BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – Going on the road and playing a conference opponent for the first time this season was supposed to make for a tougher challenge for Ohio State, but the Buckeyes were as dominant as they’ve been all season in their first Big Ten game of the year on Saturday.
Ohio State scored 23 points in the second quarter and 21 points in the third quarter to roll to a 51-10 victory over Indiana in Ryan Day’s first true road game as a head coach.
Justin Fields accounted for 210 yards (199 passing, 11 rushing) and four total touchdowns (three passing, one rushing), J.K. Dobbins ran for 193 yards and a touchdown, Master Teague ran for 106 yards and a touchdown, Damon Arnette returned an interception 96 yards for a touchdown and Chris Olave both caught three passes for 70 yards and a touchdown and blocked a punt to lead the Buckeyes to the blowout victory.
The Buckeyes’ defense was dominant right out of the gate, forcing 3-and-outs on each of the Hoosiers’ first two possessions. Indiana did not gain positive yardage on any of its first six plays.
Ohio State’s offense got off to a shakier start. They failed to take advantage of a short field on their first possession, when Blake Haubeil missed a 32-yard field goal attempt wide right after a pair of incomplete passes by Fields. The Buckeyes scored their first seven points of the game on their second possession, though, with a nine-play, 68-yard touchdown drive capped by a 3-yard Fields run.
|#6 OHIO STATE||7||23||21||0||51|
Indiana moved the ball down the field on its third possession of the game, driving all the way into the Buckeyes’ red zone before being forced to settle for a 29-yard field goal, which Logan Justus made for the Hoosiers’ first three points of the day.
Ohio State was forced to punt on its third and final possession of the first quarter after a Fields pass intended for Olave under pressure was thrown too high and fell incomplete. Fields and Olave made up for it on the next possession, when Olave beat coverage deep into the end zone and Fields connected with the sophomore wide receiver for a 37-yard touchdown, to put the Buckeyes ahead 14-3 with 11:26 to play in the second quarter.
From there, Ohio State opened up the floodgates.
|519||NET TOTAL YARDS||258|
|7.3||AVERAGE PER RUSH||1.4|
|12.6||AVERAGE PER COMPLETION||10.2|
|15||RUSHING 1st DOWNS||4|
|11||PASSING 1st DOWNS||9|
|4||PENALTY 1st DOWNS||2|
|7.5||YARDS PER PLAY||3.8|
|1 (0)||TURNOVERS (DEF PTS OFF)||1 (7)|
After Ohio State’s defense forced another 3-and-out on Indiana’s next possession, Olave blocked Haydon Whitehead’s punt through the back of the end zone – the second blocked punt of his Ohio State career – for a safety.
Dobbins kicked off the Buckeyes’ subsequent possession with a 56-yard run, and Fields capped off the drive with a 9-yard touchdown pass to K.J. Hill. Dobbins ran for a touchdown himself on the Buckeyes’ next possession, from 26 yards out, for Ohio State’s fourth score of the second quarter.
Trailing 30-3 with less than two minutes to play in the first half, Indiana turned to its bag of tricks and it worked, when Hoosiers tight end Peyton Hendershot was left wide open downfield and wide receiver Donavan Hale threw a pass to Hendershot – after a screen pass from quarterback Peyton Ramsey – for a 49-yard touchdown to cut the Buckeyes’ halftime lead to 20.
Ohio State responded right back on its first drive of the second half, though, with a clinical seven-play, 75-yard touchdown drive capped by a 4-yard pass from Fields to Dobbins.
Whitehead downed a punt at the 3-yard line after Indiana’s first possession of the second half, but even that couldn’t stop the Buckeyes, who drove 97 yards in nine plays – capped by a 40-yard Master Teague run – for their fifth touchdown in six possessions.
On the final play of the third quarter, Arnette intercepted a pass by Ramsey – after making two additional pass breakups earlier in that series – and returned it all the way to the other end zone for a 96-yard touchdown, the first touchdown of his Ohio State career.
Following Arnette’s touchdown, the Buckeyes took nearly all of their starters out of the game for the fourth quarter.
Ohio State is now 3-0 to start the season and will look to improve to 4-0 next Saturday when Miami (Ohio) comes to Ohio Stadium for the Buckeyes’ final non-conference game of the regular season.
- Michael Penix Jr., who started Indiana's first two games of the season at quarterback, did not play in Saturday's game due to injury.
- Hill, Dobbins, Chase Young and Jordan Fuller went to midfield for the coin toss as the game captains for Saturday's coin toss.
- Ohio State linebacker Justin Hilliard, in his first game back after rupturing his Achilles this spring, played on multiple special teams units and saw fourth-quarter playing time on defense on Saturday.
- Tyreke Smith made his first career start for Ohio State at defensive end opposite Chase Young. He was seen in street clothes on the sideline for the second half, however, after suffering an apparent injury in the first half.
- Ohio State cornerback Jeff Okudah left the game briefly, with Cameron Brown taking his place in the lineup, after receiving medical attention following a defensive play in the first quarter, but returned on the Buckeyes' next defensive series.
- Zach Harrison recorded the first sack of his Ohio State career in the fourth quarter of Saturday's game.
- Gunnar Hoak completed the first pass of his Ohio State career on a 9-yard pass to Jaelen Gill in the fourth quarter.