BLOOMINGTON, Indiana (WCMH) — No. 5 Ohio State won its fifth-straight game in commanding fashion with a 54-7 win over Indiana.

Ohio State handled Indiana thanks to suffocating run defense, a tremendous pass rush and a Heisman-caliber performance by C.J. Stroud.

Heisman finalist

That’s what C.J. Stroud will be if he continues to play at this level. The redshirt freshman threw for 266 yards and four touchdowns in only three quarters of action completing 21 passes on 28 attempts.

He now has 1,699 yards, 18 touchdowns and only three interceptions through six games and ranks in the top 10 in just about every major passing category.

“He does see the field and that’s one of his strengths and he’s got a lot of confidence right now,” Day said. “He made some nice throws tonight.”

Aside from being comfortable, shoutout to the offensive line for helping make that possible, Stroud is also not committing freshman mistakes and hasn’t thrown a pick since OSU’s win over Tulsa in week three.

Stroud had a season-best 75% completion percentage against Indiana and that type of efficiency is a huge reason why the Buckeyes scored six touchdowns on their fist six possessions giving them a 44-7 halftime lead.

There’s nowhere to run

Ohio State’s defense was lights out when it came to stopping Indiana’s rushing attack. The Hoosiers finished with less than 50 yards rushing. Indiana’s leading rusher, Trenten Howland, had a measly 17 yards while Stephen Carr, who led the team in carries, only had 13 yards rushing. Ohio State held IU to a staggering 1.3 yards rushing after getting back most of its defensive line.

The Buckeyes have not played a game with the entire defensive line healthy and probably won’t this season due to Tyler Friday’s injury. But on Saturday, the Buckeyes got Tyreke Smith back after missing three games and Haskell Garrett returned after suffering an injury against Maryland two weeks ago. OSU being back to basically full health on d-line means they can rotate more frequently keeping players fresh and that made a world of a difference against Indiana.

“That’s a tribute to the guys on defense,” Day said. “Trying to identify how you’re being attacked and then coming up with answers . . . and I think that got done here tonight.”

To be fair, Indiana played its backup quarterback for a second week in a row, so Ohio State could zone in on the run more. But knowing a team will run more doesn’t necessarily mean the defense will be able to hold a team below 50 yards rushing and Ohio State was able to do just that.

Run away

Ohio State had as many sacks as Indiana had points — seven. For anyone wondering, Ohio State’s defense has fixed its problems and some.

Because of Ohio State’s success in preventing the run, the Buckeyes were able to get to the quarterback more often when Indiana was faced with long passing downs as IU only had 10 first downs.

The Buckeyes were also the more physical team winning at the point of attack and wearing down the Hoosiers offensive line.

OSU took advantage of Indiana playing an inexperienced quarterback who suffered a shoulder injury on the Hoosiers first and only touchdown play. Jack Tuttle stayed in the game but two other inexperienced quarterbacks got reps as well and all three players only combined for eight completions.

Two weeks ago before OSU’s home game against Maryland, freshman defensive end Jack Sawyer said the Buckeyes d-line was close to playing at the level fans have come to expect from that unit. He was proven right Saturday night.

Ohio State returns home next week in a primetime game against Penn State at 7:30 p.m.