COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — The second-ranked Ohio State Buckeyes returned to Ohio Stadium and, some would say, returned to form, handily putting away Indiana 56-14 to remain undefeated on the season.
Ohio State forced IU into an eighth three and out in 12 possessions, taking over at its own 29-yard line. It was one play and BOOM!, Xavier Johnson faking right, taking the handoff to the left and cutting back against the grain and outrunning the Hoosiers’ defense to paydirt.
Reis Stockdale muffed his second punt of the game, this one recovered by Indiana at the Buckeyes 18 yard line with just over 12 minutes remaining.
It took Indiana just two plays to find the end zone, Donaven McCulley running a skinny post and grabbing a pretty pass from Williams to give the Hoosiers their second touchdown of the game.
Harrison Jr gained another first down on a 24-yard grab, moving to 135 yards for the game — his fifth 100-yard receiving contest of the season.
Ohio State is grinding the Hoosiers down, marching to the IU 8 on just five plays. Hayden picked up 35 yards on three carries and ran hard both inside and outside.
The Buckeyes capped the drive with a nifty rollout by Stroud, who found Kamryn Babb in the right corner of the end zone for an 8-yard score. Babb has been injured a ton in his career so it was nice to see him get into the scoring column. It was also Stroud’s fifth scoring toss of the afternoon.
Hayden goes over 100 rushing yards on a three-yard burst up the middle with just under two minutes to play.
INDIANA PASSING: D Williams II 6-19, 107 yards, 2 TD
OHIO STATE PASSING: Stroud 17-28, 297 yards, 5 TD
INDIANA RUSHING: D Williams II 16-46; Simmons 1-44
OHIO STATE RUSHING: Williams 15-147, TD; Hayden 19-102, TD; Johnson 1-71, TD
INDIANA RECEIVING: Coby 1-49; Barner 4-8, TD
OHIO STATE RECEIVING: Harrison Jr 7-135, TD; Stover 3-45, 2 TD; Egbuka 2-38, TD; Babb 1-8, TD
TOTAL YARDS: INDIANA 269, 150 rushing, 119 passing; OHIO STATE 662, 340 rushing, 336 passing
Indiana made a splash play immediately, with Emery Simmons taking a reverse off tackle and jaunting 44 yards to the Buckeyes 31 yard line. The Hoosiers got to the OSU 23 but Williams misfired on a pass to a wide-open Aaron Steinfeldt on fourth-and-2.
Hayden had consecutive runs that netted nine yards, but a Stroud run on zone read was stopped for no gain and the Buckeyes were forced to punt. Mirco booted it 45 yards and put Indiana at its own 23-yard line with 11:25 remaining in the quarter.
After an Indiana first down the Buckeyes got their fourth sack of the afternoon when Lathan Ransom knifed through on a delayed blitz for a loss of seven yards. A third and 17 pass from Williams fell short, and Indiana completed its seventh three-and-out of the game. Ransom came up big again, blocking the punt of James Evans.
The Buckeyes got the ball at the IU 2, and a Hayden run over center brought the football down inside the 1. A pretty play fake to Hayden by Stroud allowed Stover to waltz wide open into the end zone, where Stroud found him for a touchdown. The TD pass was Stroud’s third of the afternoon.
Stroud opened OSU’s next possession with a nifty eight-yard run, and found Egbuka down the seam for 32 yards to the Hoosiers 12. The drive was capped when Stroud rolled right and found Stover, who broke a tackle and extended the ball over the goal line for his second touchdown of the game. OSU covered 52 yards in just three plays.
OSU picked up its fifth sack –and Sawyer’s second — on third-and-7, bringing Williams down for a nine-yard loss.
Ohio State advanced from its own 17 to the 49 before Stroud misfired on a pair of passes, forcing a Mirco punt. Stroud has been off today, with his passes just a beat behind receivers and lacking their usual accuracy.
OSU opened its next possession with a wonderful back shoulder catch by Harrison Jr, taking the ball to the Hoosiers’ 45-yard line. Indiana dialed up the pressure on the next few plays and stemmed the momentum, forcing the Buckeyes to punt. Jesse Mirco’s punt went 34 yards and pinned Indiana at its own 9.
