Ohio State-Indiana | Ray Stein's Bottom Line

Staff Writer
Buckeye Xtra
Ohio State receiver Parris Campbell Jr. celebrates his touchdown with offensive lineman Demetrius Knox (78) during the first half. [Jonathan Quilter/Dispatch]

Ohio State’s ream for a shot at postseason glory lives to see another ay. The only problem is that the D seems to be missing from that sentence. The Buckeyes were sometimes horrendous on defense but rarely anything but stupendous on offense. Leaves are awarded on a zero-to-five basis. — Ray Stein

Offense (4)

No one is suggesting that three turnovers can be simply ignored. But the other pertinent stats — 609 yards, including 455 passing yards and six touchdowns by Dwayne Haskins Jr. — show that the adage is true: Ignorance is bliss. The Buckeyes on offense are a magic show that continues to turn heads.

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Defense (2)

The OSU defense, on the other hand, was a first-half stink bomb that turned stomachs. Improvements and adjustments, if not reinforcements, arrived after halftime, but only after a how-not-to display of missed tackles, poor angles and secondary play that bordered on amateur hour. Is this the new normal?

Special teams (3)

With the offense untracked, Drue Chrisman returned to his day job as undercover punter, and his two efforts consisted of a moon shot and a fouled-off bunt. Sean Nuernberger connected on all seven PAT tries, and Blake Haubeil counted zero return yards against on his eight kickoffs.

Coaching (2)

It’s not like everyone on the planet didn’t point out the pothole Ohio State needed to avoid after the Penn State jubilee, but still the Buckeyes stepped right in it with both feet. Oh, that. There was a whole bagful of curious: three timeouts burned in the first nine minutes, designed runs (!) by Haskins, defensive ineptitude.

Fun (2)

It was a game kind of like the weather. What should have been a splendid fall day turned into a sticky affair, and there seemed to be enough angst in the air engulfing Ohio Stadium as there was humidity. The crowd was pretty drowsy at first, then agitated and finally pleased in a why-did-that-take-so-long? way.

Opponent (3)

The Hoosiers and QB Peyton Ramsey gave OSU fits for the first two quarters, but they don’t award prizes for a job half-completed. In that same vein, Indiana displayed a passing offense that knew how to spin some hits, but the defense had more than its share of clunkers. Tom Allen brings the juice, though.

Officiating (2)

It was no proud day for the officials, either, who whiffed on all sorts of chances for gold stars. The big swing-and-a-miss was calling Indiana’s deep throw in the third quarter a catch on review when not a single TV replay angle showed the receiver’s elbow landing inbounds. Chase Young was victimized by another iffy personal foul, too.

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