COLUMBUS, Ohio – The conditions were difficult, both in terms of the weather and playing against a national power with a lot on the line. And the young Indiana Hoosiers just didn’t handle the adversity well.
Braxton Miller ran for 144 yards and two touchdowns and passed for two more as fourth-ranked Ohio State clinched a spot in the Big Ten title game and set a school record with its 23rd consecutive win in a 42-14 victory on Saturday at snowy Ohio Stadium.
This time of year you’re going to get these kind of days, Hoosiers coach Kevin Wilson said. You have to be tough enough and strong enough at the line of scrimmage no matter what your attack is. And where we’re at right now, we’re not there.
The game was played at times in swirling clouds of snow with temperatures in the 20s. It was all but over at halftime after Ohio State (11-0, 7-0 Big Ten) built a 28-0 lead.
It was one rough day for the Hoosiers, with kicker Mitch Ewald a prime example. He came in a perfect 8 for 8 on field goals, but his 42-yard attempt in the second quarter clanked off the right upright and a 36-yard try in the third quarter did the same thing off the left upright.
The Hoosiers’ points came on Nate Sudfeld’s 4-yard pass to Shane Wynn and 25-yard pass to D’Angelo Roberts in the final 6 minutes.
We put up a lot of yards today, said Sudfeld, who completed 25 of 41 passes for 224 yards. But we weren’t able to finish. I don’t know why.
After scoring at least 28 points in 10 consecutive games, the Hoosiers have managed just 17 points in consecutive losses to Wisconsin (51-3) and the Buckeyes. They finished with 442 yards to 471 for Ohio State.
In games we’ve played well we’ve run it and we’ve played pretty good defense, Wilson said. The games we’ve struggled we haven’t had the run game It wasn’t there, and give Ohio State credit.
The Buckeyes’ defense – led by linebacker Ryan Shazier’s 20 tackles – allowed the Hoosiers (4-7, 2-5) to move the ball but stopped them when they got close to scoring. Indiana came in averaging 39 points a game.
The Hoosiers drove into Ohio State territory eight times without scoring.
The stats look a little close except the scoreboard, Indiana coach Kevin Wilson said. And that’s the one that counts.
Indiana, which needed to win its final two games to be bowl eligible, closes out the season at home next week against rival Purdue.