Game 10 Recap: Ohio State 56 – Indiana 14
Ohio State had been rightfully criticized for the past two weeks for not have a sustained run game, and even their toughness was challenged. Going into the game, hearing that TreVeyon Henderson was going to be out for his second straight week did not lend a lot of confidence that the Buckeyes were going to find success this week, despite the national ranking of the Hoosier defense. Couple that with Dawan Jones being out, it meant that the right side of the line would be the weak point for the offense. It took all of a few series to start thinking that the Buckeyes had it under control.
Miyan Williams did everything he could to drive the field, and was able to run an inside zone, and outside zone for nearly 40 yards on 2 carries. He left the game with an injury in the second half, but still rushed for 147 yards with a touchdown on 15 carries. What was concerning still though was how ofter the Buckeyes had to punt in a game they were in control of for the entire game. The offense really only stopped themselves, and there were a few throws from Stroud that he made that against a better team could have been intercepted, but the playcalling with his arm tends to lend itself to high risk-high reward. Knowing that the Heisman was still up for grabs was probably a decision factor even if he wont say it out loud on why CJ was still on the field with a 35 point lead going into the 4th quarter.
What all of this is though is window dressing with the game against Michigan looming even larger. For the Buckeyes this is about getting confidence in all 3 phases before that game, and this one against Indiana was a great first step to get them mentally right.
For the first time in about 2 weeks, the game was never in danger of being lost for the Buckeyes. The closest the Hoosiers were able to get was 14 points after they made the switch at quarterback, but the Buckeye defense was able to adapt, and the Hoosier offense was not able to sustain drives. If you are looking for a point in the game where the Buckeyes put the game away, it would be in the 4th quarter, leading 28-7 still, they scored quickly on a 2 play drive to make it 35-7 with a Stroud pass to Cade Stover, held Indiana to a 3 and out, and then scored once more to another pass to Stover to make it 42-7. For the gamblers, the touchdown pass from Stroud to Babb gave the Buckeyes ahead of the spread.
Star of the Game
Kam Babb. This one has nothing to do with the stats, but instead what Babb means to this team, and the moment he had in the game. The 5th year senior was given the Block O jersey due to his leadership in the locker room and the bond he has with the team, even when Parris Campbell, and Terry McLaurin where in the Zone 6 meeting room. Babb played for his first game all season, and in the 4th quarter caught his first touchdown pass as a Buckeye. If you need to know how much this moment meant for him, and for the team, look no further than the play and celebration:
With all of the shake ups last week, the Buckeyes stayed at the number 2 spot despite not looking their best against Northwestern, but a blowout win against an inferior opponent, and a resurgence in the run game will keep the Buckeyes in that spot. Ultimately, it will most likely be a 2 vs 3 match up when Michigan travels to Columbus on November 26th, and that game will be the most important for both teams in regards to how the playoff picture will shape.
Ohio State (10-0) will travel on the road to play Maryland (6-4) with game time TBD on ABC.
Indiana (3-7) travels to Michigan State (5-5) with game TBD.
Photo Credit: Ohio State Buckeyes