Hoosiers fall to No. 6 Ohio State, 51-10

The pummeling Indiana endured at the hands of No. 6 Ohio State could only be described as such.

Quarterback Peyton Ramsey used the words “punched in the mouth” for how the Buckeye defense blunted IU’s offensive attack Saturday in a 51-10 loss at Memorial Stadium.

Linebacker Reakwon Jones said all the Hoosiers could do was “take it on the chin like a man” and “fix it” after his defense failed to corral OSU running back J.K. Dobbins all afternoon.

For a program wishing it could close the gap with the Big Ten’s elite, this was more than a disappointing result. It’s a game the Hoosiers (2-1) will have to watch again, asking themselves why they lagged so far behind the Buckeyes (3-0) in Bloomington.

On the surface, there were a few immediate answers. IU couldn’t establish the run, gaining just nine yards in the first half (42 total). Dobbins, on the other hand, racked up 193 yards in two and a half quarters of play, running roughshod through a defense that continues to have issues  taking ballcarriers to the ground.

In the Hoosiers’ worst home loss to OSU ever (they lost by 40 in 1976), there was only so much to be gained from talking about it. IU intends to move past this one as quickly as possible.

“We learn what we learn from this, and flush it,” IU coach Tom Allen said.

There was a solitary “what if” from this game, because the Hoosiers were missing one important piece. Redshirt freshman Michael Penix Jr., who was ruled a game-time decision this week due to an undisclosed injury, suited up but did nothing more than hand Ramsey the ball during pregame warmups. 

The man Penix beat out for the starting job during fall camp wasn’t able to keep the Hoosier offense moving. IU started with two three-and-outs, falling behind 94 to minus-7 in total yards. The Buckeyes didn’t immediately take advantage, pushing a field goal wide right on their first drive.

But it was 7-3, OSU, heading into the second quarter, thanks in part to a 20-yard scramble by Ramsey to set up a 29-yard field goal by Logan Justus. But when it was all said and done, OSU gained 528 yards to the Hoosiers’ 257.

Ramsey couldn’t connect with his receivers for big plays. He was 19-of-33 passing for 162 yards and an interception, which resulted in a 96-yard pick-6 by Damon Arnette.

“It’s frustrating,” Ramsey said. “You have a really good week of prep, and to go out and play the way we did is definitely disappointing.”

Ohio State needed only the smallest of openings to pull away in the second quarter. An offsides penalty on the Buckeyes’ third-and-3 preceded the landslide, setting up a 37-yard touchdown from Justin Fields to Chris Olave.

Another three-and-out led to a blocked punt by Olave, which went out of the end zone for a safety. A 56-yard rush by J.K. Dobbins keyed another touchdown drive, capped by a nine-yard touchdown pass to K.J. Hill.

All of a sudden, it was 23-3, OSU, with 8:30 left in the second quarter.

“Blocked punts just make me sick,” Allen said. “You don’t win games when you have a punt blocked, if you go back and look at history. Very, very rare that happens.”

The special team mistakes continued when Haydon Whitehead shanked a punt 12 yards. OSU took over at its own 42, and Dobbins stuck a dagger in the Hoosiers with a 26-yard touchdown run, bulling his way to the goal line.

“We have to tackle,” Jones said. “We can’t afford to miss tackles. That’s something we are going to continue to work on through practice. Every day, I’m sure that’s going to be a big emphasis Coach Allen, Coach Kane (Wommack) are going to address.

“We left too many plays out there.”

Tackling is quickly becoming a concern, because the Hoosiers weren’t exactly sound in their opener versus Ball State. Their overall focus and effort were also up for question after such defeat.

“I think we just (got) off to a bad start and people started hanging their heads,” redshirt sophomore tight end Peyton Hendershot said.

He thought about the Hoosiers’ lopsided win over Eastern Illinois and figured that may have been a contributing factor as well.

“We were 2-0 and we just beat a team 52-0,” Hendershot added. “We thought we were really good, I guess is the word.”

Now the word is humbled, as Jones put it. Standing in the Hoosiers’ weight room, the senior linebacker was ready to get back to work.

“I just didn’t think (the effort) was there and we are going to get it addressed and we are going to get it fixed,” Jones said. “I’m not singling anybody out. I’m sure I probably didn’t do what I’m supposed to do, too.

