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Snap Judgments: Buckeyes overpower Indiana in Big Ten opener

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Ohio State running back J.K. Dobbins fueled the blowout win for the Buckeyes at Indiana. (Birm/Lettermen Row)

Ohio State Football

Snap Judgments: Buckeyes overpower Indiana in Big Ten opener

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — Turns out talent travels well for Ohio State.

The first few weeks of the season were supposed to be an acclimation period. By now, the new coach, new quarterback and new defense conversation is probably getting old — but that’s really only because none of those things have impacted the Buckeyes at all.

Ryan Day took his squad on the road for the first time this season as Ohio State opened Big Ten play at Indiana, and once again the huge advantage in personnel fueled an utterly dominant performance. The Buckeyes made a division opponent that came into the matchup at Memorial Stadium with confidence look like nothing more than a tuneup, crushing the Hoosiers in a 51-10 win that continues the strong start to the campaign.

What does that victory mean for Ohio State? Lettermen Row has full coverage of the rout coming here, and it all starts with Snap Judgments.

J.K. Dobbins clicking into high gear for Buckeyes

Just in case J.K. Dobbins didn’t make it clear enough last week that he was upset about the way he started the season, the junior doubled down with one of the most impressive performances of his career. Perhaps it was fitting that Dobbins was pushing the pedal to the metal back at the site of his famous debut as a freshman, because his patient, prolific opening half against the Hoosiers also offered a reminder of how much he’s improved in his third year in the program. Dobbins didn’t force anything that wasn’t there, he relished any contact from defenders, fought to move piles and showed off his speed in the open field. Just about the only blemish was a dropped touchdown in the first half, but he certainly made up that mistake after that — and wound up catching a touchdown in the second half anyway.

Chase Young-Ohio State-Buckeyes-Ohio State football

Ohio State defensive end Chase Young was a wrecking ball against Indiana. (Birm/Lettermen Row)

Defensive progress is legit for Ohio State

If it takes a trick play to finally score a touchdown, that’s a good sign that the traditional approach isn’t going to work against the retooled Silver Bullets. There were a couple times where Indiana looked like it might have been able to exploit the Buckeyes if they had been playing with last year’s effort. But the space closes down a hell of a lot faster this season with the way those gifted athletes are rallying to the football. At this point it’s not really a new development, but Chase Young is an absolute monster and is really ramping up his push to be the No. 1 overall draft pick next spring.

Ohio State offensive line turning into maulers

Both Dobbins and Master Teague deserve a lot of credit for the aggressive, physical rushing style they unleashed on Indiana. But nothing is really possible on the ground without effective blocking up front, and Ohio State continued it’s early-season rise with a unit that has four new full-time starters. The Buckeyes may not have been perfect from start to finish, but there were gaping holes for the rushing attack and Justin Fields had more than enough time to operate in the pocket at quarterback. The attention will go to the marquee guys who are getting a little Heisman Trophy traction, but it’s the offensive linemen putting them in position to succeed.

Thayer Munford-Ohio State-Buckeyes-Ohio State football

Ohio State left tackle Thayer Munford anchored another solid outing for the Buckeyes. (Birm/Lettermen Row)

Damon Arnette proving doubters wrong

Damon Arnette only needed one healthy hand to keep proving why he’s one of the most important factors in the turnaround of the Ohio State defense. Obviously the senior took his share of criticism a year ago, but it’s looking more clear than ever that either poor coaching or bad schemes were the problem — not a lack of ability for the cornerback. With a couple passes broken up and the fifth-longest interception return in school history in the win over Indiana, Arnette sent a message even with a cast on one hand. He’s earned the right to put a healthy finger to his lips and silence his critics.

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Vicvod
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Vicvod

Good opening conference game win. Defense needs to quit dropping interceptions. Besides that they played great. Master Teague is a beast. Perfect complement to Dobbins.

Larry
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Larry

Mixing up the O with shotgun and going under center will keep the opposing D’s guessing. I like it!!!

Steven Borysiak
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Steven Borysiak

As good as the Buckeyes were last season, I think we would have gotten torched by Bama or Clemson, because the OSU D was so weak. Not this year. And on offense, Fields is only going to get better. As good as Haskins was, Fields is also a threat to run the ball and give opposing defenses something else to ponder.

Brian Clark
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Brian Clark

The defensive line looked like pros against college kids. There is NOT a weak link on that D line. The 3rd string would start at most Big 10 schools. The only concern I have so far is the LBs. I’m just not sold on Borland and Werner at all. I’ll take Browning and Mitchell at ILB all day over Borland. Id also take Gant, Pope over Werner outside. Werner would be my 2nd string Bullet behind Brendon White. Both Borland and Werner haven’t been necessarily exposed this far this season but I’m telling you all that it’s coming. I’m sure… Read more »

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Austin Ward is Lettermen Row's senior writer covering Ohio State football and basketball. The award-winning journalist has covered the Buckeyes since 2012, spending five of those seasons working for ESPN after previous stints at the Casper Star-Tribune and Knoxville News Sentinel.

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