Ohio State Game 10 View from the Couch – Ohio State vs. Indiana
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Favorite Stat of the Game: 662 yards of total offense and 56 points.
It was so nice to see this after only 21 last week against Northwestern AND to see it in a game with lousy weather. I know the Hoosier defense this year is as lousy as the weather was, but this is what you should do to a bad team in November if you’re vying for a national championship.
The Brooklyn Dagger Award: Miyan Williams’ 48-yard touchdown run.
It wasn’t the deciding score of the contest but when Williams hit that run, this game felt safely over for the Buckeyes. Williams had 15 carries for 147 yards and a touchdown before leaving the game with an injury. As Buckeye Nation was no doubt worried with both there starting running backs out, the rest of the team would pick up the slack and Miyan Williams would tweet out his reassurances to the fans following the game.
Dwayne Haskins Award: The Ohio State Buckeyes’ offensive line.
I’ve been very critical of this unit at times this season so I have to give a big shout out to them when they dominate like they did today. They were down an all-Big Ten and maybe all-American in Dawand Jones but they played like they had six Jones’ playing in five spots. They played lights out, allowing only one quarterback hurry and no sacks and leading the way for 340 rushing yards out of 662 total yards. They’ll need their absolute best game in two weeks.
Chase Young Award: Lathan Ransom
Ransom played at an all-American level with nine tackles (seven of them solo) 1.5 sacks, 1.5 tackles for a loss, a pass deflection and a blocked punt. The junior from Tucson, Arizona is third on the team in tackles with 54 and has had a hand in four turnovers this season for the Buckeye defense.
Ryan Shazier-Devin Smith Award: Dallan Hayden
Hayden has been vaulted into more playing time than anyone expected do to injuries to some very talented guys in front of him. In the time he has seen he has shown there is no talent drop off and he is a future Buckeye star. Against the Hoosiers he had 19 carries for 102 yards and a touchdown. On the season Dallan Hayden has 73 carries for 357 yards and two touchdowns.
Dane Sanzenbacher Award: Marvin Harrison Jr.
The quiet receiver has been a deadly one for the Ohio State Buckeyes Michael Jenkins, Dane Sanzenbacher, K.J. Hill, and now Marvin Harrison Jr. There are lots of questions with this Buckeye team, many of them different every week. But there is no question that this man will show up and do his job at the highest level. The only question around Marvin Harrison Jr. is how will impress today? Just take a look at these two plays.
Taylor Decker Award: C.J. Stroud
Stroud was back to his usual self. He was 17 of 28 for 305 total yards and five touchdowns. That’s how you bounce back from less than 160 total yards and no touchdowns. C.J. Stroud has now pass for four or more touchdowns 13 times in his 23 starts. To put it in perspective, four-year starter J.T. Barrett is the next Buckeye with the most games with four touchdown passes at 11. This is also the seventh season a Buckeye quarterback has thrown 30 or more touchdown passes, and Stroud’s second in a row.
Fedora Award: Xavier Johnson and Dallan Hayden.
Dallan Hayden and Xavier Johnson had to step in the extra large boots of Miyan Williams and TreVeyon Henderson against Indiana and they had no problem. Together they had 22 touches for 220 yards and two touchdowns. They played so well, Coach Day may be tempted to rest Williams and Henderson and let Hayden and Johnson carry the load against Maryland next week.
Sweater Vest Award: Lathan Ransom and Xavier Johnson.
Ransom had Ohio State’s first blocked punt since 2019 and Johnson recovered it at the Indiana two-yard line to set up the Buckeye offense. The Hoosiers let Lathan Ransom come free and he blocked it and Johnson recovered it. Both players were everywhere today for the Buckeyes and that includes special teams.
Archie Award: Kam Babb
Kam Babb is a warrior. The man has had each ACL torn and repaired twice for four ACL tears and repairs. He’s a team captain for the Buckeyes because he’s a fighter. To see him get a touchdown catch late in the game was a great moment for the team and Buckeye Nation to show their love and appreciation for a guy who’s sacrificed a lot of his body for Ohio State. He’s a player of class and character and rightly a fan favorite.
Horned Rimmed Glasses Award: Next Man Up.
