BLOOMINGTON, Ind., Sporting Alert — No. 2 Ohio State used a dominant third quarter to set up a 49-21 victory over Indiana in the 2017 college football season opener for both teams here at the Memorial Stadium on Thursday night.
Indiana started the game brightly and stifled the offense of Ohio State in the opening half to take a 14-13 lead at the break.
However, the Buckeyes, who were aiming to avoid losing to the Hoosiers for the first time since 1988, broke loose after the halftime interval and pulled away from the home side for the comfortably.
Following the very close two opening halves, Ohio State dominated on offense, defense and on special teams in the second half, while outscoring Indiana 22-7 in the third quarter to take full control of the contest.
J.T. Barrett, Parris Campbell and Johnnie Dixon all scored third quarter touchdowns, while Binjimen Victor and Antonio Williams added scores in the fourth quarter and the Buckeyes erased a one-point halftime deficit to secure a 28 point victory.
Captain and leading quarterback Barrett recovered from a slow start to throw three touchdown passes and ran for another score for Ohio State, which improved to 11-3 under Urban Meyer when trailing at the half.
The veteran senior finish the game with 20 of 35 on completed passes for 304 yards without an interception. He also ran for another 61 yards and carried the ball 13 times.
Meanwhile, true freshman running back J.K. Dobbins, getting the start in place of the injured Mike Weber, rushed for an impressive 181 yards on 29 carries for the Buckeyes, who scored 29 unanswered points in the second half and outscored the hosts 36-7 in the second half.
Dobbins set an OSU freshman single-game record with his 181 yards on Thursday night.
Williams ran for two scores and tallied 44 yards on seven carries, while Campbell took six catches for 136 yards and Dixon had a pair of catches for 65 yards.
Richard Lagow completed 40 of 65 passes for 410 yards and three touchdowns, but had two interceptions.
HALF TIME REPORT.
No. 2 Ohio State and Indiana are locked in a tight battle at halftime in the 2017 college football season opener for both teams here at the Memorial Stadium on Thursday night.
Indiana stifled the offense of Ohio State in the opening half to take a 14-13 lead at the break.
It is the time time the Hoosiers have taken a halftime lead against a ranked opponent since 2004.
Ohio State is 10-3 under Urban Meyer when trailing at the half.
After holding the Buckeyes to just a field goal in their first go on offense at the Memorial Stadium, the Hoosiers control both sides of the ball and then grabbed the game’s opening touchdown.
Richard Lagow found Ian Thomas from 18-yards and the senior tight end dragged his feet to complete the catch and give the home side the lead.
Sean Nuernberger kicked a second field goal to trim the deficit to 7-6, but Indiana struck again when Lagow found Simmie Cobbs Jr. for an 8-yard touchdown to stretch the home side’s advantage to 14-6 with 8:12 left in the second quarter.
Ohio State’s Antonio Williams bullied in for a 1-yard touchdown to cut the Hoosiers’ lead to 14-13 with 5:17 left in the second quarter at the interval.
Lagow has so far completed 24 of 38 passes for 278 yards and two touchdowns with an interception for Indiana.
J.T. Barrett, meanwhile, has completed 10 of 21 passes for 95 yards in the Ohio State offense at the halftime break.
At halftime, Indiana has outgained Ohio State 286-216 and led 17-10 on first downs.