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No. 3 Ohio State holds off spirited challenge from No. 10 Indiana

2 min read
https://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/ncaaf/bigten/2020/11/21/ohio-state-tops-indiana-big-ten-showdown-behind-justin-fields/6375084002/

No. 3 Ohio State is still undefeated, but it wasn’t easy.

The Buckeyes held off a challenge from No. 10 Indiana in a 42-35 victory that gave them control of the Big Ten East.

It appeared Ohio State, a three-touchdown favorite, would cruise to the win with Justin Fields throwing for two scores and Master Teague adding two on the ground as the Buckeyes built a 35-7 lead early in the third quarter.

However, Hoosiers quarterback Michael Penix Jr. went to work on an Ohio State secondary that again showed vulnerability. He found Ty Fryfogle for three long touchdowns to bring Indiana within seven points. 

Ohio State running back Master Teague III scores a touchdown against Indiana during the second quarter at Ohio Stadium.

Ohio State added to the drama late in the fourth quarter. Faced with a fourth-and-1 from the Indiana 7, Buckeyes coach Ryan Day eschewed a short field goal and a possible two-score lead. Fields then overthrew tight end Luke Farrell to turn the ball over.

The stop gave the Hoosiers a chance to tie or take the lead with 4:35 left. The Buckeyes defense, however, responded. After two incompletions, linebacker Pete Werner and nose tackle Tommy Togiaia sacked Penix to force a punt.

Indiana would get the ball back with less than a minute left but ran out of time and their final play ended with a fumble recovery for Ohio State.

Penix finished with 27-of-51 for 491 yards and five touchdowns, and Fryfogle caught seven passes for 218 yards. 

Fields, one of the front-runners for the Heisman Trophy, threw for 300 yards and two touchdowns, but also had three interceptions to help the Hoosiers stay close. Teague ran for a career-high 169 yards as the Buckeyes finished with 307 yards rushing.

Ohio State is now the lone unbeaten in the East division with games against Michigan State, Illinois and Michigan left. The Buckeyes could afford one loss and still reach the conference championship game. 

Indiana, which was seeking its first victory against Ohio State since 1988, fell to 4-1. It was the 26th win in a row for the Buckeyes in the series.

Contributing: Bill Rabinowitz, The Columbus Dispatch

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