The Buckeyes have face a lot of injuries this year. Heisman contender Jaxon Smith-Njigba has been gone almost all season and Harrison, Egbuka, Fleming, and Johnson have all stepped right up for him. Miyan Williams and TreVeyon Henderson have been dinged up all season and Dallan Hayden has been right there for them along with Xavier Johnson today. All-Big Ten right tackle Dawand Jones was out today and Josh Fryar filled in for him against the Hoosiers. Injuries are a part of the game. The worst part. Every team that’s ever won a title has had to have the toughness and grit to overcome injuries. These Buckeyes are proving that true so far.
Coaching Moments of the Game:
We’re really good in the first and third quarters. We do most of our scoring in the first quarter (145 of 468 scored). The good news is the scoring is mostly level throughout 145 in the first, 96 in the second, 122 in the third, and 105 in the fourth. The Buckeyes play their best defense in the third (13 of 156 points allowed). The good news is this shows the Buckeye defense makes some pretty good adjustments as the game goes along.
The running game got back on track today and the Buckeyes used it well to set up the pass. The big bomb to Marvin Harrison Jr. was on a play action pass. Complimentary football like that will help a lot against the elite teams the Buckeyes hope to defeat as this season gets closer to the end.
The Buckeyes got after the quarterback. The Buckeyes got to the quarterback four times and hurried him three times, almost doubling their season average of 2.4 sacks a game. In the first five games they had 10 sacks in the last five they’ve had 16 and that includes 0 against Northwestern when there was virtually no passing done by the Wildcats.
The injuries are taking their toll and while great teams overcome them, even a loaded team like Ohio State has to be a little concerned. Also, part of the problem with the running game is still there. Buckeye great Maurice Clarett explained it best. Saying the Bucks are going to the well too often with stretch and zone runs.
Clarett also said earlier in the week that the team up north is playing with more nastiness than the Buckeyes. I believe he’s right on both accounts, but I believe both are fixable issues. The Buckeye offensive line is good enough to run more than just zone and Justin Frye will need them to show it if they want to win on November 26th and beyond.
Having success on the field is better than scheming. The offense got back to their high octane explosive selves today and the defense continue showing their improvements over last year. If they were playing like last year this team would be 9-1 or 8-2 and not 10-0. The criticisms of them are legitimate but so is the discipline and mental improvements. The only team in America that can stop the Buckeyes are the Buckeyes.
2014 Moment: Marvin Harrison Jr.’s 58-yard touchdown reception
Marvin Harrison Jr. had seven catches for 135 yards and a touchdown as he continues to play at an elite level. He has 60 catches for 969 yards and 11 touchdowns on the season for the Buckeyes and all of that is as WR1 meaning he’s getting the lion’s share of extra defenders guarding him.
2002 Moments: Tommy Eichenberg
Like Harrison, Eichenberg continues to deliver even when the opponent knows they have to worry a lot about him. He has seven tackles, four of them solo, and three tackles for a loss against the Hoosiers. He has 92 tackles, 11 tackles for a loss, 2.5 sacks, one interception, two passes broken up, five quarterback hurries and a touchdown on the season.
1968 Moments: C.J. Stroud.
Stroud only had four carries for eight yards on the ground but this added dimension helps the offense more than can be stated. It opens up the run-pass option, the read option, and slows down defenders who have to pause long enough to make sure Stroud or one of the running backs has the ball to give them that extra step. It also keeps eyes on him an extra second when he drops back to pass. That extra step for runners and extra second to get open for receivers makes the offense that much more difficult to stop and can be the difference between winning and losing against elite competition.
Rivalry Watch: Cade Stover.
The big country beast had another big game with three catches for 45 yards and two touchdowns. Stover’s ability to help as both a receiver and a blocker just adds one more dynamic to this offense. The tight end making plays, the quarterback making you defend the whole field, the play action pass, these are just some of the things the Buckeyes have added lately to the offense that should help them tremendously against that team up north on the 26th.
As the Buckeyes hit double digit wins for the tenth straight season in which they played double digit games you see how fast the year is going. “You wait and wait for the season to start and all the sudden you’re in Week 11.” said Jim Lachey. The Buckeye Radio Color Analyst, and Offensive Lineman Legend couldn’t be more right.
Read about all the Ohio State games so far this season!