Bloomington, Ind. Indiana suffered a 35-6 defeat at the hands of No. 8 Ohio State on a rainy Saturday at Memorial Stadium.
The Hoosiers fell to 1-7 on the year and 0-4 in the Big Ten, while the Buckeyes improved to 7-1 and 3-1.
Things got off to a rocky start for Indiana, as Ohio States Lydell Ross consistently bulled through the Hoosier defense on the opening drive, which eventually culminated in a 11-yard Ross touchdown run. Ross had 12 carries for 113 yards in the first quarter alone, and finished the game with 23 carries for 167 yards and three touchdowns.
Indiana escaped the shutout with 3:28 remaining in the game. Backup quarterback Graeme McFarland came into the game in the fourth quarter and led the Hoosiers downfield, completing six passes in as many attempts for a total of 54 yards. McFarland capped the IU scoring drive with the first touchdown pass of his career, a 17-yard strike to Chris Taylor to make it, 35-6. Bryan Robertson missed the PAT attempt.
True freshman Jake Powers started at linebacker in place of Josh Moore, who injured his knee against Northwestern. Moore tried to practice this week, but his mobility was not good and swelling in his knee was considerable.
Indiana tried to establish the run during the first half, but the Buckeye defense would not budge. Ohio State, which entered the game with the nations second-best rush defense, allowed only 26 yards on the ground on 13 Indiana rushes during the first quarter to set the tone.
Indianas running attack was led by Brian Lewis, who finished the game with eight carries for 20 yards. Taylor added six rushes for 16 yards, with BenJarvus Green-Ellis contributing with six carries for four yards.
Things werent much better through the air. Despite the fact that Matt LoVecchio consistently found receivers with short passes, the Buckeyes kept the receivers at bay after the catch.
The stat sheet painted an accurate picture of the first half, as Ohio State had 126 yards rushing and 124 yards passing for 330 total yards, while Indiana countered with -7 yards rushing and 59 yards passing for 52 total yards.
Including Saturdays game, Indiana has been outscored in the first quarter, 72-19 this year. Indiana hasnt scored a first-quarter point in over a month, as the Hoosiers last first-quarter score came against Indiana State on September 13. Indiana scored 16 points in the first quarter against the Sycamores that day.
LoVecchio finished the game with 89 yards passing, completing 11 of his 21 attempts. Meanwhile, operating with far more time in the pocket, Ohio States Craig Krenzel completed 19 of his 26 attempts for 272 yards and a touchdown.
The Hoosiers had a trio of defensive highlights, forcing three Ohio State turnovers in the red zone. True freshman Cedric Henry picked off a Craig Krenzel pass at the goal line in the third quarter. Henry then forced Ohio State receiver Santonio Holmes to fumble in the end zone, recovered by IU linebacker Jake Powers for a touchback. Earlier in the game, Victor Adeyanju forced Lydell Ross to fumble, recovered by Joe Gonzalez.
Indiana returns to action next week when it faces Minnesota at 2 p.m. (EST) at the Metrodome in Minneapolis. The game will not be televised, but can be heard throughout the Indiana Radio Network, with Don Fischer, Dan Thompson and Joe Smith calling all the action.