Tommy Armstrong wasn’t having a great day at all under center but he came up big when No. 10 Nebraska needed it during the second half to keep the Cornhuskers undefeated in a 27-22 win at Indiana on Saturday.
The quarterback was just 10-of-26 passing with two interceptions for the game but somehow, someway found Stanley Morgan Jr. for a huge 72 yard score in the fourth quarter and later converted on fourth and short to help seal the win.
Tailback Terrell Newby (102 yards, one TD) also contributed on a day where the Hoosiers’ defense was stifling but nearly opened the door back up for the home team by fumbling on a run in the final drive. Replay allowed the Cornhuskers to keep the ball and eventually put the game away but not before giving Big Red a minor heart attack.
Defensively, Chris Jones also added a big play by scoring on an interception return for a touchdown.
Indiana was down 17-0 after the first quarter but clawed their way back into the game by successfully using a two-quarterback system. Richard Lagow was effective when he wasn’t being chased from the pocket (196 yards, one TD, two picks) while Zander Diamont added more of a two dimensional threat out of the backfield and was the second leading rusher and passer for the Hoosiers on the day.
The win keeps Nebraska perfect on the year and makes them bowl eligible just a season after needing an exemption to get into the postseason. The Cornhuskers likely remain the favorite in the Big Ten West but are certainly a bit lucky to escape with a road win in conference play on Saturday in Bloomington.
It was a tale of two quarters in Bloomington.
Nebraska was up 17-0 in the blink of an eye during the first quarter but Indiana clawed their way back into the game by mixing things up in the second quarter to cut the lead to 17-8 at halftime in an entertaining Big Ten game.
Quarterback Tommy Armstrong Jr. was just four of 11 for the Cornhuskers in the first half and never could find a rhythm in the passing game. Tailback Terrell Newby was the Nebraska offense as a result, punching it in for a touchdown while averaging 4.5 yards a carry.
Chris Jones added the other score in the first quarter for Nebraska, racing 33 yards for a pick-six that looked more like a punt return the way it was set up.
Indiana clawed its way back into the game during the second however. Chase Dutra blocked a punt with the Cornhuskers backed up into its own end zone, with the ball rolling out of bounds for a safety. Griffin Oakes added a pair of field goals to cut into the lead even further.
Quarterback Richard Lagow (11-of-19, 89 yards) was under siege on just about every snap to contribute to the Hoosiers’ offensive struggles. They did rotate in backup Zander Diamont, who helped get things going by running the ball for 17 yards and provided a bit of a dual-threat out of the backfield that confused the Blackshirt defense.
You can count on both teams trying to make significant adjustments on offense after going just 5-of-16 on third down during a rather choppy first half of another Big Ten showdown.
J.T. Barrett rushed for 133 yards and a touchdown to make up for an underwhelming day throwing the football to help No. 2 Ohio State (5-0, 2-0 Big Ten) pull away from Indiana (3-2, 101 Big Ten). The Buckeyes used a big second quarter to create some separation from the Hoosiers and the defense clamped down on Indiana in the second half of a 38-17 victory in The Horseshoe on Saturday afternoon.
Despite the comfortable margin of victory, Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer will have some things he can drill into his team in the coming week. Barrett completed just eight of his 20 pass attempts for 91 yards with one touchdown and one interception. Against Indiana, on this day, it was not enough to prevent Ohio State from winning a game. It is, however, something that may not be as easy to overcome elsewhere this season. Fortunately for Ohio State, when Barrett can’t get things going through the air, he can take care of business on the ground. Barrett rushed 25 times for 133 yards and a touchdown to lead the Buckeyes. Curtis Samuel added 82 yards and a score and Mike Weber led the team with two rushing touchdowns in addition to adding 73 yards to the rushing total.
Ohio State’s defense was where Ohio State had a distinct advantage against Indiana. The Hoosiers caused some stressful moments for Ohio State, but Ohio State held their opponent to just 281 yards of total offense, with just 99 of those yards coming by way of the run on 40 rushing attempts. Indiana’s Devine Redding led his team with 78 rushing yards.
Ohio State will take to the road for the first time since taking care of Oklahoma in Week 3 next week when they head to Madison to take on Wisconsin. The Badgers will supposedly be rested up after suffering their first loss of the season at Michigan last weekend. Wisconsin was on a bye week this weekend. After a road game at Wisconsin, the Buckeyes travel to Penn State before returning home to take on Northwestern.
Indiana will be home next Saturday to host Nebraska. The Cornhuskers are 5-0 and will be coming in off a bye week.
A week after slaying Michigan State in Bloomington, Indiana is looking to take down a giant in Columbus. It’s not going all that well, with Ohio State taking a 24-10 lead to the half.
After a late Indiana touchdown, Ohio State returned the ensuing kickoff to the Hoosiers’ six-yard line. If the momentum did shift with Indiana’s touchdown drive, it quickly went back to the home team, as J.T. Barrett took off for a touchdown on the ground.
Curtis Samuel was averaging over 10 yards per rushing attempt before picking up a short touchdown run to put Ohio State up 17-3. The short touchdown run only brought his average down to 9.6 yards per rushing attempt. Barrett leads the Ohio State ground game with 59 rushing yards. Mike Weber also has a touchdown run in the game.
Indiana’s offense stalled for much of the first half but finally made some noise late in the half with a Richard Lagow pass to Mitchell Paige going 18 yards to the end zone with just over a minute to play in the first half. Just two plays prior, Lagow completed a 32-yard pass to Ricky Jones on 3rd and six to keep the drive alive.
It doesn’t appear a bye week will do much health-wise for Nebraska.
With an off Saturday looming, Mike Riley acknowledged Tuesday that wide receiver Jordan Westerkamp and tight end Cethan Carter will likely be sidelined for the Oct. 15 game at Indiana. The head coach added that he was “hopeful” the starters would return the following week against Purdue, although that’s far from written in stone.
Westerkamp sustained an injury to his back during the Week 5 win over Illinois, and was briefly hospitalized after being hit by an Illini defender. Thus far this season Westerkamp leads the Cornhuskers in receiving touchdowns (four) and tied for the team lead in receptions (13). His 228 receiving yards are second behind Alonzo Moore‘s 310.
Carter is fourth on the team with 10 catches for 101 yards after starting the first five games. He injured his elbow in the Illini game.
The injury news wasn’t completely bleak for the ‘Huskers, though.