A grade card on Ohio State’s 56-14 win over Indiana, which was its 27th in a row over the Hoosiers:
Ohio State rolled up 662 yards of total offense against a totally overmatched Indiana defense. It had 340 yards rushing but coach Ryan Day said the inability to convert more short yardage situations made him “want to bang my head against the wall.” Miyan Williams rushed for 147 yards before leaving the game late in the first half. With TreVeyon Henderson already sitting out the game, freshman Dallan Hayden (102 yards on 19 carries) became OSU’s go-to running back. Xavier Johnson’s 71-yard touchdown run, on which he avoided several tacklers, was another reminder he is one very talented former walk-on.
C.J. Stroud completed 17 of 28 passes for 297 yards and five touchdowns. Tight end Cade Stover caught two of Stroud’s touchdown throws and Marvin Harrison Jr. and Emeka Egbuka each had one. But the most popular catch of the day came on Stroud’s fifth TD throw when Kamryn Babb, who had battled through four ACL surgeries, caught an 8-yard touchdown pass from his starting quarterback.
Marvin Harrison Jr. had seven catches, including an acrobatic sideline catch. He went over 100 yards receiving in a game for the fifth time this season.
Indiana had no answer for Tommy Eichenberg, or Lathan Ransom, or Steele Chambers or Jack Sawyer or practically anyone on OSU’s defense, which limited the Hoosiers to 269 yards of total offense. And more than one-third of that total came on two plays — a 49-yard pass and a 44-yard run. The downside of that, though, is that the Buckeyes gave up two big plays.
The Hoosiers’ offensive line has struggled much of the season and Saturday’s game was more of the same. The Buckeyes had five sacks and 10 tackles for losses, led by Chambers with 10 tackles, Ransom with 9 tackles and Tommy Eichenberg with 7 tackles, three of them for losses.
Cornerback Cam Brown returned after missing a month’s worth of games. But OSU’s other starting cornerback, Denzel Burke, was held out of the game with an unspecified injury.
SPECIAL TEAMS: B
Ransom’s blocked punt was OSU’s first since 2019. Noah Ruggles did not attempt a field goal. Jesse Mirco dropped three punts inside the 20-yard line. Kick coverage was good. But one big mistake set up Indiana’s second touchdown and lowered the special teams unit’s grade to a B.
In the fourth quarter, long after the game had been decided, back-up punt returner Reis Stocksdale mis-handled two punts. He was able to recover the first one, but on the second one Indiana recovered it at Ohio State’s 18-yard line and scored a touchdown two plays later.
Ohio State’s offensive line had its best day of run blocking in the last four games even without starting right tackle Dawand Jones, who was held out because of an undisclosed issue that Day said he didn’t expect to be long term. The big question is if the offensive line and Ohio State’s beaten-up running backs corps will be able to repeat that performance against better competition.