Photo gallery: Ohio State 40, Northwestern 30

Sophomore wide receiver Cameron Dickerson reaches the end zone. The catch was his first and last of the night, putting Northwestern on the board for the last time against Ohio State on Saturday.

Susan Du, Brian Lee, and Annabel Edwards

ESPN’s “College GameDay” broadcast from Evanston went off like a dream Saturday morning. Then, Northwestern matched Ohio State blow for blow for more than three quarters Saturday night. A delirious student section at Ryan Field, packed beyond capacity, was ready to explode onto the field.

But a succession of close calls and misfortunes left the Cats a few points behind with seconds to play, and when the Buckeyes jumped on an errant NU lateral to end the game with a touchdown, the campus moaned in disappointment.

The No. 15 Cats lost to the No. 4 Buckeyes 40-30 in a nationally televised thriller that lived up to its immense buildup in every way but NU’s end result. The game featured six lead changes, the last of which — a rushing touchdown from OSU’s Carlos Hyde with 3 minutes and 48 seconds to play — condemned the Cats to a heartbreaking loss.

Alex Putterman

Read The Daily’s recap of Northwestern-Ohio State.