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Scientifically ranking all eight of Ohio State’s touchdowns against Indiana

We all know what’s No. 1, that might be the best regular season TD of all time.

NCAA Football: Indiana at Ohio State Brooke LaValley-The Columbus Dispatch

There were a painfully low number of touchdowns scored by the Buckeyes against the Indiana Hoosiers, eight of them to be exact. So, since we live in a listicle world, we are breaking them down, scientifically, of course.

And since this is my column, I reserve the right to change my judging criteria week to week, heck, even touchdown to touchdown. In some cases, I will judge a play by its importance in the grand scheme of the game, others will be by the degree of difficulty, backstory, and sheer entertainment value.

If you disagree with my ranking (which my six+ years here at LGHL tells me you absolutely will), feel free to share your list in the comments below.

Ok, now, without further ado, drumroll, please.........

Eighth Place: Touchdown No. 2
Dallan Hayden 14-Yard Run

We are starting with a pretty high floor for this week’s rankings. Normally, this would be a mid-tier touchdown thanks to the excellent blocking on the left side of the line and Dallan Hayden’s burst and cut to the center of the field. But, the touchdowns against IU were a collection of progressively impressive works of art, and while this was an excellent little water color by a local artist that you found at a street fair, there are Rembrants and Picassos and Michaelangelos still to come.

8th Place: Dallan Hayden 14-Yard Run

Score High Marks Deductions
Score High Marks Deductions
7.01 Great blocking on left side, good cut Nearly untouched

Seventh Place: Touchdown No. 5
Cade Stover 1-Yard Reception from C.J. Stroud

Normally, one-yard scores don’t get a lot of love from me, because they are inherently less exciting with less ground to cover. However, for a team that has consistently beat its head against the wall in short yardage in the words of the head coach, it was nice to see them do something at least mildly creative on the goaline.

Stover does a great job of selling the block before disengaging and moving into the end zone with no one within five yards of him.

7th Place; Cade Stover 1-Yard Reception

Score High Marks Deductions
Score High Marks Deductions
7.2 Short yardage creativity, good block and release from Stover Short yardage

Sixth Place: Touchdown No. 1
Emeka Egbuka 6-Yard Reception from C.J. Stroud

I really wanted to add in a deduction for Joel Klatt’s horrible telestrator work, but I’m not going to punish Emeka for that. This one isn’t anything fancy, but it is a solid play that should absolutely be a part of OSU’s regular short to intermediate third down and goaline packages.

C.J. Stroud throw an absolute seed into the end zone, so much so that to any other wide receiver group might have been overkill, but Emeka sits down in the hole of the defense and makes an incredible hands catch to secure the six.

6th Place: Emeka Egbuka 6-Yard Reception

Score High Marks Deductions
Score High Marks Deductions
7.28 Rocket throw, great hands Way too much cushion from the DBs

Fifth Place: Touchdown No. 3
Marvin Harrison Jr. 58-Yard Reception from C.J. Stroud

The play itself isn’t all that impressive, it almost looks like they are playing against air... which I suppose is impressive in its own right considering they are technically playing a Power 5 team full of scholarship athletes.

And while Marvin Harrison’s route and Stroud’s pass are great, what really sells this one for me is the Wakanda Forever salute the day after the “Black Panther” sequel opened in theaters and just how picturesqe The Horseshoe looked with a light snowfall coming down.

5th Place: Marvin Harrison Jr. 58-Yard Reception

Score High Marks Deductions
Score High Marks Deductions
7.45 Great play-action, Harrison toasts DBs, Wakanda forever salute, snow makes it pretty Marv just out-classes the DBs, play-action handoff messy

Fourth Place: Touchdown No. 4
Miyan Williams 48-Yard Run

Miyan Williams is likely never going to be confused for a guy who has legit track speed, but this run shows why he doesn’t need to be a burner. As I referenced above, the Buckeyes have struggled in short-yardage situations, in my opinion, because they rarely play to their actual strengths. Far too often, we have seen them run stretch or up-the-middle dives.

However, on this 3rd-and-1, Williams lined up on Stroud’s left but the play was designed for the A-gap on the gith side of the line. This gave the line time to make their blocks, and Williams an opportunity to build up some momentum. That allowed him to have extra power to hit the hole running north and south.

We often talk about RBs needing to just make one guy miss, and Miyan did that when he broke an arm-tackle and was off to the races. He might not be the fastest guy on the team, but if you give him a well designed play, this is what can happen.

4th Place; Miyan Williams 48-Yard Run

Score High Marks Deductions
Score High Marks Deductions
7.52 North-south run on 3rd-and-1, good blocking, broke arm-tackle Probably was a hold on Wypler (oh well)

Third Place: Touchdown No. 6
Cade Stover 12-Yard Reception from C.J. Stroud

The joke around this program for years has been how we’ve all bought into the “Year of the Tight End” talking points, only for the offense to completely ignore the TEs all year... that is obviously not the case in 2022. Stover is having a great year and a two-touchdown game is a nice way to celebrate that.

Again, this is a nice, creative play call near the end zone, but unlike his first one, Stover really has to earn this one. Not only does he break multiple tackles, but he makes a defender look silly before going full extension in order to get the ball across the goal line.

3rd Place: Cade Stover 12-Yard Reception

Score High Marks Deductions
Score High Marks Deductions
8.14 Red zone creativity, fancy footwork, nice dive Horrible tackling, inept defenders

Second Place: Touchdown No. 7
Xavier Johnson 71-Yard Run

There is no reason that Xavier Johnson should have been able to turn this into a touchdown. He was almost never in real danger of being tackled, but until Marvin Harrison Jr.’s hellacious block around the 25-yard line, it never seemed like he was actually going to score. However, he kept his head up, always looking for new lanes to cut back to, and eventually, he found one.

I am still firmly on the “Stroud should win the Heisman” train, but I think Big Marv deserves an invite as well. The fact that he is able to make the otherworldly catches that he did in this game, and he still runs more than 50 yards downfield to absolutely lay a guy out shows you just how special of a player he is.

2nd Place: Xavier Johnson 71-Yard Run

Score High Marks Deductions
Score High Marks Deductions
9.38 Johnson's cutbacks, Harrison's block IU's defense is absolutely terrible; keystone cop level ineffectiveness

First Place: Touchdown No. 8
Kamryn Babb 8-Yard Reception from C.J. Stroud

I’m still crying, what more do you want? There will be no higher-ranked score this year, everything else is just chasing this perfection.

1st Place: Kamryn Babb 8-Yard Reception

Score High Marks Deductions
Score High Marks Deductions