Miyan Williams rushed for two touchdowns and new quarterback Kyle McCord picked up his first victory since being named the starter for No. 3 Ohio State, beating Indiana 23-3 on Saturday.
The Buckeyes (1-0, 1-0 Big Ten) have won 23 consecutive season-openers and extended the FBS’ longest active winning streak in a series to 28.
Indiana (0-1, 0-1) has lost nine of its last 10 dating to last season.
But it was an unusually sluggish performance for coach Ryan Day’s team — until the Hoosiers defense wore down.
After Williams capped Ohio State’s opening possession with a 7-yard scoring run, the teams traded field goals to make it 10-3 at halftime. The Buckeyes added a short field goal to make it 13-3 midway through the third quarter before Williams finally broke through with a 3-yard TD run to give the Buckeyes a 20-3 lead with 1:51 remaining in the third.
Williams had seven carries for 25 yards, TreVeyon Henderson added 47 yards on 12 carries, and McCord was 20 of 33 with 239 yards and one interception. All-America receiver Marvin Harrison Jr. caught two passes for 18 yards and also had a touchdown nullified by an illegal touching call.
Second-year quarterbacks Tayven Jackson and Brendan Sorsby split snaps for Indiana, combining to go 9 of 21 with 82 yards as the Hoosiers produced only 153 total yards and a 40-yard field goal that bounced in off the right upright.
Indiana has not beaten the Buckeyes since posting back-to-back victories in 1987 and 1988. The teams also played to a 27-27 tie in 1990. When the Hoosiers won in Columbus, Ohio, in October 1987 then Buckeyes coach Earle Bruce called the loss “the darkest day I’ve seen in Ohio State football since I’ve been associated with it.”
The Buckeyes face Youngtown State in their home opener next Saturday, September 9th, with kick-off set for 12 p.m.