COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — Ohio State has made a sport of scoring inside the red zone this season, hitting on all 29 of its trips coming into the game with Iowa. Most impressively was 27 of those scores being touchdowns.
So it’s understandable that the Buckeyes would be disappointed with just one touchdown in four red zone trips against the Hawkeyes. OSU has scored every time inside the 20 in the game, but has been taken out of its comfort zone deep as Iowa has changed defensive looks and brought pressure at opportune times.
OSU did score a touchdown on its first red zone when Miyan Williams strolled in from the two, but Iowa buckled down the rest of the way, forcing three Noah Ruggles field goals. OSU got to the Iowa 20, 14 and 8, and came away with just nine points.
Iowa has been bringing backside pressure to force Stroud off of his spot, and a few of his passes have sailed out of reach of his receivers. The Buckeyes also haven’t been able to get a consistent ground game going, netting just 28 yards on the ground.
OSU was limited to a first-half season low of 133 yards, and has converted just two of eight on first down. The yardage total is the lowest first half total for Ohio State under Day.
Iowa has covered very well, not allowing Buckeyes receivers to get open and forcing Stroud to either throw the ball away or go to a second or third progression.