Ohio State Beats Indiana 49-21: 3 Things That Matter
Ohio State needed a while to get rolling, and then the speed and skill were on display.
1. Ohio State was sluggish and struggled, and …
It still hung up 49 points on the board.
Ohio State’s problems against Indiana QB Richard Lagow in the first half are real, and the issues getting the offense moving will only matter if there’s a problem against Oklahoma, but when it was time to turn it on …
Not to make excuses – because this certainly didn’t look like the No. 2 team in college football – but this is a rebuilding team in a lot of ways that didn’t have top running back Mike Weber, was getting several new pieces in place in the secondary, and had to deal with a fired up team on the road in a quirky Thursday night Big Ten opener.
And Ohio State still won by 28 points.
However, there has to be more of a downfield passing game – and it would help if Parris Campbell would start catching everything – and the big plays aren’t going to always come against the teams with actual defensive speed, but for now, in the opening game of the season, take the Big Ten blowout road win and don’t worry about the details.
Again, beat Oklahoma, and Indiana won’t matter.
2. It’s Ohio State. There’s always a next man up
It might have stunk to lose Weber before the game, but the 1-2 punch of J.K. Dobbins and Antonio Williams showed off the quickly, power, and all-around ability typical for young Buckeye backs.
Williams set the Ohio State freshman debut record with 181 yards on 29 carries – proving he could handle the workload – while Williams ran seven times for 44 yards and two scores.
When absolutely needed, J.T. Barrett took off to provide a wee bit of a spark, but even though the 61 yards and a score were nice, the more he can concentrate on spreading the ball around, the better.
Barrett knew when to slide, seemed to be more careful with himself, and got plenty of time to work. There were a few big pops, but nothing major.
And now, if Weber can come back healthy, there’s a devastating rotation about to happen to keep Barrett from ever having to take off if he doesn’t want to.
The running game has to rely on the backs. There’s no reason to not keep feeding them.
3. The Ohio State pass defense
The Buckeye pass defense will be ripped apart for giving up 420 yards and three scores.
Did you really expect the Buckeyes to once again lose a slew of NFL defensive backs and be amazing right away?
The OSU D was spoiled by the emergence of the new stars after losing Eli Apple and Vonn Bell going into the 2016 season, and it’s asking for the world to instantly replace Marshon Lattimore, Malik Hooker and Gareon Conley with the exact same ball-hawking production.
Yeah, Lagow bombed away, but he also got picked off twice, should’ve been intercepted a few other times, and needed 65 throws to keep the offense moving since the running game ran into a brick wall.
Indiana ran 27 times for 17 yards. There was no point in doing anything but throw.
That’s all well and good, but with Baker Mayfield and Oklahoma coming up soon, the Buckeye defensive backs can’t get outmuscled for passes and they’ll have to get used to a baller who can extend plays and make more things happen down the field.
420 total passing yards against IU is okay. 420 against OU will be a big, big problem.
You have a week to get better, Buckeyes.