COLUMBUS, Ohio – Miyan Williams rushed for 147 yards and a touchdown before leaving with an injury late in the first half, C.J Stroud threw five TD passes and No. 2 Ohio State buried Indiana 56-14 on Saturday.
Williams went down awkwardly on his right ankle and had to be helped to a cart and taken to the locker room with 2:17 left in the half. That came after the Buckeyes had pushed the score to 28-7 on Williams’ 48-yard scoring run.
Williams has carried the load of the Ohio State running game the last two games with TreVeyon Williams out with injury. Ohio State hasn’t disclosed a timetable for Henderson’s return but could certainly run into some difficulty if both experienced backs are still on the shelf for the showdown with No. 3 Michigan in two weeks.
Ohio State coach Ryan Day said Williams’ injury didn’t immediately appear to be “something that was going to be long-term,” adding that it’s possible Henderson could be back next week.
Freshman Dallen Hayden moved up to be the No. 1 back, rushing for a career-high 102 yards and a touchdown. Wide receiver Xavier Johnson lined up as a back and ran for a 71-yard TD in the fourth quarter.
The Buckeyes (10-0, 7-0 Big Ten, No. 2 CFP) had piled up 377 yards by the time Williams left the game and seemed to be back on track after struggling to beat Northwestern on a windy day the previous week. They finished with 662.
Stroud, who passed for a season-low 76 yards against Northwestern, was 17 for 28 for 297 yards against the Hoosiers (3-7, 1-6), throwing two touchdown passes to tight end Cade Stover and one each to Emeka Egbuka, Marvin Harrison Jr. and Kamryn Babb, who is trying to comeback after missing three of his four seasons with knee injuries.
Day said it felt more like a “normal” game after struggling against Northwestern and a stiff wind last week.
“I thought we had good rhythm in the game,” he said.
Indiana’s starting quarterback Connor Bazelak, who returned after sitting out last week’s loss to Penn State with an injury, didn’t last long. After the Hoosiers went three-and-out on their first three possessions, Bazelak was benched in favor of Dexter Williams II, who threw for two touchdowns, their only scores of the day.
“I didn’t think we fit into what’s close to being acceptable,” Indiana coach Tom Allen said.
Indiana: The Hoosiers’ disappointing season continues with another rout. Allen committed to Bazelak as the starting QB early in the week, but Williams might be his No. 1 guy now.
Ohio State: The health of the two star running backs will be the big issue going forward as the Buckeyes travel to Maryland next week and host Michigan on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. Given how little the program will disclose about injuries, it may remain murky. On the bright side, there’s nothing wrong with the Buckeyes’ passing game.
The Buckeyes should stay put.
Indiana: At Michigan State on Saturday.
Ohio State: At Maryland on Saturday.