BLOOMINGTON – It was an ending reminiscent of past meetings between Indiana and Ohio State, but without the fight so often showcased by the Hoosiers against the Big Ten East's premier team.
Saturday's 51-10 victory by No. 6 Ohio State (3-0, 1-0) at Memorial Stadium came as the visitors barely broke a sweat against Indiana (2-1, 0-1).
Ohio State junior running back J.K. Dobbins shedded Indiana tacklers left and right, posting 193 rushing yards on 22 carries in a performance similar to his 2017 freshman debut, also against the Hoosiers. Sophomore quarterback Justin Fields was just as effective for the Buckeyes with three passing touchdowns and 199 yards.
The Buckeyes never trailed in the contest and had a double-digit lead for the final three quarters of it.
A stark on-field contrast between the teams emerged in the second quarter as the Buckeyes scored 23 straight points. Ohio State's three touchdown drives in the period all took less than two-and-a-half minutes, and the scoring also featured a safety after Indiana senior punter Haydon Whitehead saw his punt blocked out the back of the end zone.
Indiana's offense struggled with redshirt junior quarterback Peyton Ramsey at the controls. Redshirt freshman starter Michael Penix Jr. was ruled out through an unspecified injury prior to kickoff, and in his place Ramsey failed to produce the explosive plays and passing ability showcased by Penix in his first two games.
Ramsey's final line of 19 for 33 for 162 yards was marred by short completions and overthrows on longer routes. The Hoosiers gained 27 yards or less on five of their first six offensive drives.
Redshirt freshman quarterback Jack Tuttle also saw action for the second straight game.
Establishing the run game also seemed to go by the wayside for Kalen DeBoer's offense. Indiana running backs combined for 13 rushing attempts.
The lone offensive spark of the first half came while the Hoosiers were down 30-3 as a trick play saw Ramsey lateral the ball to senior receiver Donavan Hale, who then found then found junior tight end Peyton Hendershot downfield for a 49-yard touchdown pass.
Ohio State's lone two drives of the third quarter both resulted in touchdowns as well, and both went at least 75 yards in less than four minutes.
The crowning moment of the rout came as the clock ran out on the third quarter. Ramsey and the Hoosiers were on the doorstep of scoring, facing a third and goal from the Ohio State 8-yard line. What followed was a 96-yard interception returned for a touchdown by Buckeye senior defensive back Damon Arnette.
The outcome came close to matching the largest margin of victory in the series between the teams, as Ohio State beat Indiana 56-0 back in 1957.
Indiana will look to get back on track next week with its final non-conference game against Connecticut at home. Ohio State also has a home non-conference game to look forward to at home against Miami (OH).