COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — It was a leisurely day at the office for No. 2 Ohio State as it throttled visiting Indiana 56-14 behind more than 600 yards of offense. A week after many questioned the Buckeyes’ toughness, especially as it pertained to the running attack, the offense was firing on all cylinders. Ohio State amassed 340 rushing yards, averaging nearly eight yards per carry.

Here are the takeaways from the Buckeyes’ 28th consecutive win over Indiana.

Not A Dry Eye In The House

It isn’t often that a backup takes center stage, but when senior wideout Kamryn Babb made his first catch at OSU a touchdown grab, his teammates went wild.

There were high-fives all around, and the hugs didn’t stop until a good five minutes had elapsed.

Babb was a highly-touted, top-100 national recruit coming out of the prep ranks but missed three of his first four seasons with ACL injuries – tearing both ACLs twice, dating back to high school. He was named a co-captain for the second time in preseason camp but suffered yet another setback in fall camp.

So when he was able to grab a relatively easy throw from C.J. Stroud with just under nine minutes left in the game, it was understandable that pandemonium would ensue.

“It almost brought tears to my eyes seeing how hard he’s worked, how humble he is and how big of a man of faith he is,” OSU defensive end Jack Sawyer said. “It inspires me. Seeing him out there catch his first touchdown at Ohio State means the world for all of us. We see how hard he worked and how good of a person he is. It inspires us all to be better people.”

It would have been easy for Babb to fold up shop and just finish out his time at Ohio State without football, but that wasn’t his mindset. He always felt there was a bigger picture, a higher goal that pushed him to keep going.

“I would say I love football, but it’s been mostly faith,” Babb said. “Knowing that when I truly surrendered my life to Jesus and he showed me his love and who he is, I just wanted to share that with the world. It’s such a big platform in Ohio State. I just thought, you know, if it doesn’t work out, then he’s still good. He’s still King, still Lord, and my Savior, it doesn’t really matter if it works out in a way that I think it can. There’s so many people that I can turn to Him, you know, and I think there’s a lot of sadness and stuff going on in the world and I just wanted to be able to tell people about what Jesus has done in my life.”

Day couldn’t stop talking about how much the catch meant, not only to Babb but to everyone associated with the program.

“Where do we start with that?” Day said. “This is somebody that has overcome four ACL surgeries. That’s nine months recovery times four. So that’s a long time to be in recovery, not being able to do something that you love. With what had happened the last time, there’s a lot of questions on whether you want to do it – he did it. He never batted an eye, said that’s what I want to do. What happened today in this stadium was magical. That’s what college football means to a lot of people. Not everybody, but to a lot of people. That’s one of the reasons why college football is special. It’s one of the reasons why you coach – to see something like that happen.”

There certainly seems to be a different kind of culture at Ohio State, which is one reason the Buckeyes continue to sit atop the recruiting ladder in the Big 10 and right near the top nationally: The coaches genuinely care about players and will do whatever they can to ensure success.

“Hopefully there’s somebody else out there that’s going through tough times that can see that as a motivation to overcome,” Day said. “Because it’s one thing to see that little bit right there but it’s all the morning workouts he had with Adam Stewart. It’s all the mornings waking up on crutches. It’s the disappointment because that’s not what you picture when you graduate high school and sign with Ohio State. It was something special that went on on the field out there and you can see it with our team and I’m just really happy for him. Just really selfishly proud to be part of a moment like that, to see someone overcome such great obstacles in life. I just can’t say enough about it, because there will be great wins and there’ll be great accomplishments here at Ohio State, but what he’s overcome is one of the great accomplishments and it’s not something that people will see. But at least they were able to be a part of that right there. And you know, those who are in the stadium were able to be a part of it because that’s a special I’ve been around.”

Stroud said he had the hardest job of anyone because he had to make sure he didn’t mess up the big moment.

“When I saw the coverage that we got and seeing that leverage that we had a corner, I was like ‘Oh no, I better not screw this up for my guy,’” he said. “I’m happy to have made the throw. Honestly, words can’t describe it. I really honestly don’t care if I threw eight picks in the game. When you see someone like that who has been through all that he has been through, and still helps the team. He has inspired me. We were just happy for my guy.”

