No. 6 Ohio State survived Saturday, hosting a hungry Indiana team already guaranteed to stay home during bowl season and pulling out a 42-27 win vs. the Hoosiers. Indiana led late into the third quarter, but the Hoosiers were unable to hold on for their first win against the Buckeyes since 1998.
Indiana's Zander Diamont outgained Ohio State's J.T. Barrett both in the air and on the ground in the first half, leading the Hoosiers to within one point of the Buckeyes at halftime.
Indiana was also helped by Barrett and the Buckeyes, who turned the ball over three times in the first half. Early in the second, Tevin Coleman broke free for a 90-yard touchdown and the Hoosiers' first lead of the game.
After holding Ohio State scoreless on their next drive, Indiana was forced to punt. That was a bad idea, as Jalin Marshall returned it 53 yards for the lead-taking score. Marshall ended up scoring three more times before the game was out: two on catches, one on a touchdown run, and the Buckeyes defense held on for the victory.
Three things we learned
1. Ohio State is vulnerable. The Buckeyes had played just about as well as anyone in the country over the past few weeks, making a late run at the playoff standings with back-to-back ranked victories over Michigan State and Minnesota.
We saw the committee punish TCU last week for just barely pulling out a victory against a bad Kansas team. The Horned Frogs dropped from No. 4 to No. 5 as a result, and the Buckeyes' candidacy for a playoff spot -- already questionable with their loss to Virginia Tech -- could be impacted if the committee takes the first three quarters of this game seriously.
2. J.T. Barrett is probably no longer a serious Heisman candidate. The freshman quarterback made a late run at the award with some strong performances in recent weeks, but he needed everything to go his way to catch up with Marcus Mariota and Melvin Gordon. Throwing two interceptions and averaging under 4.0 yards per run against a horrid Indiana defense just won't do it. Barrett may still find his way to New York, but he's not going to be bringing home the award as a freshman.
It wasn't all bad for Barrett, however: he did break the program record for single-season touchdowns in the game.
3. Don't forget about Tevin Coleman. It's easy to overlook Indiana's star running back. There are possibly two better running backs within the same conference (Melvin Gordon and Ameer Abdullah), but Coleman has put together a great year for a bad Indiana team and nearly beat Ohio State all by himself.
Coleman ran 27 times for 228 yards and three touchdowns in the game, with two scores of at least 50 yards. That's his fourth game with at least 200 yards rushing this season