Buckeyes overpower Hoosiers, 49-26

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Tom Allen used his hand like a cudgel and slapped the table before him, unsatisfied by any notion of mere progress.

Sitting in a room above the visitors locker room at Ohio Stadium on Saturday evening, Allen reflected on Indiana’s latest trip to this fabled college football stage, the plays that gave the Hoosiers hope and the mistakes that ultimately broke them in their 49-26 loss to No. 3 Ohio State.

Speaking with a mass of reporters, Allen also emphasized his message to the team; a directive not to settle for any moral victory. Indiana played well in stretches, but not well enough in sum.

Hold your heads high, Allen told his group, but never settle for endings like this.

“My whole thing was we weren’t going to back down from anybody,” Allen said. “I wasn’t going to let anybody feel sorry for themselves. We were going to finish. We were going to look them in the eye, then shake their hands and make sure they know we respect them, but (also that) we’re coming back. We ain’t going nowhere. This program is working hard to be special. That ain’t gonna change.”

Saturday’s effort was good, but the result was not — a familiar chain of events when IU has tried to punch above its weight class.

The Hoosiers held two first-half leads, forced three takeaways and gave Ohio State the kind of fight it has come to expect in this divisional matchup.

Ultimately, it still wasn’t enough to end IU’s 30-year drought against the Buckeyes.

Ohio State out-gained Indiana, 609-406, unleashing an army of playmakers against the Hoosiers’ secondary. IU largely did a nice job of bottling up Ohio State on the ground, but Buckeyes quarterback Dwayne Haskins threw for 455 yards and six touchdowns to overpower the Hoosiers in the second half.

“Proud of our kids’ effort,” Allen said. “Thought our kids played hard and were physical from start to finish. We didn’t execute to our standard all the time and it cost us in some critical situations. But the kids battled.”

Empty possessions on Ohio State’s side of the field late in the third quarter knocked Indiana off the upset track. The Hoosiers, who trailed 28-20 at halftime, traded touchdowns to get within 35-26 midway through the third period.

A failed two-point conversion kept IU at a two-possession distance, but the Hoosiers squashed the Buckeyes’ ensuing drive when safety Bryant Fitzgerald intercepted Haskins near midfield.

It was a key moment for the Hoosiers, who couldn’t make the most of the newfound momentum. IU ran four plays and couldn’t get closer than the OSU 38, from where it punted and pinned the Buckeyes inside their own 5.

After a strong defensive stand forced an Ohio State three-and-out, IU’s offense yet again struggled to get anything going. The ensuing possession ended with a 50-yard field goal attempt by Logan Justus that didn’t come close to its target.

Those empty possessions fed into two Ohio State scores in the fourth quarter to cap the contest — a 17-yard touchdown reception by Terry McLaurin and a 30-yard scoring reception from Binjimen Victor.

“I talked to our guys in the locker room,” Allen said. “There is always a window in every game where you’ve got to put all of your energy right in there to make that game-changing play, when it can make a difference in the game. and that was our window of opportunity.

“We just couldn’t take advantage of it, and you’ve got to give credit to them, too. Sometimes there are reasons why things go a certain way because of the guys you’re going against. There was no shame for our guys in what they were trying to do.”

Indiana returns home to host Iowa for homecoming on Saturday at noon.

Although the Hoosiers couldn’t keep pace with a national title contender, their offense showed signs of tapping into its potential.

Quarterback Peyton Ramsey opened up the Indiana downfield passing game, finishing with a career-high 322 yards. Ramsey completed 26 of his 49 throws for three scores with zero interceptions. J-Shun Harris led IU receivers with eight catches for 104 yards. Nick Westbrook was also an active part of the attack, posting 109 yards on five catches with one touchdown.

“You need all different aspects in an offense, being able to throw it deep, screen game, run game, whatever it may be,” Ramsey said. “When you have all those things working together and when everything’s clicking, it makes it a lot easier to score points.”