Defense Continues To Build

The Buckeyes’ defense was thrown a curveball when Indiana starting quarterback Connor Bazelak was pulled for the more mobile Dexter Williams II. OSU struggled a bit with Northwestern quarterback Brendan Sullivan a week ago, and with some wildcat concepts Northwestern ran during the game.

There was no such problem this week against the Hoosiers as the Buckeyes limited IU to less than four yards per carry.

“I think there is a lot of stuff to work on, but we’re starting to beat to the same tune and make plays,” Sawyer said. “We’re all figuring out the defense as we’re going and we’re playing good football at the best time – in November. I feel like we’re clicking at the right time.”

Indiana plays with the fastest tempo in college football, running a play every 18 seconds. It’s one way to counter a team that has a huge talent advantage, but it wasn’t successful against the Buckeyes, who stayed disciplined and finished tackles.

That wasn’t by accident, either.

“Coach Knowles preaches that the most important play is the next play,” Sawyer said.  “Last year, we let big plays mess with our heads, but this year we’re bending not breaking. We know that in football, teams are going to make plays. There are a lot of good players on a bunch of different teams and they’re going to make plays every once in a while and we have to regroup for the next play.”

The Buckeyes netted four sacks and 10 tackles for loss and forced Indiana into nine three-and-outs in 13 possessions.

“It feels good to finally get home a couple times,” said Sawyer, who had two of the sacks. “I think as a unit we’ve all been so close to getting sacks. We’ve been able to get a lot of pressures but being able to get home a couple times felt good.”

Cranking Up The Rushing Attack

After its short yardage failures and inconsistent O-line push against Northwestern, Ohio State went back to the drawing board to find ways to get the rushing game going.

Thanks to more inside zone and power being used against Indiana, the Buckeyes ran for season high 340 yards – including 147 from Miyan Williams and 102 from freshman Dallan Hayden.

Indiana coach Tom Allen knew that his team, which came into the league ranked 11th in the Big Ten against the run, would be up against it. But he didn’t think it would be as ugly as it was.

“We didn’t fit their run.  Obviously not very close to what was acceptable, so we’re disappointed in that regard.” Allen said.

Ohio State had 12 rushes of 10 yards or more, including a 48-yard touchdown scamper by Williams and a 71-yard score by Xavier Johnson. Williams left the game late in the second quarter with what appeared to be a lower leg injury, and though Day said in the postgame that it didn’t appear to be long-term, Williams was on crutches and sporting a walking boot after the game.

Day was happy with how violent the running backs were, and especially with how well they did with the power inside game.

He also had big-time praise for Hayden, who carried the mail after Williams was unable to return.

“I think it’s pretty remarkable that we have that many guys who are capable,” Day said. “But whether it’s Trey (Henderson), Miyan, or Chip (Trayanum), you’re hoping to get all these guys back up as soon as we can. It’s been frustrating. Obviously not having a full-strength room there. I guess the positive spin on that is we’ve been able to keep it going. I think Dallan had some really nice runs today. I thought he got into a rhythm. He had a nice run early on, got the first touchdown run, bounced around – nice job with the vision on that, overall ran hard. Even a couple of those runs there in the fourth quarter – I thought he finished those runs. If it was a three-yard run, he was finishing at six.”

Even though he wasn’t nearly as effective this week (eight yards) as he was against Northwestern (79 yards), Stroud once again was able to make a couple of plays with his legs.

“I feel like I’m pretty decent at running the ball,” Stroud said. “I am willing to do anything we need. I’m willing to die for this team, so whatever we need I am ready to do. I’m ready to fight for my brothers.”

Day knew the importance of a solid ground game as it works in tandem with a successful passing game.

Being unable to throw in gale-force winds a week ago against Northwestern played into the slog that was the Buckeyes’ ground game.

Stroud made sure that both features of the offense were firing against Indiana, and finished 17-of-28 for 297 yards and five touchdown passes.

“He’s the leader of our offense,” Day said. “There’s no question about it. And when your leader is just into it and pushing the guys and understands how important balance is in your offense, that’s super important. There was a little bit of an edge to the offense this week. I think that was all week in practice. And we’re going to keep that going, that’s how we’re going to reach our goals here.”