Justin Fields had the worst game of his career and it almost bit Ohio State in the butt. But in the end, they were able to pull out the 42-35 victory over IU.
This was a game that was way too close. There were several times where it looked like Ohio State was going to pull away. It looked like that early after Ohio State scored in just two plays on their opening drive. Garrett Wilson caught both passes and it looked like the rout was on.
Then IU kept it tight for awhile, making it 7-7 early in the second quarter. The Buckeyes exploded for 28 unasnwered points after that. Master Teague couldn’t be stopped and was running over IU defenders. He finished with 26 carries for 169 yards and two touchdowns. He was great all game.
Fields was the big problem in the game. He threw three interceptions in this one, by far the most in any game of his career. All three were products of bad decision making too. He also ended up taking 5 sacks because he held onto the ball too long.
The Ohio State secondary was an abonimation. They got beat deep three separate times and let Penix Jr. throw for 491 yards and 5 touchdowns. The only good moment they had was when he threw a pick-six to Shaun Wade to make the game 42-21 in the third quarter.
IU got the game from 35-7 to 35-21 and then from 42-21 to 42-35. They never quit playing and exposed some serious flaws in the Buckeye defense. You can’t get burned for that many yards while also not putting any pressure on the quarterback.
In the end, Ohio State gets the win. A win is a win, no matter how you get it. But this is a team that does not look like a National Championship contender at the moment. They have several flaws that need to be fixed in the next three games before they potentially play in the Big Ten Championship.
Fields will be better in the future, but he has to realize that the decisions he made today will lose the Buckeyes football games against an elite team. Throwing for 300 yards doesn’t matter if you turn the ball over that many times.
Ryan Day is going to have an angry week of practice, I can tell you that much.