After an IU three-and-out, the Buckeyes took over at their own 43 and immediately went to work, getting a nine-yard gain up the middle by Williams and two plays later a 48-yard burst over right guard by Williams that went all the way to end zone. Williams has 128 yards and a touchdown on just 11 carries.
After a first down catch by Harrison Jr, Ohio State bogged down and was forced to punt, with Indiana taking over at its own 29 with 7:05 left in the half.
Faced with a third and seven at its own 19, OSU got out of danger when Stroud threaded the needle to Cade Stover for 32 yards to the Indiana 38. OSU picked up another crucial first down on an impossible catch by Harrison Jr on the sideline, gaining 12 yards. Two runs by Williams netted eight yards, the second resulting in what looked to be an ankle injury that took Williams out of the game. The ground game will be handled for the rest of the day by Hayden as Williams needed assistance getting off the field.
Ohio State went for it on fourth-and-1 at the IU 17 and ran a basic counter that Indiana was all over. Ohio native Dasan McCullough, the top-rated recruit in school history, made the stop.
Indiana marched down the field, taking it from its own 18 down to the Buckeyes’ 29 before a Cover Zero blitz swarmed Williams for a loss of eight yards and a third-and-18 situation with 16 seconds left. Jack Sawyer was able to push his blocker backward and smacked Williams for a loss of five and the end of the half.
INDIANA PASSING: D Williams II 5-10, 88 yards, TD; Bazelak 3-5, 12 yards
OHIO STATE PASSING: Stroud 9-17, 187 yards, 2 TD
INDIANA RUSHING: D Williams II 8-28
OHIO STATE RUSHING: M Williams 15-147, TD; Hayden 5-26, TD; Harrison Jr 1-18
INDIANA RECEIVING: Coby 1-49; Barner 4-8, TD
OHIO STATE RECEIVING: Harrison Jr 5-108, TD; X Johnson 1-34; Stover 1-32
TOTAL YARDS: INDIANA 147, 100 passing, 47 rushing; OHIO STATE 377, 190 rushing, 187 passing
The Buckeyes got behind the chains early and were forced into a three-and-out, a C.J. Stroud run coming up a yard short of a first down. The Hoosiers fared no better, gaining only six yards on three plays and punting it away to the Buckeyes, who got cute on the return and nearly turned it over. OSU took over at its own 35-yard line.
Ohio State got it going much better on its second drive, Miyan Williams gaining 42 yards on two carries and Marvin Harrison Jr taking it deep into the red zone on a reverse, putting the ball at the IU 5-yard line. The Buckeyes dented the end zone on third and goal when Stroud found Emeka Egbuka on a short hook route for a six-yard touchdown. OSU covered 65 yards in six plays and a little over two minutes.
The Buckeyes got a big play on their next series when Stroud floated a flare pass to Xavier Johnson, who made a nifty move in the open field and churned 34 yards to the Indiana 28. A stretch play to the right by Williams picked up another 10 yards and put the Buckeyes in the red zone again, and they scored two plays later when Dallan Hayden went left, cut to the middle, and burst to the end zone untouched. The Buckeyes went 78 yards on eight plays in 3:37, and have over 100 rushing yards in the first quarter. Williams has 78 of those yards on just seven carries.
Indiana got within reach of its initial first down conversion, but on third-and-three a pass to AJ Barner was dumped for a two-yard loss. The Buckeyes take over in prime field position at their own 42.
And just like that, OSU gets on the board again when Stroud found a streaking Harrison Jr for a 58-yard scoring strike. One play, nine seconds, and the rout is on. The TD was the 11th of the season for the sophomore Harrison Jr.
Indiana finally picks up a first down on a nifty 16-yard scamper by Dexter Williams on a quarterback power run. The Hoosiers got into the Buckeyes’ red zone on a poor cornerback rotation with a 49-yard pitch and catch from Williams to Andison Kobe and paid it off when Barner grabbed a jump ball over Cam Brown from the seven-yard line. Indiana covered 75 yards on six plays to get on the board.