No. 3 Ohio State confirmed it has what’s essential to win the Big Ten championship.
The Buckeyes used the identical all-weather system to beat one more ranked Big Ten foe in a 42-35 victory in opposition to No. 9 Indiana on Saturday. However, the Hoosiers rallied within the second half and uncovered what may very well be Ohio State’s undoing if it is not mounted earlier than the Big Ten championship and College Football Playoff.
Ohio State (4-0, 4-0 Big Ten) can run the ball and cease the run. The Buckeyes can cross, too — however can they cease the cross? It is that straightforward shifting ahead. Indiana (4-1, 4-1 Big Ten) left that cliffhanger on the market after quarterback Michael Penix Jr. completed 27 of 51 passing for 491 yards and 5 touchdowns whereas main a powerful second-half comeback.
The Hoosiers had alternatives to win the sport. Ty Fryfogle (7 catches, 218 yards, three touchdowns) dropped a fourth-and-2 cross within the first quarter. David Ellis fumbled within the purple zone within the second quarter. Penix threw a pick-six to Shaun Wade within the third quarter. Indiana can lament missed alternatives and nonetheless work towards a possible New Year’s Day 6 berth.
The Buckeyes have nationwide championship aspirations, nonetheless, and that path stays open regardless of the clean-up wanted. Heisman Trophy contender Justin Fields (18 of 30, 300 yards, two touchdowns, three interceptions) matched his interception complete for his profession within the victory. Fields threw two first-quarter picks and took two sacks, however a few of these struggles may be attributed to getting away from what labored within the first half.
Ohio State constructed a 28-7 lead with a dominant operating recreation. Master Teague scored on a 41-yard landing run, then added a 2-yard landing run on the following possession. Fields spun out of a sack and dashed for a 9-yard landing with 17 seconds left within the half. Teague (26 carries, 169 yards), Fields (15 carries, 78 yards) and Trey Sermon (9 carries, 60 yards) led a dashing assault that had 23 dashing makes an attempt for 196 yards by halftime. Ohio State completed with 50 carries for 307 dashing yards.
The lesson? The Buckeyes can win the Big Ten championship with this dashing assault. Indiana, which rushed 16 instances for unfavorable yardage, may need been in a position to steal this top-10 showdown with a greater operating recreation.
So, what concerning the cross protection? That’s going to be the topic of criticism this week. Ohio State allowed six cross performs of 25 yards or extra within the victory, together with 4 cross performs of fifty yards or extra. Those protection breakdowns led to twenty-eight second-half factors for the Hoosiers.
That won’t matter via the remainder of the Big Ten common season in opposition to Illinois, Michigan State and Michigan, however the Big Ten West champion — which may very well be Wisconsin and quarterback Graham Mertz — can expose that. So can the College Football Playoff contenders, which can characteristic Heisman Trophy-level quarterbacks throughout the board.
The excellent news? Ohio State has time to repair that. The protection did shut down the Hoosiers on two potential game-tying drives. The Buckeyes improved to 14-0 in opposition to ranked Big Ten groups since second-year coach Ryan Day joined Urban Meyer’s employees as an assistant in 2017. That’s a part of an 18-game successful streak in opposition to ranked convention opponents for the reason that 17-14 loss to No. 9 Michigan State on Nov. 21, 2015.
Other contenders will observe Indiana’s blueprint with higher dashing assaults to assist it. Now, it is on Ohio State to a minimum of decelerate the cross if it needs to win its first nationwide championship since 2014.
Ohio State vs. Ranked Big Ten groups
|Nov. 28, 2015||No. 8 Ohio State||42||No. 12 Michigan||13|
|Oct. 15, 2016||No. 2 Ohio State||30||No. 8 Wisconsin||23|
|Nov. 5, 2016||No. 6 Ohio State||62||No. 9 Ohio State||3|
|Nov. 26, 2016||No. 2 Ohio State||30||No. 3 Michigan||27|
|Oct. 28, 2017||No. 6 Ohio State||39||No. 2 Penn State||38|
|Nov. 11, 2017||No. 11 Ohio State||48||No. 13 Michigan State||3|
|Dec. 2, 2017||No. 8 Ohio State||27||No. 3 Wisconsin||21|
|Sept. 29, 2018||No. 4 Ohio State||27||No. 9 Penn State||26|
|Nov. 10, 2018||No. 8 Ohio State||26||No. 24 Michigan State||6|
|Nov. 24, 2018||No. 10 Ohio State||62||No. 4 Michigan||39|
|Dec. 1, 2018||No. 6 Ohio State||45||No. 21 Northwestern||24|
|Oct. 5, 2019||No. 4 Ohio State||34||No. 25 Michigan State||10|
|Oct. 26, 2019||No. 3 Ohio State||38||No. 13 Wisconsin||7|
|Nov. 23, 2019||No. 2 Ohio State||28||No. 9 Penn State||17|
|Nov. 30, 2019||No. 2 Ohio State||56||No. 10 Michigan||27|
|Dec. 7, 2019||No. 2 Ohio State||34||No. 10 Wisconsin||21|
|Oct. 31, 2020||No. 3 Ohio State||49||No. 18 Penn State||27|
|Nov. 21, 2020||No. 3 Ohio State||42||No. 9 Indiana||35|