The Ohio State Buckeyes opened up their Big Ten season with a bang Saturday, routing the Indiana Hoosiers in Bloomington, 51-10, to improve to 3-0 on the season.
Running back J.K. Dobbins finished with 193 yards and a touchdown on 22 carries to lead a Buckeye offense that totaled 306 yards on the ground in the game.
Quarterback Justin Fields finished with 199 passing yards and three touchdowns, completing 14 of his 24 attempts. He added a touchdown on the ground, his fourth rushing touchdown of the season.
For the game, the Ohio State offense amassed 520 yards of total offense against the Hoosiers. But the day belonged to the Ohio State defense, which continued its resurgence in another strong performance. The Indiana offense was limited to 257 yards of offense, including just 42 on the ground.
Indiana quarterback Peyton Ramsey got the start for the Hoosiers when Michael Penix Jr., who was a game-time decision, was ruled out. Ramsey was victimized early and often by a relentless Ohio State pass rush that totaled five sacks and 12 tackles for loss. Chase Young led the way, recording 2.5 tackles for loss and two sacks to bring his season total to five sacks.
The tone was set from Indiana’s opening drive, which lasted all of three plays and lost four yards. A 40-yard punt by Indiana punter Haydon Whitehead brought the Ohio State offense out for their first drive with prime field position at the Indiana 41 yard line.
But after moving the ball to the Indiana 15 yard line, the Ohio State offense was turned away without points after Blake Haubeil missed a 32-yard field goal attempt.
The missed field goal proved to be of little consequence, however. After another three and out by the Indiana offense, Fields engineered a nine-play, 68-yard drive that ended with him scampering to the end zone from three yards out to give Ohio State an early 7-0 lead.
Indiana would cut the lead to 7-3 on the ensuing drive on a 29-yard field goal from Logan Justus, but that’s as close as the Hoosiers would get on the day.
Fields’ 37-yard touchdown pass to Chris Olave made it 14-3 with 11:26 left in the second quarter, and Olave wasn’t done making an impact on the game.
Following another Indiana drive that lasted only three plays and went for negative yardage, Olave blocked Whitehead’s punt. The ball bounced out of the back of the Indiana end zone for a safety, upping the Ohio State lead to 16-3 with 10:15 still left in the first half.
Ohio State scored on its next two drives on a Fields touchdown pass to K.J. Hill for nine yards and a 26-yard scoring scamper from Dobbins, increasing the Buckeye lead to 30-3 and ending any question of whether the Buckeyes would at all stumble in their first road game of the season.
Indiana finally found the end zone shortly before the first half on a double pass from receiver Donovan Hale to tight end Peyton Hendershot that went for 49 yards and a touchdown, but that rout was in full swing as the two teams headed into the locker room.
As if there were any doubt about the outcome of the game, there was no letting up from Ohio State as the second half got underway.
Fields capped a seven-play, 75-yard drive opening drive with a touchdown pass to Dobbins to up the Ohio State lead to 37-10.
With Dobbins’ day finished midway through the third quarter, Master Teague III got in on the scoring with a 40-yard touchdown that increased the score to 44-10.
Fittingly, the scoring ended with the defense capping off their performance by putting points on the board. With Indiana threatening to get into the end zone in the fourth quarter, senior cornerback Damon Arnette stepped in front of a Ramsey pass for an interception, racing 96 yards to the end zone and pushing the lead to its final count at 51-10.
The Buckeyes will return home next Saturday to finish their non-conference schedule against Miami (OH). Kickoff is set for 3:30 p.m.