Bloomington, IN, United States (4E Sports) – Quarterback Braxton Miller displayed an all-around game, tossing two touchdown passes and running for another score as Ohio State survived Indiana’s comeback in the fourth period to escape with a 52-49 victory Saturday at Memorial Stadium.
Miller completed 13 of 24 for 211 yards and added 149 ground yards on 23 carries as the Buckeyes started 7-0 for the first time since 2007 when they opened with a 10-0 record.
“IU was much improved. It’s always good sportsmanship. We are not good in certain areas and we were exposed. Spread offensives right now are really exposing us right now,” said Ohio State coach Urban Meyer, who improved his overall record in October to 28-10. He is 26-0 when his teams score 50 or more.
Ohio State has won the last 17 meetings overall and the last nine in Bloomington. Its last loss at Memorial Stadium was in 1988.
Buckeyes reserve playmaker Kenny Guiton also issued a touchdown pass to running back Carlos Hyde during a brief appearance after Miller left the game with a late-hit penalty. Hyde, for his part, finished with 156 ground yards on 22 carries with a scoring run.
The Buckeyes ended the first half ahead by 24-14 after issuing his first touchdown pass – a 14-yarder — to sophomore wide receiver Devin Smith, who finished with 106 yards on two receptions and two scores.
Miller then gave the Buckeyes a two-touchdown advantage in the third period with a 67-yard scoring run before Indiana quarterback Cameron Coffin issued his only touchdown pass of the game to Shane Wynn to cut the deficit to 31-24.
The Buckeyes notched their biggest lead at 52-34 and looked headed for a rout when Miller tossed his second touchdown pass to Smith with less than seven minutes left in the game.
Faced with a huge deficit, the (2-4, 0-3 Big Ten) never gave up, launching a last-ditch effort to steal the win behind reserve quarterback Nate Sudfeld, who threw two touchdown passes 35 seconds apart, to close the gap to three.
Corey Brown, however, dashed the Hoosiers’ comeback bid when he recovered an onside kick to secure the victory.
Coffman completed 22 of 44 heaves for 275 yards and a touchdown while Sudfeld finished 6-for-10 for 77 yards and two scores for the Hoosiers.
“That is a good football team we played. I think they do things in great ways. I appreciate our kids fighting and competing with them, we just have to find ways to get it done. We’re close, we’ll keep plugging at it, working at it as we keep moving forward. Being close isn’t good enough though,” Indiana head coach Kevin Wilson said.