Ohio State football: Grading the beatdown of Indiana
It could have been Pizza Day in Bloomington, Indiana. In 30 minutes or less, the Ohio State offense made an impressive delivery to the Indiana football squad. At halftime OSU held a 44-7 advantage and the Buckeyes cruised home to a 54-7 victory that really wasn’t even that close. Let’s break down the highs and lows of the game for OSU.
What we liked
Here is the recap of OSU’s first half offensive drives: Touchdown, touchdown, touchdown, touchdown, touchdown, touchdown. Those drives ranged from 30 yards in 29 seconds to a 12-play, 75-yard march to open the game. With 334 first-half yards and all drives ending in the end zone, OSU was certainly efficient.
A safety on a bad punt snap, another nice kick return from Emeka Egbuka, and a solid kicking day draws good marks for the OSU special teams. It wasn’t like the Buckeyes really needed it this week, but it bodes well for the postseason to see OSU sharp in all facets of the game.
That second quarter
Any time you win a quarter 30-0, it’s one to remember. How about holding Indiana to minus-15 yards of total offense during that quarter? While OSU put up 4 touchdowns and a safety, Indiana didn’t manage a single first down. TreVeyon Henderson caught and rushed for a score during that same span of time. Unbelievable.
The Buckeyes defense had a good day with 5 sacks and Zach Harrison got out of his slump with a big play. Nobody on OSU’s team had multiple sacks, but 14 tackles for loss shows the kind of day that OSU’s rushers had off the edge. If the front can keep opposing passers uncomfortable, OSU will be golden.
What we didn’t like
Not enough TreVeyon
Look, Ryan Day is a good coach. He means well. But TreVeyon Henderson could have used more than the 10 touches (9 carries, 1 catch) he got in this game. The freshman is as good of a feature back as there is in America, but he’s struggling to get 10 touches a game right now. Like a baseball manager who gets skittish about wearing down a young pitcher, there’s not always a basis for pulling Henderson or splitting running back snaps so heavily. Given OSU’s talent, getting Henderson some rest is a good problem to have. But the selfish part of me wanted to see more.
The first IU drive
Ohio State went down the field and scored to open the game … and then watched Indiana match that output. Granted, it was the last score of the day for the Hoosiers, but OSU’s defense was oddly flat. That said, they spent the next 3-plus quarters making up for a bad series.
Quiet day for Olave
Chris Olave had just 2 receptions for 24 yards and a touchdown. It doesn’t really stand out, because plenty of other OSU receivers (mainly Jaxon Smith-Njigba) picked up the slack and made sure OSU’s offense marched up and down the field until the game was out of hand. But the Buckeyes need their big dogs ready to eat, and it was a quiet day for their big-play senior receiver.