Buckeyes hold off Hawkeyes 34-24, Bradley Roby ejected for targeting

Iowa gave Ohio State all they could handle in a back and forth battle, but in the end the combination of Braxton Miller and Carlos Hyde proved to be too much firepower for Iowa to keep up with as the Buckeyes extended their winning streak to 19 games with a 34-24 victory.

Miller was  22-27  passing on the day for 221 yards and 2 TD’s to go with his 101 yards on ground while Hyde rushed for 149 yards and 2 scores on 24 carries. The Buckeyes never punted on the afternoon converting 10-14 on 3rd down.

Iowa started off the game by precisely carving up the Buckeyes’ defense for 12 play, 80 yard opening drive touchdown. Jake Rudock capped off the drive with a 2 yard playaction pass to CJ Fiedorowicz in the back of the end zone.

OSU answered with a field goal drive of their own to bring the score to 7-3. The drive was highlighted by fancy display of running by Braxton Miller who juked and spun his way to a 16 yard game. However the drive stalled on the Iowa ten yardline as Miller’s third down pass was knocked down.

The most talked about moment of the game came on Iowa’s next possession when Rudock completed a pass to Fiedorowicz, and Ohio State All-American corner back Bradley Roby launched his helmet and shoulder at Fiedorowicz, jarring the ball loose. Roby was flagged for a 15 yard penalty and ejected from the game thanks to the NCAA’s new “targeting rule”. The ejection was upheld by the replay booth who confirmed Roby’s hit was in fact a violation of the new targeting rule.

According to a handout produced by College Football Officiating, LLC, if officials see the following things, the risk of a targeting foul is high:

• Launching toward an opponent to make contact in the head or neck area.
A crouch followed by an upward and forward thrust with contact at the head or neck area
• Leading with the helmet, forearm, fist, hand or elbow into the head or neck area.
• Lowering the head before attacking and initiating with the crown of the helmet.

According to that same handout, the following factors would indicate less risk of a targeting penalty being called:

• A heads-up tackle where the crown of the helmet does not strike above the shoulders.
• A wrap-up tackle.
• The head is to the side rather than used to initiate contact.
• Incidental helmet contact due to players changing position during the play.

The Buckeyes’ defense responded after Roby’s ejection by holding the Hawkeyes to a field goal and keeping the score at 10-3.

OSU’s next possession, Braxton Miller found a wide open Philly Brown streaking down the middle of the field for a 58 yard touchdown pass of play action.

The back and forth battle continued as Rudock methodically led Iowa back down the field on 15 play which ended in his second touchdown pass of the day, this time a 6 yard pass to a wide open Kevonte Martin-Manley in the back of the end zone. Iowa’s 15 play drive was the longest scoring drive allowed by the Buckeyes all season.

The Buckeyes threatened on their next drive coming to a 4th and 10 at the Iowa 29. Instead of opting for a 46 yard field goal attempt for Drew Basil, Urban Meyer decided to go for it. On 4th and 10 Miller threw a jump ball to Evan Spencer in the end zone. Spencer was able to get his hands on it, but was in double coverage and the play was broken up for a turnover on downs to allow the Hawkeyes to go into the break with a 17-10 lead.

Ohio State started the second half with a very Iowa like drive, controlling the ball on the ground and Miller going 4-4 in the air with controlled, efficient passing. Carlos Hyde pounded the ball in from the one yard line to give the Bucks a tying touchdown after a 13 play, 75 yard drive.

The Buckeyes and Hawkeyes traded scores once again. Devin Smith’s 14 yard touchdown from Braxton Miller was quickly matched by Jake Rudock’s 85 yard TD pass to tight end Jake Duzey leaving the score knotted up once again at 24-24 late in the 3rd in quarter.

Carlos Hyde gave the Buckeyes the lead back with 13:24 to play in the game after Hyde broke a tackle in the open field that knocked him 5 yards sideways, regained his balanced, sprinted towards the end zone and dove for the pylon for a 19 yard score.

After an OSU stop, the Buckeyes controlled the ball on the ground with more Miller and Hyde, leading to Drew Basil 25 yard field goal to bring the lead to 34-24 with 5:50 remaining.

Basil’s field goal proved to be the knockout punch on Iowa who battled back against the Buckeyes all day. Attempting a hurry up offense to Iowa quarterback Jake Rudock was intercepted by Tyvis Powell, giving the Bucks the ball back with a two score lead and 4:25 remaining.

[Related: Examining the Buckeye Defense at the midpoint]


  • saggy

    these targeting rules are terrible. I get the personal foul but in no way should these kids be automatically ejected.

    These penalties/ejections are having a real impact on not just games but the whole national title race. I watched Georgia get shafted today by the refs, pretty much ending whatever shot they had at a BCS bid.

  • JNeids

    Take the actual teams our of it – do you really have a problem with them taking drastic action to try to prevent injuries from dangerous tackles? I’m not saying what happened today was right or wrong, just saying I’d rather the powers that be go too far to try to make the game safer than not do enough.

  • saggy

    I don’t care about the teams. I watched 3 guys get tossed Saturday for what seemed to be “good-enough” hits. When you’re taking All-Americans out of the game it’s not a good thing.

    I think Roby deserved a foul – but how is ejecting him from a game making it safer? It’s a complete overreaction. That’s why there are personal foul penalties. 15-yards is a deterrent. Playing in fear of being thrown out is not a good place to be.

    In my opinion, a chop block when a guy is not looking, or a horse-collar tackle can have a more profound effect on a player’s injury status.

    Penalize kids, sure. But there is a place in between extremes. Maybe they have to sit out the series, or the quarter. But to lose a kid for the game because of often questionable calls, is negligent, in my opinion.

  • Natedawg86

    I agree man. May as well take the big hits out of the game. Roby is much smaller than the TE he was tackling. If the TE would have trucked Roby when Roby made the hit it would have been a no call. It is almost like they want them to slow down.

  • @TheDeePagel

    Based on the rules listed for targeting – if you watch every tackle in slo-mo (and I am insulting myself by saying this because I do)….over 50% of all tackles in a game fit that description.

  • Wow

    Targeting is nonsense. Bad enough the NFL is making lame rules, now it’s carried over into college too.

  • C-Bus Kevin

    Probably going to get lit up here, but I like the targeting rule. Roby pretty much did the exact thing he wasn’t supposed to do in launching himself at the Iowa TE.

    I think you’re seeing a lot of ejections this year, because it’s a new rule, and players aren’t used to it. Once they get the message, they’ll stop head hunting. In my opinion, they made yesterday’s game safer by removing Roby. He speared a RB in the head, knocking him out, just a few plays earlier. Get the message Bradley, the “jacked up” era is over.

    As a side note, what was with his little victory dance after blind-siding the tight end? I don’t understand that mentality at all. “Awwww yeah! Did you see how I popped that guy in the head when he wasn’t looking? I am SWEET!” Whatever man…you want to impress? Cover better and break up the pass as it gets there.

    I’d like to see the replay element in the pro game. It gives the refs a chance to reverse a questionable call (like the one on Stafford last week).

  • @TheDeePagel

    You make good points, and I’m not trying to “light you up” but my opinion on the victory dance thing isn’t for the reason you explain, but instead an intimidation thing. If you act like a nut after big hits and collisions, it stays in the receivers minds. They know you’re out there, and they know you are crazy when the ball is in flight. Any edge you can get to break their concentration on the catch is a good thing for a defender…..that’s how I have always taken the celebrations like that. Now, my defense and interpretation of them could be way off, and yours could be dead on, but that’s just my “side of the story” so to speak.