The Hoosiers delivered the game’s first punch, beginning with a 45-yard run by Stevie Scott that carried them to the OSU 14. A pair of penalties backed the Hoosiers out of the red zone before they settled for a 37-yard field goal by Justus, marking the first time this season they scored a game’s first points.

A pair of nine-play, 70-plus-yard scoring drives by the Buckeyes gave the home team a 14-3 lead early in the second quarter before Ramsey helped engineered back-to-back touchdown drives to put the Hoosiers ahead once again.

The first of those possessions ended with some nifty work by the IU quarterback, who faked a reverse, then lofted a 32-yard touchdown pass to tight end Peyton Hendershot. The Hoosiers quickly retrieved the ball with a takeaway, when Devon Matthews intercepted a pass by Haskins, who was pressured by Cam Jones as he threw.

That turned into a six-play, 70-yard scoring drive for the Hoosiers, who were helped into OSU territory by a one-handed catch 30 yards downfield by Harris. Two plays later, Ramsey found Westbrook in single coverage, hitting him for a 19-yard touchdown that gave IU a 17-14 lead with seven minutes left in the half.

Ohio State answered with two quick scores sandwiched around a fumble by Reese Taylor to rebuild its advantage to 28-17.

Another 37-yard field goal by Justus before the half cut IU’s deficit to eight points. Try as they might, the Hoosiers wouldn’t get any closer in the second half.

“We had to fight like crazy to get there (today),” Allen said. “But once you get there, you have to fight like crazy to make those one or two plays that put you in position to be able to win a game like this.”

56 comments

  1. The guy just can’t please some folks.

    Ramsey passes for 322 yards, three touchdowns, zero interceptions, averaging over 12 yards per reception, while the offense averaged nearly 6 yards per offensive play against what is likely the 2nd best team in the country and he still gets dogged.

    If the defense could have stepped up the offense played good enough to win.

  2. Chet I have to disagree the offense played well enough to win. Yes defense needed to play better but they played well when the offense stayed on the field for a number of plays.

    Saying the offense played well enough to win is like saying the defense played well enough because they created 3 take-aways and stopped OSU on 4th and 1. The defense gave the offense a short field twice early in the second half but offense couldn’t score any points. Playing OSU IU can’t give up scoring points in these situations. Clearly the defense needed to play much better but I was glad to see how hard they fought.

    Our OL did a good job most of the game against a front that created problems for every team they played this year. It was nice to see them step up against OSU’s front.

  3. 1. This offensive coaching staff goes brain dead in EVERY second half of every game regardless of opponent. 2. Ramsey was hurt. Needed to be replaced midway of 3rd. Allen needs a defensive coordinator (see OSO 3rd play in second half) so he can attend to being a head coach. 3. Groundhog Day comes in October. 4. I thought Kevin Wilson’s ability to speak coherently were limited. TA makes KW sound like David Suskind. 5. New Rule across all of FBS;
    Drop the recruiting stars and allow only 8 players per team to recruit kids with 90+ rating. The bigger programs will still get the cream of the crop but lesser programs wont be as disadvantaged. If someone is a 4 touchdown dog in the same conference, the system is broken.

  4. I was pretty sure we were about to see the Hoosiers have another extra point attempt run back for a score.

  5. Yes sir Chet Ramsey has nothing to back up about in that game. The OSU air defense is the best I’ve seen this year. IU’s young D played admirably but because they are so young they had to play zone vs. M/M which is what it takes to neutralize the Bucks QB and WR assault. But all in all this young bunch performed pretty well and I’ll bet learned playing all out ball is satisfying even in a loss.
    Just saw the Irish QB over throw a wide open WR down field. Obviously his his arm strength is very, very questionable. I think their backup possesses a cannon.

