J.K. Dobbins ran for 181 yards in his college debut to break Ohio State’s freshman record, J.T. Barrett threw three touchdown passes and the second-ranked Buckeyes pulled away to beat Indiana 49-21 on Thursday night.
The Buckeyes have won 23 straight over the Hoosiers.
Indiana had big plans for what was billed as the biggest opener in school history — a prime time, nationally televised game that included the first trip by ESPN’s “College GameDay” to Bloomington.
Instead, Dobbins stole the show.
“I’m probably the only good thing going on in my town,” he said, referring to his hometown of LaGrange, Texas. “It motivated me to want to pick them up.”
With Mike Weber, Ohio State’s top runner in 2016, out with a hamstring injury, Dobbins stepped in and surpassed Maurice Clarett’s previous debut record of 175 yards set in 2002 against Texas Tech.
“He’s very similar to Zeke,” coach Urban Meyer said, referring to Ezekiel Elliott. “He’s very similar in how he works. We’re very happy to have him.”
Barrett overcame a slow start to finish 20 of 35 for 304 yards. He added 61 yards rushing and another score to move within two touchdowns of matching Drew Brees‘ Big Ten career record for total touchdowns of 106.
But the Buckeyes weren’t themselves early.
They didn’t reach the end zone until Antonio Williams’ 1-yard plunge with 5:17 left in the first half. They finally retook the lead on Barrett’s 2-yard scoring run midway through the third quarter and pulled away after Parris Campbell hauled in a 74-yard TD pass to make it 27-21 with 4:38 left in the third.
Ohio State scored the last 28 points.
Indiana, controlled most of the first half of Tom Allen’s home debut as coach.
Hoosiers quarterback Richard Lagow played fearlessly, finishing 40 of 65 with 410 yards with three touchdowns and two interceptions. He also broke Ben Chappell’s school record for pass attempts of 64 set in 2010 against Michigan, and finished with the second-highest completions total in one game.
“Very disappointed the way we finished, especially defensively,” Allen said. “Definitely we’ve got some things we’ve got to address with our guys.”
Ohio State: The Buckeyes avoided a double dose of danger — winning a rare conference opener in Week 1 and getting a road win, too. And Dobbins’ big performance should put pressure on Weber to come back strong — and soon.
Indiana: No, the Hoosiers didn’t end the losing streak. But it wasn’t a total loss. They sold out Memorial…