OSU-Indiana grades: Bosa, Elliott save Buckeyes QB Jones
Here are the top takeaways from Saturday’s Ohio State-Indiana game, including the highest-graded players for each team:
Ohio State Buckeyes:
— Known first for his pass-rush prowess, Buckeye DE Joey Bosa (+9.5) put on an impressive display of run defense against the Hoosiers. When not making the stop himself (he did that five times), Bosa was regularly using the man across from him to disrupt the paths of pulling lineman and free up his teammates to make plays. That outstanding work in addition to the three hits and five hurries he collected as a pass-rusher helped him post an overall grade of more than +8.0 for the third consecutive week. He looks poised to repeat as our top defensive player this season.
— A quiet first half for RB Ezekiel Elliot (+4.8) gave way to an explosive showing after halftime. Taking just 30 rushing yards to the locker room as Ohio State trailed 10-6, Elliot proceeded to break loose on touchdown runs of 55, 65, and 75 yards on his way to a 274-yard day that featured an outstanding 184 yards after contact.
— Linebacker Raekwon McMillan (+7.9) made life difficult for the Indiana players assigned to block him, working past them with ease while racking up an eye-popping 11 defensive stops including nine against the run.
— Another uninspiring effort from QB Cardale Jones (-1.9) was rescued by Elliot’s dominance. Finishing in the red for the fourth straight game, Jones showed a particular struggle when facing pressure — some of which he walked himself into — as his PFF grade slipped to solidly negative mark (-2.5) and his QB rating dropped by nearly 70 points.
DE Joey Bosa (+9.5)
MLB Raekwon McMillan (+7.9)
RB Ezekial Elliot (+4.8)
DT Adolphus Washington (+4.4)
LB Joshua Perry (+3.7)
— DE Nick Mangieri added a pair of sacks and two more hurries to his season tally, pushing that mark to 16 total pressures, 10 of which have come in the past two games. He’s found success coming off either side of the defense with nine pressures from 84 pass-rush snaps on the left and seven from 93 on the right.
— Things weren’t quite as bad as the stat line suggests for QB Nate Sudfeld (+1.1) — except of course, for the injury that knocked him from the game. Before leaving, he was just 10 of 21 for 134 yards, but mixed in there was a throwaway and a pass that fluttered away as he was hit, along with three drops — two of which came on a pair of his highest-graded throws of the day.
— Sudfeld’s backup, Zander Diamont (-4.5), lit up the crowd with the breakaway run that gave Indiana an answer to Elliot’s third long score, but he generally had trouble through the air. Off target on nine of his 14 throws (including one that was left far short but caught anyway), Diamont capped his questionable day with a fourth-quarter misread that was dropped by a Buckeye defender at the goal line.
— RT Dimitric Camiel (-7.4) and TE Michael Cooper (-8.4) were often found to be the run-blocking victims of Bosa and Ohio State’s run defense, especially on attempts aimed at the edge. With star Jordan Howard shelved due to an ankle injury, RB Devine Redding (-1.9) simply couldn’t find room to run — an 11-yard TD scamper made up a big chunk of the 45 yards he gained on 30 carries..
LB Marcus Oliver (+1.8)
DT Nate Hoff (+1.3)
QB Nate Sudfeld (+1.1)
LG Wes Martin (+0.7)
DE Nick Mangieri (+0.5)