Ohio State-Indiana | Rob Oller's Second Thoughts

Rob Oller
Indiana Hoosiers quarterback Peyton Ramsey (12) fumbles the ball in front of Ohio State Buckeyes linebacker Malik Harrison (39) during the second quarter of the NCAA football game at Memorial Stadium in Bloomington, Ind. on Saturday, Sept. 14, 2019. [Adam Cairns/Dispatch]

• Play-action passes mixed with a downhill run game are the bread and butter of the Buckeyes’ offense. The two complement each other, providing a wrinkle seldom witnessed under Urban Meyer, who ran his offense from the shotgun. Credit the move to coach Ryan Day’s time in the NFL, where QBs line up under center with the running back behind. “Last year was different with Dwayne (Haskins Jr.),” Day said. “This year, with multiple tight ends, a big and veteran offensive line, and we’re creating depth at running back; to be able to do that and throw play action passes is really the ideal.”

• I don’t think Justin Fields played poorly, but by his own admission his play slipped a bit. “I was a little off. I’m not sure why,” he said. “The first two games I was setting my feet well, but today I struggled with that. I’m glad it happened. It’s a learning opportunity.” Fields is most accurate in the pocket — although he missed two deep passes against Indiana — and not just because of the protection. His footwork sometimes breaks down when rolling out. Instead of setting his feet, he throws on the run, resulting in accuracy issues. Something to keep an eye on.

• For a few minutes in the first quarter the game had an odd feel, not unlike the Iowa and Purdue upsets of the past two seasons. Fields missed open receivers. J.K. Dobbins dropped a touchdown pass. Just a weird "here we go" vibe. Then it flipped in a hurry, with Chris Olave blocking a punt for a safety. A small sample size, yes, but it seems these Buckeyes have that certain je ne sais quoi to overcome mental and emotional meltdowns against less talented opponents. Not ready to make a hard and fast prediction, but I don’t see a shocking setback happening soon. Translated: OSU will cover next week against Miami.

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