Author: Marc Givler

10 Observations: Buckeyes hold on for dear life

It wasn't pretty. In fact, it was downright ugly at times, but Ohio State remained undefeated with a 42-35 win over Indiana to take over sole possession of first place in the Big Ten East.

Wins over undefeated Top 10 teams are supposed to be celebrated, but the observations on this one aren't very positive as the Buckeyes spent most of the game stumbling around trying to find their way on both sides of the ball.

1. What a roller coaster. It's hard to imagine coming away from a game where a team puts up over 600 yards of offense, over 300 rushing and passing, scores a defensive touchdown and forces multiple turnovers, and you're shaking your head. But here we are.

2. The days of being able to put a defense on the field that just puts the clamps on everybody are over. But 500 yards passing is inexcusable. Guys were running wide open, the pass rush wasn't getting home. After actually starting the game pretty strong and keeping the team from getting behind early, it was a total train wreck after that.

3. Something has to change at safety, it just has to. The Cameron Brown injury is a much bigger deal than anyone initially thought because you can't clone Josh Proctor and play him at both free safety and slot corner. He's far and away their best option at both right now but ultimately I'd put him at safety, just way too many big plays being allowed because of that position.

4. I don't know where the decision making went today for Justin Fields. Some really, really bad decisions out there from someone who seems to so rarely make them. It was bizarre. Trying to do too much in a game where they didn't need him to be Superman. The running game was going and the short and intermediate stuff was there so it was a headscratcher to see some of those mistakes. Heisman chances did not improve today.

5. Fields' second interception touched four different bodies and Olave's twice. You don't see that every day.

6. Hello running game. All season long I've contemplated whether or not Ohio State should even attempt to run the football given the efficiency of the passing game. Today was completely different and the Buckeyes, at times, didn't run it enough. Perhaps a breakthrough here for the backs? Both averaged at least 6.5 yards per carry.

7. The streak continues for Garrett Wilson who notched his fourth straight 100-yard receiving game. Only Cris Carter has had a longer one at five games so Wilson can tie the long-standing record next week at Illinois.

8. Not closing out games is now a pattern. It's not just a one off anymore. A lot of blame to go around on that but it needs to get figured out. Maybe the next few opponents aren't good enough to make them pay, but eventually someone will.

9. Zero catches for the tight ends today. That position group started to breakout the last couple of games and nothing today. Another indication that it was too much hero ball and "all or nothing" in the passing game.

10. And with all of that said, Ohio State just put itself in an incredibly strong position to win the Big Ten East and continues to control its path to the college football playoff. What a time to be alive.