- Austin Ward, ESPN Staff Writer
- 0 Shares
COLUMBUS, Ohio -- A closer look at the developments from No. 3 Ohio State's 42-14 win over Indiana on Saturday at the Horseshoe as it clinched a spot in the Big Ten title game and set a school record with its 23rd victory in a row.
Buckeyes worthy of some hardware: The forgotten man in the Heisman Trophy race is roaring back with some of the best football of his career, this week using his legs to make the biggest impact. Overlooked a year ago for individual honors, Ohio State's most prolific defender is making it impossible to ignore him as he stuffs the box score to capacity. Braxton Miller and Ryan Shazier deserve to be in the middle of any conversation about the best players at their position this season, though the latter's case might be the strongest heading into the final week of the regular season. Miller was electrifying with 144 rushing yards and 2 touchdowns to go with 160 yards through the air and 2 more scores, but Shazier's 20-tackle outing will go down in the record books. The junior made 5 of those plays behind the line of scrimmage, forced a fumble, made a sack and also broke up a pass in one of the more complete performances a linebacker could have.
Dontre Wilson is ready to be unleashed: The Buckeyes have brought their freshman speedster along relatively slowly, but they appear ready to turn him loose with three critical games left to play. Wilson turned his seven offensive touches into 58 yards and a touchdown. It was a relatively modest total, but the mere threat of him on the field opened up space elsewhere for his teammates as the Hoosiers paid attention to his every step. Wilson might not have the entire playbook down yet, his hands let him down once and he isn't really that effective between the tackles yet. But get him in space, and he's quite clearly got the jets needed to burn a defense and put up points.
The senior linemen are going to be missed: The moment hasn't arrived yet, but the Buckeyes obviously know it's coming. Jack Mewhort, Corey Linsley, Marcus Hall and Andrew Norwell carved out a couple quick minutes in the end zone to snap a picture together with position coach Ed Warinner, and the coaching staff is clearly going to miss those four seniors on the offensive line. The Buckeyes bulled their way to 311 rushing yards, averaging a robust 8 yards per attempt, taking full advantage of the gaping holes the veterans provided up front while they still can. It's perhaps no real secret how important replacing those linemen next season is going to be, but they provided one more lesson on their value as the Buckeyes shoved around the Hoosiers and left Ohio Stadium with one more win.
2dDan Murphy and Mitch Sherman
2dSharon Katz, ESPN Stats & Information
3dMitch Sherman and Dan Murphy