Ohio State Buckeyes experience adversity, still win big

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

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The Buckeyes talk about a 38-17 victory over Indiana.

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

The Ohio State Buckeyes set the bar high in their first four games, so high that they walked off the field after a 38-17 victory over the Indiana Hoosiers on Saturday with the feeling they hadn’t lived up to expectations.

The No. 2 Buckeyes (5-0, 2-0) won big, as they have all season. They have outscored their five opponents 266-54. For one game, however, they didn’t look like the best team in the country.

Maybe that’s a good thing. A little adversity won’t hurt Ohio State considering the tough road ahead. A game at No. 11/13 Wisconsin looms at 8 p.m. Saturday.

“Being in tough situations, you really see who can handle adversity on the team, who steps up,” said Wayne grad Robert Landers, a redshirt freshman defensive tackle.

Head coach Urban Meyer tells the Buckeyes all the time, Landers said, they are trained for rough situations from the day they step on campus. They faced one in the fourth quarter when Indiana intercepted Ohio State quarterback J.T. Barrett and then drove to the Ohio State 4-yard line, needing a touchdown to draw within one touchdown.

Nick Bosa and Michael Hill combined to stop Indiana’s Devine Redding for a loss of two yards on fourth down. That was the last gasp for the Hoosiers (3-2, 1-1), who couldn’t build on their 24-21 upset of Michigan State in their previous game and have lost 21 straight games to Ohio State.

“Even when it didn’t go our way, or Indiana got a pick, or we didn’t get the fumble recovery,” Landers said, “you put your head down, put your head in the dirt, suck it up and play.”

Landers had two more tackles for a loss. He has seven on the season and leads the team. Linebacker Jerome Baker was another defensive star with a team-high 11 tackles, two for a loss.

On offense, the Buckeyes overcame a disappointing 93-yard passing performance with a strong run game. J.T. Barrett rushed for 137 yards and a touchdown. Curtis Samuel gained 82 yards on the ground and scored one touchdown. Mike Weber had two touchdown runs and 71 rushing yards.

The Buckeyes lost a fumble on the third play of the game, Indiana took over at the Ohio State 29 but settled for a field goal. Ohio State kicked a field goal on its next drive to tie the game and went ahead for good when Tyquan Lewis forced a fumble by Indiana and Weber scored two plays later on a 9-yard run.

“It was a hard-fought victory,” Meyer said. “We won by three touchdowns and left a lot of pass offense on the field. That was the alarming thing and the early turnover.”

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