IOWA CITY, Iowa — Nate Stanley threw for 226 yards and five touchdowns, and Iowa throttled third-ranked Ohio State 55-24 on Saturday, dealing what’s likely to be a fatal blow to the Buckeyes’ playoff hopes.
Josh Jackson added three interceptions for the Hawkeyes (6-3, 3-3), who beat their fourth top-5 opponent in their last five tries at home.
Iowa raced out to a 31-17 halftime lead on a pair of Stanley TD passes to Noah Fant.
Stanley, following a successful and highly unusual fake field goal, later fired a 2-yard TD pass with a defender hanging onto his foot that put the Hawkeyes ahead 38-17 late in the third quarter.
J.T. Barrett threw a career-high four interceptions for Ohio State (7-2, 5-1, No. 6 CFP), which allowed its most points in a game under coach Urban Meyer.
The Buckeyes committed nine penalties and gained just 371 yards in their most lopsided defeat since last year’s 31-0 loss to eventual national champion Clemson in the playoff.
Ohio State: It’s almost impossible to see a path that takes the two-loss Buckeyes to the playoff after a loss like this. All Ohio State can do now is win out — and blow out an unbeaten Wisconsin in the league title game like in 2014 — and hope that enough chaos has broken out across the country that a two-loss team might get a look from the committee. But after how bad the Buckeyes looked in Iowa City, would even that be enough?
Iowa: Where in the world did this come from, Iowa? The Hawkeyes had scored just 27 points in their last two games against Northwestern and Minnesota. But weird things happen in Kinnick Stadium in November — and Iowa just changed the narrative of its entire season thanks to an afternoon Hawkeyes fans will never forget.
Ohio State is sure to plummet, although with so many Top 25 teams facing each other that fall might not be as drastic this week. Iowa got 1 point last week. The Hawkeyes will get a lot more of those on Sunday.
Ohio State hosts Michigan State on Saturday. The Spartans knocked off Penn State 27-24, leaving every team in the Big Ten East with at least two losses.
Iowa travels to face Wisconsin next week. The Badgers are now the Big Ten’s best hope — by far — for the playoff.