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Tuesday, June 18
The Indiana Daily Student

sports

Hoosiers drop Big Ten opener, remain winless

IU offense grinds to a halt, Ohio State capitalizes on rushing game in victory

Forgive seniors Antwaan Randle El and Justin Smith if they seem a bit confused.\nAfter a 27-14 loss to Ohio State, neither player could explain what went wrong Saturday.\nThe Hoosiers crumbled offensively in the second half and got burned by Ohio State's rushing game all afternoon, losing their Big Ten opener for the ninth time in the past 10 seasons.\n"I can't tell you exactly what went wrong," said Randle El, who became the first Division IA player to throw for 6,000 yards and run for 3,000. "It seemed like we were just ... It seemed like we had it, but then we didn't have it. I don't know. I've got to check that. I've got to look at the film."\nSo does Smith.\n"If I knew exactly how to fix it, we would fix it," Smith said. "It's just ... Really, I don't know. We've got to address it tomorrow when we come in and watch film as a team and figure out exactly what's going on."\nWithout the aid of film, several things were evident Saturday.\nIU's defense couldn't stop the run, allowing freshman Lydell Ross -- who isn't even on the depth charts -- to run for 124 yards and two touchdowns. As a team, the Buckeyes gained 197 yards on the ground, and each of their three touchdowns was rushing.\nThe Hoosiers also had big-play problems.\nFour times IU gave up first downs on third-and-long. Two of those first downs led to touchdowns, and one led to a field goal. \nAnd all this happened with coach Cam Cameron knowing what was coming.\n"How many times have you seen Ohio State run power and iso?" asked Cameron at the postgame press conference. "Who's the oldest guy in here? That's how long they've been doing it. There's no magic about it. You block them, you get a big back, you run down hill.\n"They did exactly what we anticipated."\nPerhaps what Cameron didn't anticipate was his offense sputtering in the second half.\nIU's first drive of the half lasted three plays before Ohio State's Mike Doss blocked freshman Bryan Robertson's punt.\nThe Hoosiers scored on their next drive, when Randle El found senior Levron Williams down the sideline for a 44-yard touchdown. The score cut the deficit to 20-14 but was all the offense IU could manage.\nThe Hoosiers finished the game with two punts and two turnovers. The first of those turnovers, junior Kris Dielman's fumble with four minutes remaining, all but ended IU's hopes of a comeback.\nWith 7:30 to play and down 27-14, IU began a drive at its own 5-yard line. The Hoosiers got near midfield with a series of short passes, and Randle El found Dielman open over the middle on third-and-six. Dielman gained 22 yards but fumbled at the Ohio State 30. Derek Ross recovered the fumble, giving the Buckeyes the ball and a two-touchdown lead with 3:42 remaining. \nIU got the ball back once more but gained only 11 yards on three plays before Randle El threw an interception.\nThe loss leaves the Hoosiers at 0-3 heading into Wisconsin, and Cameron said the team has two options: "hang in there and just fight tooth and nail" or "quit."\nWhile Smith couldn't find answers as to what went wrong against the Buckeyes, he made clear his answer to Cameron's question.\n"I just want to say right now that this team isn't going to quit," Smith said. "We're not going to quit. We're going to go out next Saturday at Wisconsin and give everything we got. We're not going to quit during practice. We've been through this, and we know we've got to step it up"

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