Welcome to another edition of our throwback series, where today we are going to review the exciting offensive shootout loss to the undefeated Ohio State Buckeyes. The Hoosiers came into the game riding a three game losing streak and had just lost a heartbreaker to rival Michigan State. The undefeated Buckeyes a 63-38 thrashing of the 21st ranked Nebraska Cornhuskers on their homecoming. Indiana came into the game looking to score the upset while Ohio State wanted to continue their dominance over the Hoosiers.
Opponent: Ohio State University Buckeyes.
Location: Saturday October 13th | 8pm | Memorial Stadium | Bloomington, Indiana
Why They Played:
The Hoosiers and Buckeyes continue their lopsided series as part of being divisional foes. The Buckeyes had a 68-12-5 advantage over the Hoosiers entering the contest, and had not lost a game to the boys from Bloomington since 1988.
What The Game Meant:
To the Hoosiers this was a chance to make a statement in a primetime game against a Top-10 team and to end a losing streak to Ohio State that started long before the freshman at either school were born. Even though the Buckeyes were ineligible for postseason play, they still had plenty on the line. Ohio State came into the game ranked number eight in the country and were working on an undefeated record.
Top Offensive Performers:
Stephen Houston, RB, Indiana- Houston was a menace to the surprisingly lackluster Ohio State defense. The Hoosier running back accounted for 128 total yards (91 rushing 37 receiving) and three touchdowns in game where Indiana scored the most points ever against an Ohio State squad.
Shane Wynn, WR, Indiana- The speedy receiver from Ohio, lead the Hoosiers with 81 yards on just 3 catches. His biggest play was a 76-yard touchdown where he outran two Ohio State defenders in route to the endzone. Wynn also added a 19-yard run.
Braxton Miller, QB, Ohio State- The Heisman caliber quarterback did not beat the Hoosiers single handedly, although he did a heck of a job. Miller could not be stopped as he threw for 211 yards and two scores and sliced up the Indiana defense with another 149 yards on the ground including a beautiful 67 yard touchdown scamper.
Carlos Hyde, RB, Ohio State- For a running back to have a game like Hyde did and still be over shadowed by another Buckeye offense player just shows how explosive this offense is. Hyde ran all over the Hoosier defense, over powering them for 156 yards and a touchdown on just 22 carries, and just for good measure the bruising back also caught two passes for 27 yards and another touchdown.
Top Defensive Performers:
Greg Heban, S, Indiana- Per usual the junior safety came up with a big effort for the Hoosiers. Heban recorded nine total tackles and kept Indiana in the game with a clutch diving interception of a Braxton Miller pass in the endzone.
Ryan Shazier, LB, Ohio State- The linebacker made his presence felt all night on defense for the Buckeyes. Shazier finished with 6 total tackles, 1.5 of those for a loss, but his biggest contribution came in stopping the Hoosier passing game with 5 pass break-ups.
Special Team Performance:
The Hoosier special teams had a roller coaster performance that was personified by two blocked punts, one for each team. With Indiana trailing 10-7 and having finally forced a Buckeye punt Isaiah Roundtree blocked a punt that led to a quick Hoosier touchdown, putting them up 14-10. The Hoosier would hold that lead for a mere 9 minutes until Buckeye defensive back Bradley Roby jumped on a blocked punt in the end zone for a score. The punt game would struggle for IU some more as another punt looked to be deflected by a streaking Roby. Overall the Hoosier punting game was not good as Toth averaged a mere 36.5 yards a kick.
Key Stat: 48,880
Yes, I am using the attendance of the game as my key stat. Usually the Ohio State game is one of the rare sellouts that happen at Memorial Stadium due to the fact that the Buckeyes turn Bloomington into Columbus South. This year was different, as Buckeye fans did not gobble up tickets probably because of the circumstances surrounding the program. This put Indiana in a unique position of actually having a pro-Hoosier crowd for an OSU game, except that the game was being played during the new fall break for students. While almost 49,000 tickets were sold it looked as though only 40,000 actually made it to the game and by the time the Hoosiers started mounting their comeback only half of those people actually stayed, many of them Buckeye fans. Had the students stayed for the entire game maybe the game changes a little bit and the atmosphere becomes more hostile toward the visitors from Ohio, but we will never know.
The game turned when Bradley Roby fell on a blocked punt in the end zone to give the Buckeyes the lead back. Ohio State would score the next 14 points to make what looked like a single digit game at halftime into one that the Hoosiers seemed to be on the brink of yet another blowout at the hands of the Buckeyes.
I Knew it was over when:
Cory Brown jumped on top of what looked like an onsides kick that would some how bounce to the Hoosiers.
Players of the Game:
Indiana- Stephen Houston, Running Back- The Hoosier running back dug Indiana out of an early 10-point hole and had his team up and competing against the number eight team in the country. He made the plays when the Hoosiers needed him accounting for three touchdowns.
Ohio State- Braxton Miller, Quarterback- What is there to say? The guy can play football and proved he can be as dangerous throwing the ball as he is running it. If it not for some big drops by receiver Devon Smith his numbers would have been even better. Miller accounted for 360 total yards and three touchdowns and the Buckeyes needed every single one of those points to escape Bloomington with the win.
The Hoosiers are ready to compete with anybody. They showed real fight in a game they probably get blown out of under another coach. They literally gave it their all down to the final minute. There were a lot of great things to take away from this game, highlighted by the school record for most points scored against the Buckeyes, however I came away asking questions about the fan base, especially the students. I understand that Indiana has not been good enough to expect the kind of support that a winning program gets, but to walk out of a game that is still in question at halftime is embarrassing. Who knows what would have happened if the fans would have shown up and stayed, maybe we would be talking about that epic night when the Hoosiers ended Ohio State’s run at perfection.