ANALYSIS: 5 things to know about Ohio State’s rout of Indiana

COLUMBUS -- Ohio State improved to 10-0 with a 56-14 shellacking of Indiana on Saturday.

The final point spread was large, but some new faces had to step up for the Buckeyes.

Here are five things to know about the game:

1. The passing game bounced back big time.

After swirling winds helped Northwestern hold Ohio State below 100 yards passing, the Buckeyes went over 300 yards in the air for the fifth time this season.

C.J. Stroud completed 17 of 28 passes for 297 yards and five touchdowns while reserve Kyle McCord completed both of his tries in garbage time for a total of 25 yards.

“There was a little bit of an edge to the offense this week,” Ohio State head coach Ryan Day said. “I think that was all week in practice. And we’re going to keep that going, that’s how we’re going to reach our goals here.”

ExplorePHOTOS: Ohio State vs. Indiana

2. Nine different Buckeyes caught a pass.

Marvin Harrison Jr. caught a game-high seven passes for 135 yards and a touchdown while tight end Cade Stover caught two more touchdown passes, but the biggest moment came in the fourth quarter.

That’s when Stroud found senior captain Kam Babb from eight yards out, a play that seemed to many like it would never come as Babb battled back from four major knee surgeries.

“The past five years, that’s always what’s been a dream of mine: that whenever I catch a touchdown, whatever it is, to get on my knees, and give it to Him; to Jesus Christ,” Babb said of his reaction in the end zone after his first career catch. “That’s the only hope that I truly have. I love football. I love what it can do for so many people, and in this world with a whole bunch of stuff going on and so many people need hope if I could shine the light that Jesus had given me, give that to others. I think that was my responsibility. So that moment has kind of been in my mind for the past five years.”

Credit: Paul Vernon

Credit: Paul Vernon

3. Ohio State had to go deep at running back.

Miyan Williams ran for 147 yards and a touchdown, but he left the game with an apparent foot or ankle injury in the second quarter.

With fellow top back TreVeyon Henderson already out and another potential reserve — Chip Trayanum — also sidelined, that left Ohio State with just one scholarship back who was healthy.

Dallan Hayden responded by running for 102 yards on 19 carries, the second 100-yard game for the true freshman from Tennessee.

Xavier Johnson, a senior from Cincinnati who began his career as a walk-on running back but moved to receiver, saw time in the backfield, and he did more than just fill in. Johnson had a zig-zagging 71-yard touchdown run and also caught two passes for 47 yards.

Credit: Paul Vernon

Credit: Paul Vernon

4. Connor Bazelak started the game for Indiana, but he did not finish it.

The junior quarterback from Alter, who missed last week’s game with an assortment of injuries according to head coach Tom Allen, returned Saturday to take the first snap.

He completed three of five passes for 12 yards in three drives before being replaced by freshman Dexter Williams II.

Allen told reporters after the game no decision had been made on next week’s starter and that getting Williams into the game was also part of the plan.

The youngster finished 6-for-19 for 107 yards and two touchdowns. He also ran for a team-high 46 yards despite absorbing four sacks.

“I liked what I saw,” Allen said. “Obviously it gives us more of a chance to do more things with him and see how he grows, but we still have to find guys on our roster that can help move the football on offense and get first downs — then eventually score points.”

5. Ohio State’s dominance of Indiana continued.

The Buckeyes beat Indiana for the 28th straight time, the longest active winning streak in the FBS according to the Ohio State sports information department.

OSU’s 78 wins over IU are the most against any opponent, and Ohio State has not lost to the Hoosiers since dropping back-to-back games in 1987 and ‘88.

Ohio State has also gone over the 30-point mark in the last 18 meetings.

Game ball

Lathan Ransom posted nine tackles, including 1.5 sacks, and broke up a pass. He also blocked a punt to set up the offense at the 2-yard line for an easy touchdown drive.

Stat of the game

Ohio State had over 600 total yards for the third time this season, but the short-yardage offense remained an issue as the Buckeyes converted only one of seven opportunities.

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