    1. HC,
      I don’t know what game you were watching, but I certainly didn’t see anything like what you saw. If OSU is the best pass defense you’ve seen all year, you haven’t seen many good pass defenses. The one thing IU did do was expose how bad the OSU pass defense really is against the deep pass, that is if IU could have completed a pass deep.

      1. OSU was taking a bad team lightly in the first half. What the heck else is new? It should have been over a four touch down loss but Meyer eased up the gas pedal at the end.
        You can hold up four fingers all you want, but OSU never needed anything beyond second gear in the second half.
        Question: Why did we bring out Penix at all early in the season? Not that it matters, but I think we’ll lose him to transfer. It’s pretty obvious there is no deep passing game and it’s rather insulting to not even give the highly talented freshman a shot to mix things up.

  6. Chet,
    I’m with V13 on this one. PR had another good day with yardage and %, but the average yard per completion still stinks. 6.6 yards is not going to win FB games. The QBR was a little better at 40.3, but Haskins was at 10.3 yards and 85.1 QBR. That’s the difference in the game.

    There were several occasions where IU receivers had the OSU backs beat deep, but PR couldn’t get the ball to them. OSU has a huge vulnerability to the deep pass, and if they can’t get it fixed will get them beat. The B1G may not have anyone who can, but in the BCS there will be QBs who can exploit this big time.

    I’ll say it again, PR is a great and tough kid, and he got just about all he can get out of his skill set. The problem is when you go up against good teams you have to have a complete game, which he does not. The inability to throw the homerun ball is a major chink in his amour and both MSU and OSU have made it plainly clear with the way the defensed IU.

    I don’t know how many times I saw OSU crowding the LOS with no fear of PR being able to throw it behind them. The few times IU was able to do so with misdirection, it worked pretty good. Problem is OSU figured it out and the success faded as the game went on. When a defense is putting 9,10, and 11 guys in the box on you, they are making the argument a whole lot better than V13 or I can. How the opponent plays you on defense tells you all that is needed to know regarding your offensive weaknesses.

    I think DeBord called about as an aggressive game as could be called against OSU, the only thing absent was the deep pass. The two times I seen PR try to do so, he missed badly. Thought the OL did a great job protecting PR against a dominant defense. Lest anyone say they were ineffective run blocking, I’ll remind you again about OSU crowding the LOS. Kinda hard to run block when there are 9, 10, or 11 OSU caliber defensive guys in the box.

    1. What are you looking at? His average per completion wasn’t 6.6, it was 12 yards. The average OFFENSIVE PLAY was nearly 6 yards…against OSU.

      That is a great statistic…for anyone.

      1. So, let’s say those drops weren’t dropped.

        Then he has a 400 yard, 4 TD game and leads off Sportscenter.

        What qualifies as a good game to you?

      2. I would like to know the standard deviation of his passing yardage…..e.g. two screen passes for three yards and one for thirty yards = 12 yd average.
        Penix may give you one for fifty and two no-gainers = 12.67 yd average.

        They both look basically the same on paper, but maybe that 50 yarder gets behind the defense and changes the game?

        There is not much in Ramsey’s game to increase his standard deviation in a complete sample set of passes. He’s predictably accurate…but unpredictable explosive plays can turn games.

        1. We’ll, that’s one way to look at it.

          On the other hand, several series of downs with 10+ yard passing plays may represent three scoring drives where a single 50 yard play would represent one.

      3. Chet,
        It is the calculation methodology. It is 6.6 per attempt and 12 per completion, neither is very good when coupled with the QBR. Haskins had a 13.7 per completion and a 10.3 per attempt and QBR twice that of PR, huge difference in QB passing efficiency. Haskins put up 455 yards on 5 less attempts.

        1. Yup you over throw an open WR and you’re labeled a weak arm. I watched less than half the ND game and saw their QB over throw a WR’s twice. Ramsey had a hell of a good day until Schiano turned up the heat on the Hoosier OL. Haskins doesn’t perform well under pressure. But IU’s young pass D made many mistakes. Particularly Crawford. OSU is for real and with Bosa back in the near future are at least #3.

