Halftime Score: Ohio State 28, Indiana 7
Justin Fields has been under constant duress in the first half, which I certainly expected. The Hoosiers know they aren't likely to win unless the dial up the pressure on Fields. They've had some exotic blitzes that have really worked well, including a couple where two middle linebackers and a safety all came gunning for Fields right down the heart of the line of scrimmage. After connecting on an early 65-yard pass on their first play from scrimmage, Fields has looked far more mortal than in his first three games.
Perhaps this is the day Ohio State's rushing attack really has a chance to make its presence felt. The Buckeyes balanced backfield has run the ball fine this year, but they haven't been the focal point of the offense thus far. Master Teague picked up some really tough yardage to keep the Buckeye offense on schedule before he ripped off a big 41-yard score.
Trey Sermon also ran well in the first half. As a team, the Buckeyes are averaging 8.5 yards per carry so far, which is fabulous.
I'm impressed by Indiana's resolve. They absorbed a major jab-cross combo punch in the first two minutes of the game and they've continued to swing back. Ohio State's defense has done a terrific job on first down plays and has forced the Hoosiers into some uncomfortable spots. IU has really struggled on third downs, converting just 1-of-7 so far.
The Buckeye secondary continues to need some work. They've had a couple busted coverages that have turned into huge gains for Indiana. Those two plays have gone for 68 and 51 yards, or in other words 119 of the 191 yards of offense the entire first half. So far, they've been able to out-score their mistakes, but that has to be a huge point of emphasis if this team wants to bring home a trophy in January.
Nick Petit-Frere has been steady all season at right tackle, but he made back-to-back critical mistakes on the final two plays of the first quarter. He missed a block that allowed a defender to come untouched at Fields one play, and followed it up with a drive stalling holding penalty.
Josh Proctor, Baron Browning and Pete Werner have played well and have each delivered some massive hits.
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