Ohio State Buckeyes: buckeyes-hoosiers-101312

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Ohio State staged another shootout.

It still has the better weapons.

The Buckeyes kept their record perfect behind another explosive offensive performance, riding Braxton Miller and Carlos Hyde on the ground and getting a couple touchdown receptions from Devin Smith to hold off feisty Indiana in a 52-49 decision on Saturday night at Memorial Stadium.

It was over when: During a brief interruption of the Braxton Miller Show, backup quarterback Kenny Guiton came off the bench to finish off a touchdown drive and effectively put away the Hoosiers. After a late hit briefly sidelined Miller, Guiton rolled to his right and flipped a shovel pass to Carlos Hyde that opened up a two-score margin for the Buckeyes in a game that had tightened back up in the second half. The Hoosiers made it interesting late, but the lead the Buckeyes had built was ultimately too big.

Game ball goes to: Braxton Miller didn’t have his best stuff throughout the game, but the sophomore quarterback was on enough to again bust loose for a long, 67-yard touchdown run on the way to another 100-yard performance on the ground. He also complemented it with a gorgeous, 60-yard scoring strike to Devin Smith and an efficient outing through the air to keep the Buckeyes unbeaten.

Stat of the game: Smith put a couple throws his way on the ground, but both times he was able to hang on to the football he found himself in the end zone. All the sophomore needed were two catches to rack up 106 yards through the air and give the Buckeyes a couple critical touchdowns.

How the game was won: The Hoosiers had an aggressive scheme against the spread option and tackled well on the perimeter, but they had no answer for the Buckeyes between the tackles. Miller’s 67-yard score came up the middle, and running back Carlos Hyde was a force on the inside, regularly breaking tackles, moving the pile and making life difficult for Indiana.

What it means: Ohio State still has some flaws, but it also has a perfect record. Injuries took a toll on the Buckeyes defensively, so much so that fullback Zach Boren spent the game playing linebacker trying to help a unit that continues to give up big plays and miss critical tackles.

But the Hoosiers still have much more pressing concerns than the Buckeyes, and their futility in the series continued despite jumping out to an early lead and having chances to swing momentum against a team at less than full strength.
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.


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