          1. If you watched the game, you know which quarterback has an NFL arm and which has a weak arm. Ramsey squeezes a lot out of his talent but his arm strength is not good.

        2. 12.4 ypc is damn good when you understand the Allen/DeBord offense measurably uses the pass as an extension of the run. Ramsey had a strong game against a damn good D.

  7. Just another repeat movie….Hoosiers never hang with a premier big ten team for more than a half.
    OSU simply waited and watched their talent eventually overpower. It’s just sort of cruel to even watch such disparities.
    The Illini crushed Rutgers at Rutgers.
    Northwestern kicks MSU in the teeth at East Lansing.

    Allen is the football version of Tom Crean. Bless his little hyperactive sideline auditions and rah rah routines…..but just way over his head.

  8. Why is anyone critical of IU and the coaching staff related specifically to this game? Everyone says this OSU team is one of their best especially if they get their deep pass defense figured out. There 3rd string are 3 and 4 stars which is our first string. They simply wore us down. We would need to play a perfect 4 quarters to have one and OSU would need to play below their capability at the same time. As long as we played our hardest till the end that is all we can really expect. Hope we didn’t incur injuries that could impact a winnable game down the road. PR had a better game and Penix won’t be wasted on a game like this. He will play if playing Ramsey means we might not be able to win a winnable game. Otherwise, he will redshirt. Hopefully, we can give Iowa a game next week.

  9. I would be pissed if I couldn’t get playing time against OSU in a game televised by Fox…(especially when considering how obvious the clamps had come down on Ramsey in the second half).
    And then you’re going to ask Penix to show off his cannon for the BTN against Iowa? That’s IU Football. Throw cold water on a kid who looked like he had a ton of fire in his game. Might as well call him a deadshirt instead of a redshirt….because you’ve taken away his biggest viewing audiences to shine and give spark to a bottled up offense.

    We were 8 points down at halftime. It was a perfect game to break away from pedestrian and conservative….and try a couple deep balls.

    Ramsey never looks like he’s having fun …..This game should have brought out those sorts of personality traits. He did fine within his limitations but he plays hampered because he wants so badly to be mistake-free. It’s not fun to have to be perfect. When you’re gushing with talent and possess some versatility along with a bigger arm, mistakes don’t loom as large…Talent can afford a couple mistakes in exchange for explosive play potential. You can actually have fun in a big televised game on a national network.
    I feel sort of bad for Ramsey. He just doesn’t possess enough gifts at the position to seize a moment in the spotlight and have some fun. He’s like a 9 to 5 job with no vacations or fun on the weekend….Sure, he can bring home the bacon against Rutgers, but there’s no “Let’s Go Crazy!” in his game.

  10. A program cannot consistantly recruit towards the bottom of their league and expect things to change. Kentucky is a great example. Stoops has methodically, for the past few years, ‘sold’ kids on coming to an SEC bottomfeeder. It has finally payed off.

    1. Well, Stoops was hired in 2013 so Allen has a few more years to finish the recruiting turn that I think has begun. Of course, our coaches, for a variety of reasons, can’t seem to be at IU for that many years.

      1. Hopefully, Allen can get it done. He is tied for 16th in being the winningest coach in 130 years of football at IU.

  11. I’m sure all of you know that it’s me, Harv.
    I’m just using ‘Price Gouging’ for a couple threads. I’ll let you know if it’s to be anything permanent.
    Full disclosure…just like a Hoosier offense.

    Sincerely,

    The Jester-a-ton of Chesterton

  12. Just a few thoughts about the game. IU played hard and a lot of young players were on the field. Our OL that has struggled at times this year played very good against a very good front. It takes time to change the roster and it is clear with this last class they found players that can win in the B1G East. Missing two of our better receivers, we had receivers that stepped up. I swear Hale is hexed with all the offensive penalties this year. Not playing Penix when the offense isn’t moving is tough to watch. It was hard to see Harris drop the pass that looked like he would score but he had a great game at receiver this week. Those that have criticized DeBord need to understand he is limited so what with the talent on this offense. It was good to see how aggressive he was calling plays and keeping IU in the game through the game and not quitting on scoring. OSU found out they were in a tough game despite who they thought they were playing.

