Ohio State Scores Most Points Ever Against A Kirk Ferentz-Led Iowa Team, Forces Six Turnovers in 54-10 Win

By Dan Hope on October 22, 2022 at 3:26 pm

No team has scored more points against Iowa in Kirk Ferentz’s 24-year head coaching tenure than Ohio State did on Saturday.

While the Buckeyes scored only one offensive touchdown before halftime, a pick-six by Tommy Eichenberg and four field goals by Noah Ruggles added to Ohio State’s scoring total in the first half while C.J. Stroud threw four touchdown passes in the second half, leading to a 54-10 blowout win for the home team.

Ohio State’s defense was dominant in the win, forcing six Iowa turnovers and holding the Hawkeyes to zero offensive touchdowns.

  Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4  
#2 Ohio State 16 10 14 14 54
IOWA 7 3 0 0 10

Iowa’s first turnovers came on its first offensive play as Spencer Petras threw the ball directly to Ohio State safety Tanner McCalister for an interception. The Buckeyes went 3-and-out on their ensuing possession, but were still able to get three points out of the gifted field position as Ruggles made a 46-yard field goal.

Iowa scored its only touchdown of the game on Ohio State’s next possession when Hawkeye defensive end Joe Evans leveled Stroud at Ohio State’s 13-yard line, forcing Stroud to lose the ball, and Evans recovered the fumble himself and returned it for a touchdown, giving the Hawkeyes an early 7-3 lead.

Ohio State’s offense came to life on its third drive as the Buckeyes drove 75 yards in 10 plays, capped by a 2-yard Miyan Williams run, to score the game’s first offensive touchdown and take a 10-7 lead with 8:15 to play in the first quarter.

Iowa turned the ball over for the second time in three possessions on its next series when Zach Harrison hit Petras to force a strip sack that Lathan Ransom recovered.

Ohio State settled for another field goal after that turnover – marking the first time all year the Buckeyes have attempted multiple field goals in a game – and Ruggles converted from 41 yards out to give the Buckeyes a 13-7 lead with 4:30 to play in the first quarter.

2.2 AVERAGE per RUSH 2.2
16 1st DOWNS 8
7-7 RED ZONE 0-0
3-13 third down conv 1-13
5-45 PENALTIES 3-11
30:46 POSSESSION 29:14

The Buckeyes got the ball back in Iowa territory for the third time in four possessions when the Hawkeyes attempted a fake punt after a third-down tackle for loss by Harrison. Caden Curry stopped the fake punt for a turnover on downs, giving the Buckeyes the ball back at the 34-yard line. Once again, Ohio State was forced to settle for a field goal and Ruggles made it, this time from 35 yards out, to make it 16-7 on the final play of the first frame.

Iowa’s offense gained its first three first downs of the day on its opening drive of the second quarter, but was forced to settle for a field goal of its own after a 3rd-and-9 tackle for loss on a screen pass by Denzel Burke. Drew Stevens made a 49-yard kick to cut Ohio State’s lead to 16-10 with 10:07 to play in the first half.

Jesse Mirco downed his first punt of the day at the 2-yard line following Ohio State’s next possession, and the Buckeyes forced a 3-and-out when Harrison broke up a pass out of the end zone. For the fourth time in the first half, Ohio State got the ball back in Iowa territory and ended up settling for a field goal, which Ruggles made from 26 yards to make it 19-10 with 3:38 to play in the second quarter.

The Buckeyes took a 16-point lead just 13 seconds later when Eichenberg picked off Petras and returned it 15 yards for a pick-six, scoring Ohio State’s first defensive touchdown of the season.

Ohio State’s offense continued to struggle at the start of the second half as Stroud threw an interception to Iowa’s Jack Campbell on the first play after halftime, marking the fourth straight game in which Stroud has thrown an interception. The Buckeyes got the ball right back on a fumbled snap by Alex Padilla, but were forced to punt after failing to gain a first down.

