hauled in his third touchdown of the game. The redshirt freshman put a sick move on his defender, shook free and made a one-handed grab to put Ohio State ahead 35-20 with under four and a half minutes to play. 

Next week is The Game. That Team Up North hasn’t been at its best in recent years, but the Wolverines have managed to give Ohio State two too-close-for-comfort games since Urban Meyer arrived in Columbus, and they won the 2011 game. The cliché is that you can throw out the records when these two teams meet and history has often borne that out. Michigan (5-6, 3-4) is coming off a 23-16 home loss against Maryland on Senior Day. The Wolverines will need a win to become bowl eligible. Could this be Brady Hoke’s last game as Michigan’s coach?

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