    Give coach Allen time like Kentucky has with Stoops and IU will have a season like Kentucky is this year. I hope every player that has another year they can play for IU comes back to win games they could have won and win in 2019.

    H4H where is the name price gouging coming from or are you now charging us for your words now.

  13. You can use stats to support any argument you want to make. Ramsey had over 300 yards because he was taking only what OSU was willing to give him, he was playing from behind for most of the game, and running the ball was not a legitimate strategy in the second half. But the only stat that really matters is points, and we did not score nearly enough of those. It’s not all Ramsey’s fault, but he simply does not have the skills to elevate his team above their other deficiencies. A team like IU needs a game-changer playing QB, not a game-manager. But the one stat that should concern T.A. is Ramsey’s yards per passing attempt. Ramsey’s yards per passing attempt has been weak since he became a starter last season. It screams “dink and dunk.” So I don’t care how many yards he throws for, or how many completions he makes between the 30-yard lines, he’s not getting it into the end zone or deep down field often enough. And his arm does not pass the eye test. And as others have predicted, those dink and dunk passes have resulted in two of IU’s best receivers getting injured. A guy like Whop can continue to take hits from linebackers running short routes over the middle and not lose playing time.

    My guess is the Ramsey will continue to start until he gets dinged up to the point where he can’t run the offense. He’ll probably continue to have a high completion percentage and good yards. But he’ll also struggle to get the ball into the end zone against Big Ten teams. Maybe he’ll do enough to lead IU to two more wins.

      1. Chet,
        That’s the kind of stuff you tell yourself to make yourself feel good when you know you’re not good enough and the other guy threw 6! This game was a track meet from the get go and the scores against the OSU defense were there to be had. As advertised, they were vulnerable to the deep pass and IU couldn’t deliver. Nate Sudfield’s arm would have chewed them to pieces deep.

        Chet, unless you’re deliberately looking the other way, it was very obvious what OSU was doing defensively. They know full well a 6.6 per attempt passing game would not be them. As long as they didn’t have to worry about the deep threat, they could concentrate on making IU work for every one of those 6.6 yards. The OSU defensive strategy worked to perfection. Don’t believe me, don’t worry, you’ll see this strategy over and over again the rest of the season.

        1. Clever strategy. Giving up boatloads of yards and three TDs through the air.

          I think there is a flaw in there somewhere.

          Yeah, Nate should definitely have chewed up OSU when he had the chance. Wonder why he never did?

          1. I sincerely hope opponents do try to load the box in the future. Ramsey is apt and able to make those opportunities positive for IU. He played a hell of a game in Columbus vs. #3 trying to disrupt his efforts. I worry much more about DeBord being up to that challenge than I do Peyton.

        2. IU can live on and win with 12.4ypr and 3 passing TD’s. You can’t win giving up 6 passing TD’s to a team that possesses a D such as OSU. The use of that zone defense needs more thought.

          1. Yes HC IU can live on 12.4 yards per reception and maybe 3 passing TD’s, but it cannot win on 6.6 yards per attempt. You can’t pick and choose the stats you want and forget the ones you don’t. Funny thing, the University of Texas gave up almost as many points as IU did to OSU, but they somehow managed to win. Did I mention that was Oklahoma they beat?

            There is an old saying, there are none so blind as those who refuse to see. OSU’s defensive strategy showed you and Chet everything you need to know. You’ll see a lot of defenses over the next 6 games trying to do the same thing OSU did if they can. Crowd the LOS, load the box, and dare PR to pass behind them if he can.