“I’m going to take this on the chin as a learning experience and continue to grow.”


  1. Game was over after high volume pre game locker room pep talk by coach T.A. In relationships when someone disappears providing no resistance it is called ghosting. Today, IU ghosted OSU.

  2. Maryland goes down to Temple. Also the same result for Illinois vs. E. Michigan. If E. Mich. does well this season their HC Chris Creighton is going to have a P5 job next year. Tom Allen’s old boss has done a great job in Ypsilanti. Oh, also Kalen DeBoer’s old boss too.

    1. That addition could add stability to coaching staff for IU program with some adjustments in coaching staff positions. Just a thought. It seems that Temple has had some good football moments in recent years as well.
      Is the Penix issue more major than what is being told. I for one am curious. It would be entertaining or at least a little fun to get JT some chances at qb in the near future if Penix situation is on going.

  3. Maybe IU can hire Chris Creighton! He appears to know how to beat Big Ten teams. Always a good idea to hire people who have PROVEN their ability to do the job you’re hiring them to do. Fred Glass hires FB coaches and then hopes they’ll turnout O.K.. Hope is never a good strategy.

    IU’s defense is simply terrible at tackling. I watched re-runs of over a dozen plays after the game ended. Yes, they were often out of position, and yes OSU’s speed was superior, but IU’s defenders simply have terrible tackling technique. My concerns after the Ball State game have come to fruition.

    My guess is that TA has been too soft on this team. Maybe he’s been too concerned about keeping his players healthy and avoiding injuries? Specifically, I suspect the practices have not been physical enough; not enough hitting. I didn’t see any hard hits committed by IU today. IU was never going to win this game, but I’m disappointed in how soft they appeared, on both offense and defense. They were like lambs to the slaughter, today. Maybe TA has a little too much affection for his players.

  4. I am so glad that Indiana did not waste Penix in this game. Get healthy Michael we need you! After watching Peyton in action, I am amazed that our coaches had a “difficult” decision in starting Penix. It is obvious, not even close! There must have been a dozen plays where Penix gives you a chance to make the play and Ramsey does not. Tuttle is has a lot of work to put in, but he is potentially a player behind Penix. Tackling, tackling, tackling; no pass defense penalties; don’t pinch in on the D line and give up the edge. Indiana’s defense must improve, but we only play OSU once! MI, MSU and PSU are not in there league! Go win 7 IU!

  5. Please update your men’s Soccer and women’s Basketball sections. This is/will be a great season for each. Something is happening!

  6. I honestly don’t think the coaches had a tough decision at all. They has to have known it was NOT going to be Ramsey at the outset of camp, but perhaps played it tight to the vest to help keep the media pressure off of Penix; out of respect to Ramsey, who was the starter last year; and to keep a shroud of mystery over the first game.

    I had the misfortune (fortune?) of missing today’s game. Reading between the lines, my inclination is that the O-line got whacked something fierce by the OSU defense. When you see minus seven yards while OSU has 94, it’s primarily the O-line, not the quarterback or the running backs.

    Oh well, toss this one into the books and move on. IU still has a lot of season left. Funny how Maryland goes down to Temple, and Illinois goes down to E. Michigan. There’s still plenty of hope and reason for IU to have a good season.

  7. IUFB does have a lot of the season to go but they can’t keep playing like they have so far. It is time to buckle down in practice and get physical so they are ready for the teams coming up. I have been supportive of coach Hiller in the past but if the OL doesn’t improve then we need a change after the season is over. Our players on the OL have to move their feet better and be more physical.

    This game was discouraging but can be overcome to become a better team. I knew OSU was a better team this year than last year’s team but still hoped IU could rise up to the challenge. How good OSU is will be determined as the season goes along as they may be the best in the country.

    Any question about Penix being then starter when healthy got answered today. I don’t think there is any question why Penix needs to be the starter especially when going against the better defenses in the league. I just wish they would have put Tuttle in earlier and let him get more game experience.

