BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- In what amounts to a neutral site, both sets of fans have had something to cheer about.
Indiana grabbed a lead thanks to a successful rushing attack and a blocked punt.
Ohio State returned the favor by scoring on a block of its own and then watching Braxton Miller show off his improved accuracy as a passer.
By the end of a competitive first half in Memorial Stadium, the Buckeyes had overcome a somewhat sluggish start and lead the Hoosiers 24-14 despite dealing with a rash of injuries on defense.
Stat of the half: Both teams blocked a punt with special teams stealing the spotlight early, but Ohio State’s block earned more style points by leading directly to a touchdown. Bradley Roby again pounced on the loose ball in the end zone, his second score of the season on the punt-block unit.
Player of the half: Even when he’s not at his best, Braxton Miller still has the biggest impact of anybody on the field. When the Ohio State quarterback was indecisive, he paid for it with some negative plays on the ground. But he showed how dangerous he’s becoming as a passer with another deep strike to Devin Smith that covered 60 yards for a touchdown and gave the Buckeyes some late breathing room.
What’s working for Ohio State: There have been a few issues getting to the perimeter, but the Buckeyes are having no real problems picking up chunks of yardage between the tackles, with Carlos Hyde again bulling through tackles and building a head of steam. The junior had 9 carries in the half for 59 yards, and he can surely expect a heavier workload after intermission.
What’s working for Indiana: The Hoosiers have sold out to stop the run, and the worst rushing defense in the Big Ten largely has held its own against the high-powered Buckeyes. Miller has broke free a couple times and Hyde has been a load to bring down on the interior, but Indiana also has mixed in some tackles for a loss during a competitive first half.