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Ohio State vs. Indiana score, takeaways: No. 3 Buckeyes overcome Justin Fields’ turnovers, edge No. 9 Hoosiers

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No. 3 Ohio State held on to beat No. 9 Indiana 42-35 in a curler coaster of a recreation on Saturday in Columbus, Ohio. The Buckeyes had been capable of survive a few turnovers early within the recreation to take a 28-7 lead into the locker room at halftime, and it appeared they had been properly on their strategy to a cushty victory. Indiana had different concepts.

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Whereas the Hoosiers weren’t capable of capitalize on the turnovers early, they had been capable of exploit Ohio State’s secondary within the second half to make it a recreation. Again and again, Indiana quarterback Michael Penix Jr. discovered open receivers within the secondary to chop into the Ohio State lead. The Hoosiers got here again to make it a 42-35 recreation within the fourth quarter after which compelled an Ohio State turnover on downs contained in the Indiana 10-yard line late. That is when the Buckeyes protection saved the day, forcing a fast three-and-out. The Hoosiers acquired another probability however had little time and no timeouts.

Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields completed with 300 yards passing, 78 yards speeding and three whole touchdowns; nevertheless, he additionally threw three interceptions after not tossing one all season. Fields was outplayed by Indiana’s Penix, who threw for 495 yards and 5 touchdowns. Ohio State improved to 4-0 on the season, whereas Indiana dropped to 4-1 however ought to stay extremely ranked within the new AP High 25 on Sunday.

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Listed below are 4 takeaways from a incredible Massive Ten battle on Saturday afternoon.

1. Ohio State ought to make the most of its robust run recreation

I perceive that Fields is wonderful and that he is a official Heisman Trophy candidate, however at instances, it feels as if Ohio State asks him to do an excessive amount of. His first move of the day was a 65-yard connection to Garrett Wilson. His second was a 10-yard move to Wilson for a landing to complete off Ohio State’s two-play, 75-yard landing drive to open the sport. They had been stunning throws, however they had been additionally the final time Fields regarded comfy for the remainder of the sport.

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Indiana pressured him with well-disguised blitzes, and it led to Fields throwing three interceptions, some on horrible choices whereas he was below stress. In the meantime, on the bottom, Ohio State was working the ball properly towards the Hoosiers. Grasp Teague completed with 169 yards and two touchdowns, and it was his 41-yard landing run within the second quarter that established management for Ohio State on the time. Or a minimum of, you thought it did.

Each time it felt just like the Buckeyes had been taking management of the sport, Ohio State acquired pass-happy once more. Probably the most important instance of this was late within the recreation with the Buckeyes up a rating. Coach Ryan Day ran a QB draw on third-and-4 contained in the Indiana 10 with Ohio State needing a rating to place the sport away for good. Fields got here up a yard quick. Then, with Ohio State averaging over 6.5 yards per carry on the time, Day determined to go for it on fourth down. As an alternative of handing off to Teague or working one other QB draw, Ohio State had Fields faux the handoff and roll out to his proper. He had an choice to maintain it and run for the primary or throw it. Fields rushed a throw after being pressured by an Indiana linebacker, and it was a nasty throw that fell incomplete. Ohio State survived, however had it simply handed off to Teague, he possible picks up the primary with ease, ending the sport.

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2. Penix and the Indiana offense are legit

It is unimaginable sufficient by itself that Penix threw for 491 yards and 5 touchdowns. It is extra unimaginable whenever you understand Penix and Indiana’s receivers — Ty Fryfogle caught seven passes for 218 yards and three scores — did all this regardless of having no semblance of a speeding assault.

Indiana rushed for -1 yard on 16 carries. Even when you take away the yards misplaced to sacks, the Hoosiers nonetheless managed solely 10 yards on the bottom. Nonetheless, although the Buckeyes protection did not have to fret about stopping the run, Indiana tore Ohio State’s secondary aside again and again. It was a mix of rub routes releasing crossers over the center and Indiana receivers successful one-on-one battles alongside the sidelines and up the seams.

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It isn’t the primary time we have seen Ohio State’s secondary wrestle this 12 months, however no one exploited it like Indiana did. It is one thing to keep watch over down the highway for the Buckeyes, and it is a purpose future defenses ought to proceed to worry Indiana.

3. Forcing, capitalizing on turnovers decides video games

All week lengthy, I harped on how I used to be skeptical of Indiana’s possibilities to win this recreation as a result of a lot of its offense had been depending on turnovers. Indiana got here into Saturday having scored 38.7% of its factors on offense off turnovers, an exceedingly excessive quantity. The common distance of their landing drives had solely been 53 yards due to these turnovers.

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My principle was that Ohio State would not flip the ball over almost sufficient for Indiana to reap the benefits of them. Boy, was I fallacious! Ohio State turned the ball over 3 times, however remarkably, Indiana did nothing with these further possessions. Every Ohio State turnover ended with Indiana punting the ball again. On the flip aspect, Indiana turned the ball over 4 instances, and Ohio State scored 14 factors off these miscues. These factors loom very giant in a seven-point recreation.

4. Ohio State continues to be terrifying

Give it some thought. The Buckeyes didn’t play something remotely resembling their finest soccer on Saturday. They turned the ball over 3 times. The offensive line allowed Fields to be sacked 5 instances. They had been solely 6 for 14 on third down. And but, Ohio State nonetheless completed the day with 607 yards of offense and 42 factors. Even when it performs poorly, OSU finds a strategy to remind you why its the perfect crew within the Massive Ten.

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