    1. When you had a very upbeat outlook preseason about the offensive line, I tried to warn you that there were big concerns among the staff about that unit. Unfortunately, we’ve seen that come to pass in each of the first three games, and they weren’t competitive against Ohio State. Worse, yet don’t think they have the confidence of DeBoer or most of the other offensive coaches, and the game plans are starting to reflect that. Don’t be surprised if they try to jam it down UConn’s throat next week. Was told there will be more contact this week than usual because of the lack of physicality up front. Not a great locker room right now, but hope it turns better soon. Lots of question marks.

  8. V13, I don’t think anyone was questioning Penix as the starter. But as you say if the OL doesn’t improve significantly, Penix will not last long.

    Interesting TA after the game went to weekly evaluations on Penix availability.

    Would be interested to know from someone at the game if Penix was active in pregame warmups.

  9. As far as I see it Hiller should be booted out now. Hell a GA (Danny Friend) will do no worse or hire Howard Mudd for the remainder of the season. He’s forgot more about OL coaching than Hiller will ever know. 1st rule of LOS coaching is make the big boys mean. Any QB without even an average rushing attack if not doomed is certainly at a very sour disadvantage. Even Dan Marino couldn’t make the Dolphins winners. Get rid of Hiller now.

  10. I know teams make changes to coaching staffs. However, IU even with KW and now even more instability with TA there seems to be more coaching development going on than player development. Hype, talk, S and C etc. Disadvantage compared to a head coach that has his on already qualified staff in place. Aren’t coaches at this level supposed to be already developed and have some real proven track record. IU hired an OC and then a DC; a DC that tried to be DC and head coach at the same time as a new head coach. That was after the Lynch experiment.

  11. IU played sloppy, undisciplined football against Ball State and managed to still win. IU played sloppy, undisciplined football against Ohio State and got embarrassed. IU played a lot of sloppy, undisciplined football last year and the year before. At some point, a head coach is only as good as his team’s performances. I think the team is starting to lose belief in TA’s ability. And the fans are losing belief as well.

    1. Absurd comment! So after 2 full seasons at 5-7 and a through beat down by the #5-4-3 team in the land, when IU is still 2-1 you throw in your crying towel! Name the sloppy plays. No penalties for too many men on the field, no delay of game penalties, no lack of discipline unsportsmanlike conducts, etc. But, yes, plenty of lack of execution plays against superior players from the other team. Let’s see how IU plays against U Conn and MSU. 3-2 is OK, but 4-1 would be great!

      1. You just keep waving your pompoms BP. TA is now 2-15 against the Big Ten, not including FCS caliber Rutgers. Anyone who watched his childish speech before the game saw that the team has tuned him out. They know he’s too much of a simpleton to implement and execute a winning strategy against Ohio State or Michigan or Michigan State or Penn State or Nebraska or Northwestern or Jeff Brohm’s Purdue or even Mike Locksley’s Maryland.

        1. I didn’t see the childish speech….but why on earth can’t we get mature and down to earth leaders? Why must they all act like a kid in a candy store? Much like TV evangelists, it always comes across as a wild act for the cameras than any sincere investment in what is said. I sometimes wonder about the maturity of a youngster who even thrives on….or desires the presentation more than the calm and collected confidence. “Showmanship” always comes across to me as fear and insecurity.

          Glad we got away from this with Archie…Don’t know if it will translate and if the ‘low key’ demeanor of acting like it’s not your first rodeo will stick or translate to serious improvement to the product, but at least my eyeballs are getting a rest.

        2. I am one of the “anyone’s” and I did not see players tuning Coach Allen out, I saw an emotional charge. Some react to that approach others not so much. Your use of the term “simpleton” is very self revealing. It fits your analysis. We will see what happens with this season. MSU could not score against AZ St. And lost. PSU barely best Pitt at home. MI needed OT to get by Army at home. None of those teams are great. OSU looks to be great. Not having Penix definitely hurt IU in this game and the score line!

          1. How is something very revealing as opposed to just, revealing? Exactly how does that work? How was my statement “self revealing”? Were you attempting irony by writing a grammatically incorrect sentence? What do you think that sentence revealed about you? Does the term simpleton make you feel very insecure or just insecure?

      2. Exactly right BP. I did think the C&C would be more efficient against the Bucks because of IU’S past performance over the last 3-4 seasons. But I didn’t yet fathom how improved OSU could be. They’ve got it going on everywhere on the gridiron. They are at the least 30-35% stronger than in 2k18. The most of us were already considering an L Saturday but not prepared for possible sticker shock. I’ve let loose of it. Look forward to UConn.

