Ohio State grade card: Focused Buckeyes avoided a letdown


A grade card on Ohio State’s 54-7 win over Indiana, the fourth consecutive dominating performance by the Buckeyes.

OFFENSE: A

OSU scored the first six times it had the ball and seven of its first eight possessions. When the Buckeyes had to punt after being stopped the first time they had the ball in the second half it was the first time punter Jesse Mirco had been called upon since the Rutgers game on Oct. 2.

C.J. Stroud continued the roll he has been on since taking a week off against Akron because of a sore throwing shoulder by completing 21 of 28 passes for 266 yards and four touchdowns. He has 14 touchdown passes and no interceptions in the three games since returning. Tight end Jeremy Ruckert caught two touchdown passes.

Freshman running back TreVeyon Henderson had three touchdowns (two rushing, one receiving) and showed he can run through contact along with being able to avoid it on the rushing scores. He has 14 touchdowns, which is just four behind Maurice Clarett’s Ohio State freshman record of 18.

DEFENSE: A

After Indiana marched 75 yards on 15 plays for a touchdown the first time it had the ball, Ohio State’s defense dominated the rest of the way and limited the Hoosiers to 128 yards of total offense. That was the fewest yards an Ohio State defense had allowed since 2017.

Ohio State had five sacks and 14 tackles for losses. In fairness to Indiana, it played most of the game with its third-team and fourth-team quarterbacks. Starter Michael Penix did not play because of a separated shoulder and No. 2 quarterback Jack Tuttle left the game after taking a big hit while throwing a touchdown pass in the first quarter. Ohio State’s defense allowed only one play of more than 15 yards and Indiana’s leading rusher gained 17 yards.

Defensive end Tyreke Smith returned after missing three games because of an injury and had a sack.

SPECIAL TEAMS: A

Noah Ruggles hit his seventh consecutive field goal without a miss. Emeka Egbuka had a 42-yard kickoff return.

OVERALL: A

Ohio State quickly erased any concerns about possibly losing momentum because it didn’t play last week.

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