Ohio State defeats Indiana 42-35 for the Buckeyes’ first top-ten win this season.
Though Ohio State got the win, it wasn’t pretty.
Justin Fields showed that he was human and threw his first interception of the season. He was off of his rhythm for most of the first half and parts of the second. However, in spite of his struggles, he accounted for three touchdowns
Fields and Garrett Wilson combined for two catches, 75 yards, and a touchdown on their first drive of the game. Although, Fields couldn’t protect the ball, which allowed Indiana to stay close. Michael Penix Jr. tied the game early in the first quarter with a touchdown pass to Whop Philyor.
Ohio State responded by resting on the running game for the first time all season. It worked, and the Buckeyes scored four straight touchdowns to lead to 35-7.
Penix activated his arm and made the game close. The game came down to the last drive, and Ohio State’s defense held up at the last second.
The hard-fought victory made it 26 straight Ohio State defeats over Indiana since 1989.
Ohio State Defeats Indiana Despite Slow Start
Just like in the Rutgers game, Ohio State was the “loser” of the second half, nearly blowing a 35-7 lead. While there was a lot to enjoy for Buckeyes fans, there was a lot that needs to be fixed.
Justin Fields’ Struggles
Fields did not look like himself on Saturday. He threw a total of three interceptions, which is the number of picks he had all of last season.
Two of his interceptions came on plays where he was being hit and he should have just taken the sack. Fortunately, the returner fumbled after the third interception, and Ohio State got the ball back right away.
Fields accounted for three touchdowns, but this was the first game of the year in which the running game had to carry the offense.
A major contributing factor was the stunts Indiana played on the defensive line. Ohio State’s line was confused a lot of the time, and allowed Fields to take the pressure. Indiana frequently knocked Fields off his spot, which made for an unstable passing attack.
Teague was an unstoppable force, with 26 carries, 169 yards, and 2 touchdowns. Fields also chipped in 78 rushing yards and one rushing touchdown.
Between Teague, Sermon, and Fields, Ohio State averaged just over six yards per carry.
Conversely, Stevie Scott fought an uphill battle all game for Indiana. Ohio State kept Indiana to -10 yards the whole game. By the fourth quarter, the Buckeyes had basically eliminated the Hoosier’s running game. But that didn’t seem to bother Indiana much.
Michael Penix and Ty Fryfogle
Indiana’s offense started off slow, but in the second half, Tom Allen put the game all on Penix.
Indiana figured out that the only part of their offense that worked was the deep ball. That’s how, despite being stifled for most of the first half, the unit still had almost 500 total yards of offense.
The Hoosier’s quarterback had a career day against Ohio State. Penix was 27/51 with 491 yards, five touchdowns, and one interception.
Indiana’s leading receiver was Ty Fryfogle, also having a career day. Fryfogle caught seven receptions for 223 yards and three touchdowns.
Penix’s arm combined with an offensive lineman that held the pass rush in check, Ohio State’s defense nearly gave way.