          2. I just randomly picked a perennial football power other than Alabama or OSU and looked at their numbers.

            LSU seemed a likely choice. They rarely have a bad year.

            Average yardage per pass play…7.3. Seven tenths of a yard difference.

            Average yards per completion…13.6. One point two yards difference.

            Yeah. Those are game changing numbers.

            I’m sure you will find some twisting around to “yeah…but” these numbers, too. Humidity or something.

          3. Chet,
            You omitted two things in your LSU analogy. First, they always have a very dominant running attack and second a very dominant defense. If you’re going to have a dink and dunk passing attack you have to have something else going for you. LSU does, IU doesn’t.

            One other thing, the biggest reason for LSU’s inability to return to the top of the SEC mountain has been their lack of an explosive passing attack. Had a fantastic running back couple years ago, but didn’t have a complementary passing game. Couldn’t get much beyond where they have been for many years now, second, third, or fourth in the division.

  14. With 2 conference losses we are pretty much out of contention for the B1G East championship and the CFP…….must now lower the expectations to a NYD bowl game

  15. Realistically IU will never win the B10 East. OSU, PSU, Mich & MSU won’t all have a bad year together. IU cannot catch up to these programs in recruiting and depth.

  16. Past half a century 3 top big ten traditions in east. MSU has a very solid tradition. One needs to be traded to west for a weaker team. The west has a tradition team who has been down in Nebraska. Wisconsin is a solid tradition team that does not match the top 3 in the east. Iowa is just a solid tradition team. Northwestern is a solid tradition team for about 25 years. One team; Minnesota, Illinois, or Purdue in West should be traded for one team; OSU, Penn State, or Michigan in East.

  17. Actually, a couple other teams in west could be considered to be traded for one of the top 3 traditions in east.

  18. WOW!! Lets ease up (put MAC or FCS teams) and load the BIG TEN east division with pancake teams so Indiana can have a chance to win the BIG TEN east (fans stop crying about the teams in the BIG TEN east division and build up the Indiana football program. The Indiana football team played as well as can be projected or predict against OSU. As a matter of fact the Indiana offense played well/good. The offense played the type of “GAME” Tom Allen wants. Peyton Ramsey was good, just as Tom Allen wanted. The offense with Peyton Ramsey was very conservative, predictable and no turnovers (interception). Again Indiana offense had a hard time scoring in the second half of the game (something they have had problems doing this season…this will probably show up again in the Purdue game). The defense was the problem in this game. OSU was 50% (8-16) on 3rd down situation, 75% on fourth down situation, they only punted twice in the whole game (granted the defense created three turnovers). But the defense gave up to many explosive plays (blown coverage and some poor tackling). It is easy to say this is a young team, but in reality (according to the depth chart) you are starting only one freshman (TE – Peyton Hendershot). An please Tom Allen stop crying about the injuries to your slot receivers (Luke Timian -walk-on 5 year SR and Whop Philyor – SO) you put a 5th year senior (J-Shun Harris) in to replace them and for all probabilities he’s the best of the group. Lets just play some football and see what the rest of the year provides.

    1. 79
      Might want to back the train up a little bit on the D. Need to take a trip to ncaa.org and do some looking at current year. OSU is the #5 offense currently and not even in the top 50 defensively. That being said you have the #4 defense coming into town Saturday and will be going to the #1 defense soon up in Ann Arbor. Should be interesting to see how the IU offense plays against these defenses.
      btw Maryland and Minny are in the top 50 defenses.

  19. Just a better divided east west is not so IU has a better chance to win division. They are a long way off from that no matter what teams were in each division.

  20. I don’t want it watered down. I get to see the Hoosiers play at least 4 of the best teams in the country every year.

    I guess the flip side is Boise State. Their fans get to see them beat up Northwest Oregon over and over except for the one made for television game and a bowl.

    Their upset over Oklahoma a few years back was huge for them.

    No, I embrace the mountain they have to climb.

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