Ohio State football: Buckeyes’ two late TDs were things of beauty

Ohio State’s Terry McLaurin catches a touchdown in the fourth quarter against Indiana on Saturday, Oct. 6, 2018, at Ohio Stadium in Columbus. David Jablonski/Staff

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Ohio State’s Terry McLaurin catches a touchdown in the fourth quarter against Indiana on Saturday, Oct. 6, 2018, at Ohio Stadium in Columbus. David Jablonski/Staff

McLaurin, Victor put game away with scores in fourth quarter

Linebacker Tuf Borland stole one of coach Urban Meyer’s favorite lines Saturday.

“We always say the best thing about 6-0 is a chance to go 7-0,” Borland said, “so we did that.”

The No. 3 Ohio State Buckeyes reached the midway point of the regular season with a 49-26 victory over Indiana at Ohio Stadium. The Hoosiers have lost 23 straight games to the Buckeyes, though the games have been competitive until at least halftime and sometimes longer in recent years.

» RELATED: Five takeaways from Ohio State’s victory

While Ohio State never appeared in danger of losing this game, it didn’t clinch the victory until a pair of fourth-quarter touchdown passes by Dwayne Haskins, who threw six in all, tying a school record.

Both touchdowns belong on a growing list of perfectly-placed balls by Haskins. Both catches came on the west side of the north end zone. Both receivers, Terry McLaurin and Binjimen Victor, had defenders draped all over them and caught the balls in stride.

“That makes my job harder, but it also makes it easier in the sense that I’ve got to be on time to be with a really rhythmic quarterback,” McLaurin said, “But if I run a good route and run out of it, the ball is going to be right where it needs to be.”

McLaurin’s touchdown with 12:21 to play gave Ohio State a 42-26 lead after a third quarter that saw Indiana draw within 35-26 and squander two chances to cut into Ohio State’s lead even more.

“So they were running a box set,” said McLaurin, explaining the play. “And we knew they were going to do that. We knew the corner was trying to keep us from running the post because we’ve been running, post, post, post and that play we had a corner route. So the safety picked me up. I already had leverage, and Dwayne put it right on the money. He did the tough part. The O-line had great pass (protection), and we made it happen at a big time of the game.”

» GALLERY: 49 photos for 49 points

Top receiver: Through six games, Campbell leads the team with 35 receptions, 501 yards and seven touchdown catches. He had nine catches for 142 yards and two touchdowns against Indiana.

However, the touchdown catch that most impressed Campbell was the sliding one by Victor in the back of the end zone with 6:51 left in the game.

“I’m just so proud of him, the things he’s doing this season, the person he’s becoming, the player he’s becoming,” Campbell said. “I’m right there seeing him make that catch. That’s not a catch a lot of receivers can make. He just has so much ability, so much talent. He doesn’t even know what he’s capable of. When that ball was in the air, I just got chills. I kid you not. I just watched the whole thing happen. It was kind of like slow-motion for me.”

Career milestones: Ohio State's three fifth-year receivers, all captains, have reached double digits in career touchdown receptions.

McLaurin caught two Saturday and has 14 in his career. Johnnie Dixon caught a 39-yard touchdown pass in the first quarter and has 11 career scores. Campbell has 10 in his career.

Next opponent: Minnesota (3-2, 0-2), which plays Ohio State at noon Saturday at Ohio Stadium, lost 48-31 at home to Iowa on Saturday. Freshman quarterback Zack Annexstad struggled, completing 17 of 33 passes for 218 yards. He threw three touchdown passes but also three interceptions.

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