Successful on two earlier fourth-down gambles, the Indiana Hoosiers didn't feel like pushing their luck.
"We went for the field goal because we had a chance to tie, and I'm not going to lose it," Coach Bill Mallory said after Saturday's fourth-quarter rally for a 27-27 tie with Ohio State in a Big Ten game at Bloomington, Ind.
A holding penalty cost the No. 22 Hoosiers a go-ahead touchdown with less than two minutes to go, and they had to settle for a 27-yard field goal by Scott Bonnell after the penalty nullified a touchdown run by Vaughn Dunbar.
"I'll take a deep breath after this one," Mallory said. "We played to win, and we played hard, but we made some mistakes. We got that holding call down the stretch . . . that was tough."
Dunbar, who rushed for 188 yards and two earlier touchdowns, apparently scored from the three, but the penalty on guard Troy Newton pushed the Hoosiers back 10 yards. After an incomplete pass and another three-yard gain by Dunbar, Bonnell kicked his field goal with 1:09 to go.
Ohio State Coach John Cooper called it "disappointing, when you blow a 10-point lead and then end up with a tie."
After the tying field goal, Ohio State was forced to punt, and Indiana reached the Buckeyes' 44 before a desperation pass with one second to go was intercepted by Mark Pelini.
Indiana, 4-0-1 overall and 1-0-1 in the Big Ten, trailed 27-17 after three quarters, but closed to within three points on Dunbar's second touchdown, a six-yard, fourth-down run with 9:21 to go.
Ohio State (2-2-1, 0-1-1) seemed to have control after scoring on each of its three possessions in the third quarter. Indiana led 17-14 at halftime, but a 65-yard touchdown pass from Greg Frey to Jeff Graham on the third play of the third quarter gave the Buckeyes their first lead.
Field goals of 29 and 27 yards by Tim Williams--the second one set up by a fumble by Dunbar--gave Ohio State its 27-17 lead.
Indiana's first score in the fourth quarter comeback was set up by passes from Trent Green of 28 yards to Rob Turner and 10 yards to Scott McGowan.
Then, on the next possession, a fourth-down, 16-yard pass to Turner and a third-down, 19-yard completion to Eddie Thomas kept the Hoosiers' drive going.
On its first scoring drive, Indiana's only pass attempt, a 41-yard completion to Thomas for an apparent touchdown, also was nullified by a penalty for illegal motion. But a steady ground game moved the ball 53 yards in 11 plays, with Dunbar scoring from the three.
A 71-yard run by Robert Smith on the Buckeyes' next play from scrimmage accounted for their only first down of the quarter and gave them the ball at the Indiana seven. Three plays later, a two-yard scoring pass from Frey to Jeff Ellis tied the game.
Indiana scored again in the closing seconds of the first quarter. A 25-yard run by Dunbar took the Hoosiers to the Ohio State 30, and four plays later, Bonnell kicked a 42-yard field goal for a 10-7 lead.
Indiana's biggest lead, 17-7, came in the second quarter on a 64-yard pass play to Turner.
No. 11 Illinois 34, Purdue 0--Quarterback Jason Verduzco completed 21 of 34 passes for 324 yards and two touchdowns in leading the Illini over the Boilermakers at Champaign, Ill.
Verduzco connected with Kameno Bell from two yards out in the second quarter and with David Olson on a seven-yarder in the fourth quarter.
Fullback Howard Griffith opened the scoring for Illinois with a two-yard run in the first quarter and Doug Higgins kicked field goals of 33 yards in the second quarter and 20 yards in the third quarter for Illinois (4-1, 2-0).
Wagner Lester ran five yards in the fourth quarter for the final score as Purdue fell to 1-5 and 0-2.
Purdue quarterback Eric Hunter suffered an apparent shoulder separation and was replaced by Scott Hoffman in the second half.
No. 25 Iowa 30, Wisconsin 10--Nick Bell and Tony Stewart, who rotate at tailback, each ran for more than 100 yards and each scored a touchdown to lead the Hawkeyes over the Badgers at Iowa City.
Bell had 146 yards, Stewart 124. Bell, a 255-pounder, gained a career-best 217 yards against the Badgers last season.
Wisconsin (1-4, 0-2) took a 10-3 lead in the second quarter on Rich Thompson's 37-yard field goal and a 20-yard touchdown run by Robert Williams.
Iowa (4-1, 2-0) tied the score at 10-10 when Stewart capped a seven-play, 77-yard drive with a 33-yard run with 2:59 left in the half. Iowa took a 12-10 halftime lead when Merton Hanks blocked Brad Brekkle's punt for a safety on Wisconsin's ensuing possession.
The Hawkeyes scored 18 points in the fourth quarter.
Minnesota 35, Northwestern 25--Mark Smith ran 32 times for 169 yards and two touchdowns and Marquel Fleetwood threw touchdown passes of 65 and 55 yards to lead the Gophers (3-2, 2-0) at Minneapolis.
The Wildcats (1-4, 0-2) have lost 15 consecutive road games.
Fleetwood completed 11 of 15 passes for 220 yards for the Gophers, including touchdown pass plays of 65 yards to Kevin Grant and 55 yards to Keswic Joiner.