Ohio State Football: Buckeyes Get Job Done in Bloomington

Indiana's Jaylin Lucas (12) runs during the first half of the Indiana versus Ohio State football game at Memorial Stadium on Saturday, Sept. 2, 2023
Jack Sawyer and Lathan Ransom chase down Jaylin Lucas of Indiana / Image Credit: Rich Janzaruk, Herald-Times

Ohio State had a tougher time than expected but defeated the Hoosiers in the season opener.

The Buckeyes opened the year in Bloomington, Indiana with a 23-3 conference road win against the Indiana Hoosiers. There were some positives in this opener, but a handful of concerns as well.

Junior quarterback Kyle McCord got the start under center and had an up and down game. He finished 20/33 with 239 yards, zero touchdowns and one interception. He ran the ball twice for eight yards.

The rushing attack was one of the only bright spots on offense, and it was not led by who you would tend to think of. Chip Trayanum, a senior running back who burst onto the scene late last season, led the rushing attack with eight carries, 57 yards, and 7.1 yards per carry. TreVeyon Henderson had 12 carries for 47 yards on the ground, while Miyan Williams had 25 yards and found the endzone twice.

Tight End Cade Stover looked great in the passing game, and led the team in receiving yards with 98 on just five catches, including a 49-yard catch and run. Julian Fleming had a solid game as well, posting six catches for 58 yards.

Star receivers Marvin Harrison Jr. and Emeka Egbuka combined for just five catches, 34 yards, and zero touchdowns in the victory.

On the defensive side of the ball, the Silver Bullets may be back, and in full force. They held Indiana to just three points, and made some big plays when needed.

Linebackers Steele Chambers and Tommy Eichenberg combined for 10 total tackles and seven solo tackles. Tyleik Williams and J.T. Tuimoloau had a great game on the line posting a combined nine tackles and four solo tackles. The Buckeyes tallied six tackles for loss with zero turnovers, but were swarming all afternoon.

Looking at the team comparisons, neither team did well on third down as Ohio State converted just two out of 12 third downs, but did well on fourth down – converting two of three.

The Buckeyes had five penalties for 41 yards, an interception thrown by McCord, and had the ball for just over half the game at about 32 minutes.

Both the spread and over/under were far from hitting, as Ohio State was 11 points away from covering and the over was a whopping 34 points short from covering.

While the win was not as big as expected, a win is a win, and the Buckeyes have a lot they can now use to improve with a big game against Notre Dame in South Bend looming in under three weeks.

For now though, the Buckeyes will return to Columbus for two home games, this Saturday at noon against Youngstown State, followed by a 4:00 pm matchup with Western Kentucky the following Saturday.