COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) – Ohio State had just stayed unbeaten with a record-setting victory that also clinched a spot in the Big Ten title game, and Urban Meyer was already thinking about next week’s grudge match at Michigan.
“It’s time to get ready for the rivalry game,” Meyer said.
Braxton Miller ran for 144 yards and two touchdowns and passed for two more Saturday to lead the fourth-ranked Buckeyes to a snowy 42-14 victory over Indiana, extending their school-record win streak to 23 in a row.
The victory, played at times in swirling clouds of snow, put the Buckeyes (11-0, 7-0) in the conference championship game on Dec. 7 against Michigan State.
Carlos Hyde became the first running back to go over 1,000 yards rushing in Meyer’s 12 years as a head coach. He ran for 117 yards and two scores.
Ohio State’s defense throttled the Hoosiers (4-7, 2-5), who came in averaging 39 points a game.
Flurries fell throughout with temperatures in the 20s. Half of the crowd of 104,990 had left by the time Ohio State built a 28-0 halftime lead.
In the waning moments, the remaining fans loudly sang, “We don’t give a damn for the whole state of Michigan.” The Buckeyes close out the regular season at The Big House next Saturday against their archrivals.
Miller completed 11 of 17 passes for 160 yards with one interception, hitting Dontre Wilson and Devin Smith on scoring passes of 24 and 39 yards, respectively, in the second half.
Miller was still in the game early in the fourth quarter, and his long pass to Smith made it 42-0 as the Buckeyes tried to grab the attention of BCS poll voters with a landslide margin.
It was one rough day for the Hoosiers. Kicker Mitch Ewald came in a perfect 8 for 8 on field goals, but his 42-yard attempt in the second quarter clanked off the right upright and a 36-yard try in the third quarter did the same thing off the left upright.
The Hoosiers’ points came on Nate Sudfeld’s 4-yard pass to Shane Wynn and 25-yard pass to D’Angelo Roberts in the final 6 minutes.
Ohio State linebacker Ryan Shazier was credited with 20 tackles, including five for negative yardage.
After scoring at least 28 points in 10 consecutive games, the Hoosiers have managed just 17 points in consecutive losses to Wisconsin (51-3) and the Buckeyes.
Sudfeld completed 25 of 41 passes for 224 yards, and Tre Roberson was 7 for 12 for 96 yards. Roberson also ran for 79 yards on 12 carries.
Ohio State has won the last 19 meetings with Indiana on the field (the 2010 victory was later vacated as part of NCAA sanctions), dating to a 27-27 tie in 1990.
The Buckeyes snapped a tie for the school record with the 1967-69 Ohio State teams, which also won 22 in a row. That streak ended with a painful loss at Michigan – a defeat that touched off the famous “Ten-Year War” between Woody Hayes and his former assistant and nemesis, Bo Schembechler.
Meyer will undoubtedly remind his charges of that defeat in the coming days.
The Buckeyes inflicted enough damage in the first half to take care of the Hoosiers.
They took the opening kickoff and needed just five plays to cover 71 yards in just over 2 minutes. On the third snap from center, Miller found a gaping hole on a quarterback draw and picked up 41 yards. Hyde then sidestepped a tackler at the line of scrimmage and thundered into the end zone on a 16-yard run.
It was 14-0 soon after Indiana punted.
Miller scampered through another huge hole and then vaulted into the end zone at the right post on a 37-yard score.
Indiana drove into Ohio State territory three times in the first half but couldn’t register a point.
The Hoosiers had to punt on fourth and 9 just inside midfield, gave up the ball on four incompletions from the 25 and then drove inside the 30 but Sudfeld was sacked by Michael Bennett on fourth and 6.
Meanwhile, the Buckeyes tacked on two more scores – by the same two players who scored earlier.
The third TD of the game was set up by Bradley Roby’s blocked punt that Ron Tanner recovered at the Hoosiers 8.
Two plays later, Guiton took the snap and then flipped the ball to Miller on a reverse. He angled for the right corner and was upended by cornerback Tim Bennett at the goal line, almost placing the ball’s nose into the end zone as he came crashing down on his head.
Late in the half, the Buckeyes utilized their hurry-up offense to cover 69 yards in four plays. Hyde rumbled for 13 yards, Miller faked a handoff and raced 17 yards and then Miller hit tight end Jeff Heuerman over the middle for 34 yards. Hyde was barely distracted when he carried the last 5 yards to make it 28-0.
During pregame ceremonies, 19 Ohio State seniors were introduced before playing their final home game.