  12. I’m certainly not ready to advocate firing TA at this point, but one can’t help notice that the gap appears to be getting wider between OSU and IU. We played them much tougher over the last three seasons than we did today. We couldn’t do anything today. Couldn’t tackle, couldn’t block, couldn’t catch passes, couldn’t punt. If we’re getting better talent, but our performances are worse, what does that suggest? I don’t think anyone expected IU to win today, but was it too much to expect that we be competitive, that we give OSU a battle, that we looked like a Big Ten team? I understand people’s frustrations. Today’s beat down on national TV was another humiliation for IU, and the few remaining people who care are getting real sick of it.

  13. Same old Indiana: over and over. Spring stories of breakout players, strong competition, bonding, team spirit. Summer stories pointing to making a difference, progress. Kick-off of real games? Same old Indiana. We’re basically just a competitive MAC program.

    Where are the B1G wins? MSU, Michigan and PSU look beatable. But can Indiana beat them? After the 1st 3 games, it doesn’t look like it. They need to clean it up. This team could use youth as an excuse last year. No more.

    1. DoubleDown coming through with some reality. DD was also one of the few who saw the light with Crean’s ineptitude while others were still in the grips of his hypnotic Dasani bottle cap trances and “Weaves to Nowhereland”…..

      Every year IU Football figures out new ways ineptitude can still get us to a Rubik’s Cube Bowl. Every year we solve most of the puzzle with cupcakes. We bet the rest of the marbles on the Oaken Bucket ….But will we ever solve OSU, Michigan, PSU….? Welcome again to “more of the same;” to gibberish, spin doctors, slogans and banners for tying your shoes and brushing your teeth….Most of you should be ashamed as to just how far you keep lowering the bar for our major sports programs.

  14. For all of us couch coaches, myself included, a little history to gauge our “woe is Indiana” feelings after this game: since 2001 Indiana has played in 3 Bowl games, and lost each one; 2007 was the only year that IU had a winning record in, 7-5, then lost the bowl game, 7-6; in each bowl year, 2007, 2015 and 2016, IU beat Purdue, in 2015 and 2016 Indiana was 6-6 before the bowl losses, then 6-7; in those 18 years IU had 5 records of 5-7, including these last 2 under Coach Allen; there are 9 seasons with a worse record than 5-7, only 8 with 5-7 or better, only 3 with a better record; the key to post season play for Indiana is to BeatPurdue!

    1. In the sense of accuracy, in 2001, IU was 5-6, slightly better than 5-7. Adjust those numbers accordingly.

  15. BP, beating Purdue this year won’t get IU to a bowl game unless IU produces at least three more wins by the time we play them. After yesterday’s performance, I don’t think anyone has a feel for where those three additional wins will come from. Assuming we can beat UConn, who are the other two teams IU is going to defeat before we play Purdue?

    1. We won’t win each of these but we will have a decent shot at each with a Penix at QB: Rutgers, MD, MSU, Northwestern, Nebraska. Win 3 of these 5 and and roll into West Lafayette with a cushion.

  16. So much depends on Penix getting healthy. But assuming he does, I see IU beating Rutgers, NW and Purdue. Don’t think Iu can beat NE, MSU, MI or PSU this season. But overall, I think we’re still a year away from a 6 – 6 regular season. Youth is still the problem. Young guys are very inconsistent.

    1. IU only has 25 Jr and Sr on the team, so yes, they are young but it is no reason for the team to play the way they have this past weekend. There are enough older players that should be leading the young ones on how to prepare for games and come out fired up.

      One of the things I now wonder about is how much it impacted the team to have Penix miss the game. No, he couldn’t have won the game if he played but the way the other players deflated after two 3 and outs I wonder how much him missing the game contributed to the let down. I know it had many fans anticipating IU getting blown out without him running the offense and it isn’t a stretch to think it had the same impact on the team.

  17. talent gap is far apart ..plus coaching .. but its really the talent gap .. hard to grab the talent without winning.. and top recruits want a major bowl .. and colleges that put them in the pros…

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