Indiana Football vs. Ohio State: Three takeaways from a hard loss

Takeaways from Indiana Football vs. Ohio State

Indiana fought valiantly versus Ohio State but ultimately fell short. The Hoosiers can walk away with their heads held high and attack the rest of the season with the same amount of ferocity and pride. We take a look at a few takeaways a day after one of the biggest games in program history.

Ty Fryfogle has become a star

Ty Fryfogle is playing like a man possessed by the spirit of Randy Moss. Heading into this season, Whop Phylior and Peyton Hendershot got all the hype from Hoosier fans. Both of them have played well, but Fryfogle is on a different level.

The senior receiver has already surpassed his yardage from 2019. He has recorded 560 yards and six touchdowns in just the three games. Fryfogle has played his way onto the Biletnikoff award watch list after his 218 yards, three-touchdown day versus the Buckeyes. You’d be hard-pressed to find a better candidate for the number one spot at this point.

Fryfogle’s NFL draft stock has gone from a projected late-round pick to a potential high-round pick in just three games. If he can continue to play at this level, it doesn’t matter if prime Darrell Revis is guarding him, he’s going to score.

The gameplan was executed to perfection

In my preview for the game, I outlined two things that needed to happen for Indiana to have a shot at winning: minimize the impact of Justin Fields and have Michael Penix Jr. throw until his arm is about to fall off.

They executed both these strategies perfectly. Fields had played nearly flawlessly through his first three games, but the Hoosiers forced him to throw three interceptions. Fields still had a decent day despite those bad decisions, but Indiana made the defensive plays they needed to win the game

On the other side of the ball, Penix Jr. did in fact throw over 50 passes like I said he needed to in the preview. You have to have a pretty remarkable passing game to score 35 points and finish the game with -1 rushing yards. Penix and his receivers were absolutely dominant and gave the team a chance to win even when they were down 7-35.

Mistakes killed the Hoosiers

As I said earlier, Indiana should feel nothing but pride about the way they performed Saturday. Ohio State is always a tremendous challenge, and they could have just rolled over and quit when they were down by four scores. Instead, they fought back and almost won the game.

However, they could have completed their comeback had they avoided a few key mistakes. David Ellis fumbled in the red zone (granted, I would probably be comatose after taking the same hit). Jamar Johnson fumbled on an interception return that would have set up the offense inside the red zone.

Those two plays are the difference between beating Ohio State and just barely coming up short. As I said earlier, these games are hard for a reason. Ohio State is a powerhouse and is almost impossible to defeat. To pull off that kind of victory, you need perfect execution, a little luck, and almost no mistakes. On Saturday, they had the first two on lock, but couldn’t quite get the third, and that was the difference.