December 2, 2018 / 5:24 AM / 17 days ago

No. 6 Ohio State puts away No. 21 Northwestern for Big 10 title

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.

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