C.J. Stroud overcame a slow start to throw four second-half touchdown passes, Ohio State’s defense took advantage of six Iowa turnovers and the second-ranked Buckeyes pulled away for a 54-10 rout of the Hawkeyes on Saturday.
Tanner McCallister had two interceptions and Tommy Eichenberg had a pick-6 as Ohio State took advantage of an inept Iowa offense to consistently start drives with good field position.
Miyan Williams rushed for a first-half touchdown, and Stroud threw to Marvin Harrison, Emeka Egbuka, Julian Fleming and Mitch Rossi for second-half touchdowns.
“Unfortunately, we never gave ourselves much of a chance,” Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz said.
Noah Ruggles contributed four field goals after kicking just two in the previous six games.
“They have a quarterback who can put the ball on a dime,” Iowa safety Kaevon Merriweather said. “Whatever plays they needed, he was able to put the ball on the money, and he’s got one of the best receiving corps out there.”
The game wasn’t pretty early for the Buckeyes (7-0, 4-0 Big Ten), who struggled to finish drives against Iowa’s top-10 defense before Stroud and Co. caught fire late.
On Iowa’s first play from scrimmage, Spencer Petras threw right into the arms of McCallister. Ohio State took over at the Iowa 32 but had to settle for a 46-yard field goal.
Later in the first, on Ohio State’s first play after an Iowa punt, defensive end Joe Evans came through the middle untouched and smashed into Stroud, who fumbled at his own 11. Evans scooped it and trotted in for what would be Iowa’s only touchdown.
Linebacker Eichenberg’s pick-6 gave Ohio State a 26-10 lead at halftime.
Backup quarterback Alex Padilla took over for Petras in the third quarter and on the second play was picked off by McCallister at the Iowa 15.
Four plays later, Stroud roped a 6-yard TD pass to Harrison and extended the lead late in the third with a 13-yard pass to Egbuka.
Stroud hit Fleming in stride tearing down the middle for a 79-yard TD, and then tossed a short scoring pass to Rossi.
Iowa: The six turnovers were the most for Iowa since committing that many against Indiana in 2009. It was the most points allowed by Iowa since a 56-35 loss to Ohio State in 1995.
Ohio State: Stroud took a while to get going but looked like his old self in the second half. He was 20 for 30 for 286 yards. He has 28 touchdown this season.
Buckeyes should stay put at No. 2.
Iowa: Hosts Northwestern next Saturday.
Ohio State: At Penn State next Saturday.