The Buckeyes got the ball right back again, though, when Padilla – who replaced Petras as Iowa’s quarterback for the second half for his first playing time of the season – threw the ball to McCalister for the Ohio State safety’s second interception of the day.

On its fifth possession of the day to start in Iowa territory, Ohio State finally turned one into a touchdown when Marvin Harrison Jr. made a toe-tapping catch in the left front corner of the end zone from six yards out.

Stroud had his best drive of the day on Ohio State’s next possession when he threw three beautiful passes in a row to Emeka Egbuka for a 27-yard gain, to Harrison for an 18-yard gain and to Egbuka again for a 13-yard touchdown to extend the Buckeyes’ lead to 30 points.

Stroud followed that up the next time Ohio State got the ball by connecting for a 79-yard touchdown with Julian Fleming, who was able to walk into the end zone after Iowa defensive back Cooper DeJean hit the ground attempting to break up the pass.

Ohio State broke the record for the most points scored against Iowa in Kirk Ferentz’s head coaching tenure when Mitch Rossi caught a 3-yard pass for his second touchdown of the season.

The Buckeyes’ 54 points were only five fewer than Iowa gave up in all of its first six games combined (59) entering Saturday’s game.

Stroud finished the game with 286 passing yards and four touchdown passes while the Buckeye defense held Iowa to only 158 total yards.

Ohio State improves to 7-0 on the season with the win. The Buckeyes will look to make it 8-0 when they hit the road for just the second time all season next week to play Penn State, where kickoff is scheduled for noon next Saturday.

Game Notes

  • Jaxon Smith-Njigba returned to the starting lineup at wide receiver after missing four of Ohio State’s first six games with a hamstring injury, but left the game in the second quarter and did not return after appearing to tweak the injury again. Ryan Day said after the game, however, that Smith-Njigba was taken out because he was on a pitch count.
  • Backup wide receiver Jayden Ballard suffered an apparent leg injury covering a kickoff in the second quarter and did not return to the game. He was seen limping as Ohio State returned to the field for the second half.
  • Long snapper Bradley Robinson suffered an apparent right knee injury while covering a punt in the third quarter and did not return to the game. He was on crutches on the sideline with a wrap around his injured knee.
  • JK Johnson made his third start of the season at cornerback in place of Cameron Brown, who was one of 14 unavailable players against Iowa.
  • Jordan Hancock saw his first playing time of the season at cornerback after missing the first six games with an undisclosed injury.
  • Lathan Ransom made his second consecutive start at safety ahead of Josh Proctor.
  • Ohio State paid tribute to longtime athletics administrator Phyllis Bailey, who died earlier this month, with a pregame moment of silence.
  • C.J. Stroud, Cade Stover, Tommy Eichenberg and Kamryn Babb were the captains for the pregame coin toss.
  • Former Ohio State safety Mike Doss was recognized at the end of the first quarter for his upcoming induction into the College Football Hall of Fame.
  • Noah Ruggles’ four first-half field goals were twice as many as the two he made in all of Ohio State’s first six games of the season combined.
  • The Ohio State and Iowa marching bands joined forces for an Elton John-themed halftime show performance.
  • 104,848 was the attendance at Ohio Stadium for the game.
  • Ohio State’s six defensive takeaways were its most in any game since it forced six turnovers against Tulsa in 2016.
  • Stroud’s 79-yard touchdown pass to Julian Fleming was the longest pass of his Ohio State career, the Buckeyes’ longest offensive play of the season to date and the longest play allowed all year by Iowa.
  • Ohio State has now scored more than 40 points in six consecutive games, which is both a school and Big Ten record.
  • Stroud now ranks fourth on Ohio State’s all-time passing yards list, surpassing Joe Germaine and Greg Frey to move up from sixth to fourth over the course of Saturday’s game.
  • The previous record for most points scored against a Kirk Ferentz-led team was 51 points by Minnesota in 2014.
  • It was the first time Ohio State has ever scored in double digits in all four quarters against Iowa.
  • Chip Trayanum entered the game at running back for the first time in his Ohio State career on the Buckeyes’ final possession of the game.

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