One thing that must be said about Indiana and its game plan Saturday against No. 3 Ohio State: The Hoosiers took their shots.
They ultimately failed, with Ohio State and Dwayne Haskins Jr. shooting more accurately as the game developed in a 49-26 victory at Ohio Stadium.
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But Indiana, led by dual-threat quarterback Peyton Ramsey, was in it until late in the third quarter. The Hoosiers came out throwing, often to the edges, in hopes of hitting big plays and/or drawing pass interference calls, for which the Buckeyes were flagged four times.
“I feel like if we stop the run, that’s what it turns into,” Ohio State safety Jordan Fuller said. “On the back end, we’ve definitely got to limit those plays, but those other guys are on scholarship, too. Obviously, they’re going to get us sometimes, but definitely we’ve got to limit those.”
Ramsey was 26-of-49 passing for 322 yards and three touchdowns, the bulk of his damage coming in the first half. But the Buckeyes, who led just 28-20 at the break, limited the Hoosiers to just one touchdown in the second half.
The second half was when safety Isaiah Pryor entered the game. He had been suspended for the first half after being ejected from the Penn State game the week before for targeting. Jahsen Wint and, in the second quarter Shaun Wade, played that spot until Pryor returned.
“Isaiah is a very talented player,” Fuller said. “And when he locks in and does his job you guys can tell.”
Fuller said there really were no other major adjustments made at halftime, just a call to step up the intensity. The Buckeyes did that, limiting the Hoosiers to 89 total yards in the second half.
But giving up big plays in the passing game, one long run, and 317 total yards in the first half stuck with coach Urban Meyer.
“Defensively (that’s) not what we expected in the first half,” Meyer said. "Guys are making plays on us.”
He said this time it was “a combination of poor pass rush and (defensive backs) not locking on your guys. We've been fine against the run, but the pass has been killing us and that's going to bite us, something we've got to get fixed.”
Middle linebacker Tuf Borland, who caused a fumble which led to an Ohio State touchdown, said work is the key.
“We’ve just got to keep working at it, and eventually things will go your way,” Borland said.