Ohio State entered Saturday’s homecoming game against Iowa looking for their 19th straight win, but found themselves in a dog fight against the Hawkeyes. The Buckeyes trailed 17-10 at halftime, and had to battle back in the second half to get a 34-24 victory over a physical Iowa team. The win marked the 3rd time Urban Meyer has won 20 straight games as a head coach.
Iowa jumped on the Buckeyes early and scored on the game’s opening drive. They moved the ball with a balanced attack, and used their tight ends particularly well as they made easy work of the Buckeye defense. Iowa’s impressive execution continued throughout the first half as they moved the ball on each possession. To make matters worse for the Buckeyes, Bradley Roby was ejected in the first quarter after a questionable targeting penalty. Outside of a 58 yard touchdown pass from Braxton Miller to Corey “Philly” Brown early in the second quarter, the Buckeyes did not have too many bright spots in the first half. Heading into halftime, Iowa led 17-10 in the Horseshoe.
With the chance of an undefeated season and 19 game winning streak on the line, the Buckeyes responded in the second half. Braxton Miller and Carlos Hyde led the Buckeyes to a score on their opening drive, and after forcing a punt, Braxton found Devin Smith for a 14 yard touchdown pass to give the Buckeyes their first lead of the afternoon at 24-17. Much like the Buckeyes only had one big play to score in the first half, Iowa was held in check in the second half outside of an 85 yard touchdown pass from Jake Rudock to Jake Duzey. Armani Reeves, Bradly Roby’s replacement, was beaten on the play by the tight end, and the Hawkeyes tied the game at 24. The Buckeyes answered early in the fourth quarter as a determined Carlos Hyde made the play of the day in a spectacular 19 yard touchdown run that included being spun backwards and breaking multiple tackles. Drew Basil added a field goal with 5:50 remaining, and Ohio State went on to win 34-24 after an impressive second half performance.
This was yet another example that this Buckeye team knows how to win games, even when they don’t play their best game. In college football, It is all about getting the win no matter how you do it. If the Buckeyes can continue to win these types of games, they will be right in the mix at the end of the season. Up next the Buckeyes host Penn State. It will be the final night game of the year and an important weekend for recruiting as many top prospects will be in attendance.