Ohio State Game Grades vs. Indiana
The Ohio State Buckeyes did not play their best game of the season, but defeated the Indiana Hoosiers 38-17 Saturday to improve to 5-0. J.T. Barrett didn't exceed 100 yards passing, but he broke the century mark in the rushing department. Mike Weber had two touchdowns rushing, and the "Silver Bullets" were stingy against Indiana's running game.
Here are my game grades for Ohio State's performance.
Rushing Offense: B
The run game was the offense's focal point Saturday afternoon. Barrett had 26 carries for 137 yards rushing and a touchdown. The 26 carries is probably much more than head coach Urban Meyer wants out of Barrett, but with passing yards coming at a premium, Barrett was left to carry the bulk of the load. Mike Weber had 15 carries for 71 yards and two touchdowns, and Curtis Samuel had a touchdown as well. The offensive line did a fantastic job opening up gaping holes in the run game, helping the Buckeyes gain 290 yards on the ground.
Passing Offense: D
To say it nicely, Barrett had a rough day. He did not complete a pass for positive yards in the second or third quarter, and until a 37-yard touchdown to Dontre Wilson late in the game, he only had 53 yards passing on the day. Barrett finished 9-of-21 for 93 yards with one touchdown. He did throw an interception, but it was tipped, and Marcus Baugh probably should have caught it.
Rushing Defense: A
Ohio State proved once again why it has one of college football's best front sevens. The Buckeyes gave up just 99 yards rushing to Devine Redding and the Indiana offense. It seemed as if Jerome Baker was in on every tackle in the run game. A critical goal-line stand that ended with freshman Nick Bosa stuffing Redding on 4th-and-1 deep in Buckeye territory in the fourth quarter showed the bend-don't break effort from a defense that still has not allowed a rushing touchdown this season.
Passing Defense: B
Aside from a Malik Hooker pick-six that was called back late in the fourth quarter and a couple of nice plays on the ball to break up passes, Ohio State's pass defense looked less than impressive.
Denzel Ward was beaten for a long ball. Indiana scored a touchdown on a screen pass the secondary defended poorly, and another touchdown was given up on a completely busted coverage. Indiana quarterback Richard Lagow had success on slant routes, which Ohio State has struggled with. Although the unit got a strip-sack that led to an Ohio State score, the defensive line's pass rush was not great.
Special Teams: B
Cameron Johnston was incredible punting the ball, although he did have a touchback on a punt that should have been downed deep in Indiana territory. Johnston averaged 49.2 yards per punt and is making a very strong case to be the country's best punter.
Tyler Durbin was solid again Saturday afternoon, going 5-of-5 on extra points and hitting a 37-yard field goal. He did land a kickoff out of bounds, giving Indiana good field position, which led to a touchdown drive.
Ohio State's kick coverage was less than impressive, giving up a long return beyond the Indiana 40. On kick returns, Parris Campbell had a good day, returning a kick all the way to the Indiana 4-yard line setting up an easy touchdown late in the second quarter.
The Buckeyes were sloppy for most of the day offensively, but as head coach Urban Meyer loves to say, "The best thing about being 5-0 is the chance to go 6-0." A big game takes place next Saturday night as the Buckeyes will travel to Madison, Wisconsin, to take on the Badgers in a night game.
How do you think Ohio State looked against Indiana? Let me know what you thought in the comment section below!