It took just over three quarters, but the Ohio State football team finally managed to put Iowa away, winning 34-24 and extending the nation’s longest winning streak to 19 games.
The Hawkeyes (4-2, 1-2) were in control of the game from the outset, as senior tight end C.J. Fiedorowicz caught a two-yard touchdown pass from sophomore quarterback Jake Rudock to end a 12 play, 80-yard drive to open the game.
OSU (7-0, 3-0) cut the lead to 7-3 after Drew Basil’s 27-yard field goal on the ensuing drive, but Iowa made it 10-3 when Mike Meyer connected on a 28-yard kick of his own.
Junior quarterback Braxton Miller then hit senior wide receiver Corey “Philly” Brown on a 58-yard strike on the next drive to tie the game. It was Brown’s sixth touchdown reception of the season.
OSU coach Urban Meyer said he was proud of the way that Brown played, citing how he has become more of a leader on the team since senior safety Christian Bryant went down with an injury.
“When you lose a Christian Bryant-I keep looking for that next guy and I found him, I think,” Meyer said. “It’s No. 10, Philly Brown. The emotional guy that’s in the locker room and the kickoff team. He was outstanding.”
Iowa fired back, though, as Rudock found junior wideout Kevonte Martin-Manley from six yards out to put Iowa ahead at halftime, 17-10.
OSU knotted the score again after Carlos Hyde ran for a one yard score to open the second half. The Buckeyes took their first lead of the game at 24-17, when Miller found junior wide receiver Devin Smith for a 14-yard score with a little over three minutes to play in the third.
Miller, who ran for 102 yards in the win, said he has not physically felt this good since the beginning of the season.
“I had a knee injury and it set me back a little bit, but (I) felt pretty good out there, good week of preparation,” Miller said. “And the O-line did a hell of a job and coaching and it showed it on the field.”
Iowa again fought back, as Rudock found sophomore tight end Jake Duzey for an 85-yard score down the right sideline.
Meyer said he was “very concerned” about the defense after giving up a play like that.
Hyde gave OSU the lead for good when he ran for his second score of the game, this one from 19 yards out. The Buckeyes’ running back broke numerous tackles on the play, leaping over two defenders for the score.
“I never had a run like that (before),” Hyde said. “I was just trying to catch my balance and once I did I turned around and I see Philly Brown with an unbelievable block…I got so excited and I hadn’t even scored yet when I saw the block. And then I just went in for a touchdown.”
Basil kicked another field goal that put OSU up by 10, and redshirt-freshman Tyvis Powell recorded his first interception of his career when he picked off Rudock just over four minutes to play. The Buckeyes were able to run out the clock to preserve the 10-point victory and stay unbeaten.
OSU had to play most of the game without their top cornerback, redshirt-junior Bradley Roby, who was ejected from the game for targeting a defenseless receiver in the first quarter. It is the first time an OSU player has been called for targeting this season.
“I’m curious to find out the rule and the replay official,” Meyer said of the play. “That’s supposed to be all replay. If that’s not true, then I need an answer.”
Miller finished the game 22 of 27 passing for 222 yards and two touchdowns, and Hyde carried the ball 24 times for 149 yards and two more scores.
The win tied OSU for the second longest winning streak in school history, at 19 games, with the 2002-03 Buckeyes.
Junior tight end Jeff Heuerman said the team as a whole team has great confidence in itself to keep the streak alive.
“That’s something really special about this team is there’s never any doubt that we’re not going to win that game,” Heuerman said. “No matter what the score is, no matter if the offense is getting stopped or defense is getting run through, there’s never any doubt and we always know we’re going to win the game.”
OSU is scheduled to take on Penn State next weekend at Ohio Stadium. Kickoff is set for 8 p.m.