Game Observations: Ohio State Offense vs. Indiana

Ryan Day thought Justin Fields had a really gutsy performance against a gritty, physical Indiana defense.
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491, 526, 517 and 607.

Those numbers represent the Buckeyes total offensive output in their first four games of the 2020 season. While they sit at 4-0 on the year with wins of varying degrees, one thing is for certain - nobody in the Big Ten has thus far been able to slow down this juggernaut offense.

Frankly, Indiana's defense caused Justin Fields and company the most trouble and they gave up the most yards from scrimmage. 

The Hoosiers intercepted Fields three times in 30 passes after he threw three career interceptions in his first 476 pass attempts. They blitzed him nearly every single time he didn't hand off the football (which happened 35 times). The Buckeyes best weapon looked panicked for the first time all year.

And yet, for as sloppy as he was on a handful of plays, how can you argue with the overall performance? Five offensive touchdowns is a good day's work. Yes, they only scored once in the final seven possessions on Saturday and Indiana had the football, down one score, on the final play of the day. But I'll take a 300-yard passing, 300-yard rushing game every single time.

Master Teague was fantastic. He ran hard and kept a low pad level. He was harder than usual to tackle when he ran behind directly downhill. He also snapped off a couple of big carries, including a 41-yard touchdown run. Teague finished the game with a career-high 26 carries and 169 yards with two touchdowns. Trey Sermon also had a good day. I will never complain about a team that averages more than 6 yards per carry when they run the ball 50 times in one game.

Ohio State vs. Indiana Magazine Cover

Garrett Wilson continues to be a homerun threat. While Chris Olave earned most of the pre-season attention as the top returning target, it's Wilson who has erupted so far this season. It's hard to imagine him not being considered as an All-American thus far. With his fourth consecutive 100+ yard game, Wilson trails only Buckeye legend Cris Carter in program history after he racked up 100 or more yards in five straight contests back in 1986. Olave also eclipsed the century mark for the third time in four games.

Indiana finished the game with 5 sacks and one additional tackle for loss. It wasn't the offensive line's best game, but they certainly weren't a liability. Indiana's pass-rush presented as intricate a challenge as Ohio State has seen.

When asked about how much time Master Teague and the running back group spent on pass protection this week, Teague said, "it's probably the most we've ever worked on it since I've been here. We worked a lot on that. We knew that they were going to be coming hard and they did. I've never been part of a game where they blitzed that much."

All in all, I think the offense continues to improve. Turnovers are costly and they were able to out-score their mistakes today. But the balance and big-play-ability of this group continues to be among the best in college football and it's going to take an impressive effort to beat them.


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