COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Indiana’s Antonio Allen had two interceptions that put No. 7 Ohio State on the ropes.
He thinks the Buckeyes, who used Jalin Marshall’s four late touchdowns to pull away for a 42-27 victory, were looking past the Hoosiers to next week’s game with rival Michigan.
“I think they were; everyone overlooks IU football,” he said. “We’ve just got to go out there and fight hard so people can believe in us.”
The surprisingly tight game for most of the day could impact the playoff hopes of the Buckeyes (10-1, 7-0 Big Ten, No. 6 CFP), who clinched the East Division title and a berth in the conference title game. The Buckeyes will play the winner of the Minnesota-Wisconsin game in the Big Ten title game on Dec. 6 in Indianapolis.
They trailed the 34-point underdog Hoosiers 20-14 after Tevin Coleman sped 90 yards for a TD midway through the third quarter. A week after rushing for 307 yards, Coleman went for 228 yards on 27 carries for three scores for the Hoosiers (3-8, 0-7), who dropped their sixth loss in a row.
“We came out here fighting hard,” Coleman said.
The Hoosiers’ last chance at a tying score ended with Tyvis Powell picking off a pass from Zander Diamont with 4:25 left, deep in Indiana territory. Marshall caught two more scoring passes after that to pad the lead before Coleman rumbled 52 yards for a score with 1:13 left.
“We kind of (had) them where we want them, 4 minutes to go in the ‘Shoe and it’s 28-20,” Indiana coach Kevin Wilson said. “You guys were more shocked than we were. That’s a fact. We were trying to make a play and came up short.”
On IU’s second possession of the second half, Coleman took a simple handoff, bounced outside and streaked down the left sideline. The 210-pound sophomore was pulling away from two Ohio State defensive backs over the last 50 yards, too.
Most of his carries netted next to nothing. But the two long runs will be featured on highlight shows.
“You’re not just going to hit the big runs on a great defense. You have to just keep on running, hitting the holes hard, soften them up,” Coleman said. “Eventually, a big one’s going to come to you.”
Once in jeopardy of being run out of the chilly stadium, the Hoosiers were up 20-14. A crowd of 101,426 at Ohio Stadium sounded more like 426.
“He gets in second gear and it’s over,” Ohio State coach Urban Meyer said of Coleman. “He’s a really good back. Top 10 — maybe higher than that.”
After 35 anemic minutes, Ohio State found some answers. Marshall took a low, line-drive punt, avoided an early tackle and then sidestepped punter Erich Toth for the 54-yard return.
Marshall then scored on a 6-yard shovel pass, made a one-handed grab of a 15-yard pass from J.T. Barrett to swell the lead to 35-20 with just over 4 minutes left, then added a 54-yard catch-and-run.
Down 14-0 early, the Hoosiers sure didn’t look like a winless conference team to the Buckeyes. It was all right there in front of Wilson and his players.
“Getting better and fighting hard is a part of it,” Wilson said. “There’s a point when you’ve got to make plays. And it’s time we start doing that.”
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