No. 2 Ohio State pulls away from Indiana in 49-21 win
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — Ohio State coach Urban Meyer figured quarterback J.T. Barrett could have had an even bigger game.
“J.T. misfired on some deep balls but the crossing routes were big for us,” Meyer said. “We’ll get better on the deep ball, everything else was outstanding.”
Barrett threw for 304 yards and three touchdowns and ran for a TD and two-point conversion to help No. 2 Ohio State to a 49-21 victory over Indiana University on Thursday night in a season opener for the Big Ten teams.
Meyer knew his team was angry over how they played after trailing 14-13 at halftime.
“They understand they didn’t play very well, but they didn’t panic,” Meyer said.
Trailing 21-20 with less than five minutes left in the third quarter, Ohio State scored four consecutive touchdowns to turn the game into a rout.
Ohio State freshman running back J.K. Dobbins rushed for 181 yards on 29 carries.
“I’m not surprised at all,” Meyer said. “He’s had a heck of a camp. Mike Weber could have went (Thursday night), he was about 80 percent (with hamstring injury). He was on call but not needed the way J.K. was going. We get Mike back next week and that will give us a one-two punch.”
Indiana quarterback Richard Lagow completed 40 of 65 passes for 410 yards and three touchdowns and two interceptions.
“I’m very disappointed in how we finished, especially defensively,” Hoosiers coach Tom Allen said. “I’m very proud of our start to the game and most of the third quarter. There’s some things we have to address with our guys.”
Allen was impressed with the Buckeyes.
“We just played a great football team,” Allen said. “So the speed that they have and that they have is pretty special.”
Indiana wide receiver Nick Westbrook went out with a knee injury in the first quarter. Allen said he will have an MRI on Friday.
Barrett gave the Buckeyes the lead at 20-14 on a 2-yard touchdown run with 6:57 left in the third quarter. It was Ohio State’s first lead since 3-0.
On the ensuing possession, a 35-yard fumble recovery for a touchdown by Buckeyes defensive tackle Robert Landers was overturned when the play was ruled an incomplete pass by Lagow. Indiana was able to keep the drive alive and regained the lead at 21-20 on a 2-yard scoring pass from Lagow to Ian Thomas.
It was short-lived as Barrett connected with Parris Campbell on 74-yard touchdown pass to put Ohio State up for good. Meyer said that was a turning-point play.
For Campbell, it was redemption after dropping a 41-yard pass in the end zone on the opening drive of the second half. J.K. Hill was stopped for no gain on fourth-and-2 on the next play.
Ohio State made it 35-21 on a 59-yard touchdown pass from Barrett to Johnnie Dixon and a two-point conversion run by Barrett with 1:47 left in the third quarter. Barrett then hooked up with Binjimen Victor for an 11-yard touchdown pass.
Lagow threw for 278 yards and two touchdowns in the first half.
The Buckeyes marched down the field on the game’s opening possession before the drive stalled, settling for a 27-yard field goal by Sean Nuernberger.
On their first possession, the Hoosiers moved ahead 7-3 on an 18-yard touchdown pass from Lagow to Thomas. The pass was initially ruled incomplete but a replay showed Thomas dragged his back foot in bounds before his lead foot touched the line.
After an Ohio Sate field goal, the Hoosiers proceeded to go 80 yards in 10 plays in 2:03, capped by Lagow’s 8-yard touchdown pass to Simmie Cobbs Jr. to take a 14-6 lead.
The Buckeyes narrowed the deficit to 14-13 on Antonio Williams’ 1-yard touchdown run with 2:55 left in the first half. Dobbins supplied the key play with a 27-yard run.
NOTES: Ohio State QB J.T. Barrett moved into first place on the school’s career total offense list, passing QB Art Schlichter (1978-81). ... This was the 11th time Indiana opened the season against a ranked team and the first time in Bloomington. ... Thursday marked the first visit by ESPN College GameDay. The crew includes former Indiana coach Lee Corso (1973-82). ... Former Hoosiers coach Kevin Wilson, who resigned after the 2016 regular season after philosophical differences with athletic director Fred Glass, became Ohio State offensive coordinator in January.