There was a little bit of nervous tension heading into the Indiana game for Ohio State on Saturday. After all, the Hoosiers gave the Buckeyes all they could handle and more last season. Of course, things have been much different in Bloomington so far this year, but the potential was still there with so many guys back.
Ohio State went into Memorial Stadium and put the game out of reach pretty early and headed into the locker room up 44-7. There weren’t a whole lot of fireworks from there, but OSU basically put it on cruise control and got a lot of young guys some experience on the way to a 54-7 route.
After every game, we like to take stock in what we saw and we’re doing the same here. We’re giving you five things we think we learned from the route of Indiana on Saturday.
This offense might be the best we've ever seen at Ohio State
Ohio State Buckeyes quarterback C.J. Stroud (7) celebrates a 16-yard touchdown to wide receiver Chris Olave (2) during the second quarter of the NCAA football game at Memorial Stadium in Bloomington, Ind. on Saturday, Oct. 23, 2021. Credit: USA TODAY Sports
It’s not overblown. This offense is perhaps the most dynamic and varied that we’ve ever seen at Ohio State. It’s a balanced offense that can hang its hat on either the run or the pass if needed. You could make the argument that the Buckeyes have the best wide receiver, running back, and quarterback in the country and not look foolish.
This offensive line is mauling and protecting at the same time
Ohio State Buckeyes running back TreVeyon Henderson (32) celebrates a 21-yard touchdown with offensive tackle Nicholas Petit-Frere (78) during the first quarter of the NCAA football game against the Indiana Hoosiers at Memorial Stadium in Bloomington, Ind. on Saturday, Oct. 23, 2021. Credit: USA TODAY Sports
The offensive line for Ohio State continues to improve despite never really being fully healthy. One of the top five on the line this season, Harry Miller, has still not been able to get into a game, yet the five that OSU is rolling out there is opening up some pretty big lanes for some talented ball-carriers. But that’s not all, the line has also kept the pocket cleaner than a bleached 5-star hotel sheet. There’s a reason this unit was recognized as one of the teams by the Joe Moore Award.
The defensive line is starting to get more pressure on opposing offenses
Oct 23, 2021; Bloomington, Indiana, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes defensive tackle Ty Hamilton (58) celebrates with defensive end Zach Harrison (9) after a sack against the Indiana Hoosiers during the second quarter at Memorial Stadium. Credit: Marc Lebryk-USA TODAY Sports
Remember early on when there was a ton of hand-wringing and teeth-gnashing over the defense? Some of that had to do with the defensive line not getting to the quarterback or in the backfield as we thought. It was supposed to be the strength of the defense and cover-up some youth on the back-end. But something was amiss. Now, though, there are signs of life. Haskell Garrett and Tyleik Williams have been monsters in the middle, and we’ve seen guys like Zach Harrison and J.T. Tuimoloau start to crank up things on the edge as well. OSU had a bushel of sacks in this one, and if that continues, the defense will continue to look a whole lot better.
The youth on this team is incredible
Ohio State Buckeyes running back TreVeyon Henderson (32) runs past Indiana Hoosiers wide receiver David Baker (4) for a 6-yard touchdown during the second quarter of the NCAA football game at Memorial Stadium in Bloomington, Ind. on Saturday, Oct. 23, 2021. Credit: USA TODAY Sports
Of course, you know about TreVeyon Henderson and C.J. Stroud, but there’s plenty of young talent besides those guys just waiting in the wings. This game got out of hand early, and we saw guys like running back Evan Pryor, wide receiver Marvin Harrison, Jr., and quarterback Kyle McCord still going toe-to-toe with an Indiana squad that’s still an FBS team that has played with teams like Michigan State and Cincinnati. And the success continued even still. That’s before we even talk about receiver Emeka Egbuka, defensive end Jack Sawyer, or quarterback Quinn Ewers. This Ohio State team is going to be at the top of the college football world for some more years still.
Ohio State is the best team in the Big Ten hands down
Oct 23, 2021; Bloomington, Indiana, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes quarterback C.J. Stroud (7) hands the ball off to running back Miyan Williams (28) before a game against the Indiana Hoosiers at Memorial Stadium. Credit: Marc Lebryk-USA TODAY Sports
We couldn’t say this early on in the season, but it is becoming increasingly clear that Ohio State is still king of the Big Ten. For a bit there we thought Iowa, Michigan, Michigan State, and Penn State were going to be problems for OSU this year, but no longer. It’s not like there won’t still be tests going forward, but all of those teams have been exposed to some extent along the way since. It’s looking like that game against Michigan at the end of the year might be a big one, but we’ll just have to see. At this point, OSU’s talent is coming around and the offense looks almost unstoppable. As the defense continues to come around, the ceiling is very high for the Buckeyes. However, the king is still on the throne.