TURNING POINTS

A GAME OR A SEASON CAN SWING ON A SINGLE PLAY. HERE ARE THREE KEY MOMENTS IN OHIO STATE'S RUN TO THE COLLEGE FOOTBALL PLAYOFF
December 29, 2014

1. BELL'S TRAP As far as lucky breaks go, Ohio State won the jackpot in the first quarter of its game at Penn State on Oct. 25. Referees ruled that safety Vonn Bell picked off a Christian Hackenberg pass on the Nittany Lions' first drive, but replays showed that the ball hit the ground. A technical glitch prevented the officials from viewing the replay from a definitive angle, and the call stood. The turnover led to a crucial Buckeyes touchdown in a game Ohio State went on to win 31--24 in double overtime.

2. JALIN MARSHALL'S RETURN The Buckeyes were on upset watch on Nov. 22: Indiana held a 20--14 lead in the second half and was rolling behind tailback Tevin Coleman. Then receiver Jalin Marshall took over. Late in the third quarter he fielded a punt, bolted left and cut up the middle for a 54-yard touchdown. The entire game turned—Marshall added three receiving TDs in the fourth—and the Buckeyes won 42--27.

3. BARRETT'S BOMB BEFORE THE HALF Ohio State and Michigan State entered their Nov. 8 clash as the Big Ten's heavyweights, battling for conference superiority. The first half lived up to the hype: The score was tied at 21 with a minute left in the second quarter. That's when quarterback J.T. Barrett handed the Buckeyes their first lead by tossing a soaring 44-yard touchdown pass to Devin Smith. Ohio State never looked back, pulling away for a 49--37 victory.

PHOTORANDY LITZINGER/ICON SPORTSWIRE

HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)