EditorsNote: Edit 1: Style fixes, and quarter correction in sixth graf
Dwayne Haskins threw for a school-record 499 yards and five touchdowns as No. 6 Ohio State held off No. 21 Northwestern 45-24 in the Big Ten Championship game in Indianapolis on Saturday.
Haskins was 34-for-41 with one interception.
Johnnie Dixon had seven catches for 129 yards and a score, and Indianapolis native Terry McLaurin had two touchdown receptions.
Northwestern QB Clayton Thorson was 26-for-43 for 265 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions.
The Buckeyes (12-1) appeared headed to a rout of the Wildcats (8-5) when Haskins threw a 42-yard touchdown pass to McLaurin for a 24-7 lead with 1:21 left in the first half.
But Thorson led the Wildcats to consecutive scores to make it 24-21 seven minutes into the third quarter. He ran 18 yards for the first score, and then he threw a 2-yard touchdown pass to Cameron Green with 8:03 left in the quarter.
Then Haskins went to work. He threw his third touchdown pass, a 29-yarder to Chris Olave with 1:21 left in the third quarter for a 31-21 lead.
Northwestern had a first-and-goal at the 6 but only gained 2 yards on three plays and had to settle for a 21-yard field goal by Charlie Kuhbander to pull within 31-24.
Haskins then threw 63 yards to Dixon to set up a 9-yard touchdown to Dixon to make it 38-24 with 9:11 to play. Five minutes later, Haskins hooked up with J.K. Dobbins on a 17-yard touchdown.
The Buckeyes, in winning their third title game in five seasons and their second straight, opened the scoring less than five minutes into the game on a 16-yard toss to McLaurin.
Northwestern, in its first championship game, tied it on a 77-yard run by John Moten IV. Dobbins rushed for a 2-yard score for a 14-7 advantage.
Ohio State went into the game knowing No. 5 Oklahoma (12-1) had beaten Texas 39-27 in the Big 12 championship, reducing the Buckeyes’ chances to earn a bid to the College Football Playoff. Also, No. 4 Georgia losing close to top-ranked Alabama, 35-28, in the SEC championship, likely damaged their hopes.
—Field Level Media