If you’re one of the people believing Ohio State wasn’t worthy of its high preseason ranking during the first half of Thursday night’s game vs. Indiana, it’s OK. Now’s your opportunity to take back your snap judgments.
After trailing 14-13 at halftime, Ohio State outscored Indiana 36-7 over the final 30 minutes to decisively win 49-21.
Indiana stayed in the game in the first half as Ohio State’s offense looked disjointed and Hoosier receivers made some spectacular catches. But once Parris Campbell was off to the races in the second half, the game was over.
After Indiana went up 21-20, Campbell scored a 74-yard touchdown, sprinting away from the Indiana defense after a short reception. The catch made up — at least somewhat — for a wide-open touchdown drop that Campbell had in the first half.
The Buckeyes might have found a new star at running back too. Freshman J.K. Dobbins, starting in place of the injured Mike Weber, had 29 carries for 181 yards and showed off moves like this.
Ohio State hired former Indiana coach Kevin Wilson as the team’s offensive coordinator in January to spark an offense that needed some creativity in the pass game. That creativity wasn’t there in the first half, as QB J.T. Barrett seemed out of sync with his receivers.
But as OSU marched 85 yards down the field on its first possession of the second half, things started to get rolling. The Buckeyes scored four touchdowns on their last five drives and looked like a preseason top five team. It’s almost like judging an entire season after a half of football is a bit presumptuous.
Indiana’s inability to run the ball was its undoing, especially in the second half. The one-dimensional air attack kept the Hoosiers in the game for the first 38 minutes or so, but once Ohio State’s defensive gameplan shifted totally to defending the pass, Indiana was toast.
QB Richard Lagow finished 40-65 for 410 yards with three touchdowns and two interceptions. As a team, Indiana had 17 carries for 27 yards rushing. Morgan Ellison was the team’s leading rusher with a stout seven carries for 24 yards.
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