COLUMBUS, Ohio — No. 2 Ohio State (7-0, 4-0) led 26-10 at the half behind four field goals and then got the offense clicking over the final 30 minutes to defeat visiting Iowa (3-4, 1-3) 54-10 at Ohio Stadium.
Kicker Noah Ruggles converted on all four field goal attempts in the opening half from 46, 41, 35 and 26 yards. He finished the day with 18 points (4 FGs, 6 extra pts.).
Defensively, Ohio State had three interceptions, two by Tanner McCalister and one returned for a score by linebacker Tommy Eichenberg. Latham Ransom lead the way with eight tackles, five solos and a forced fumble.
Overall, Ohio State finished with 360 yards of offense with 294 through the air.
Ohio State will again play at noon next week when the Buckeyes travel to Happy Valley to face the Penn State Nittany Lions (FOX, 97.1 FM).
Iowa got the ball first but soon turned it over when Hawkeyes quarterback Spencer Petras was intercepted by Ohio State’s McCalister at the Iowa 39 and returned it 10 yards to the Iowa 29.
The Buckeyes then scored the first points of the game on a Ruggles 46-yard field goal for the 3-0 lead with 14:02 on the clock.
The Hawkeyes were forced to punt from their 28 on the next possession, giving Ohio State the ball on the OSU 24 following a 48-yard boot.
Iowa took the lead when Ohio State’s Stroud was sacked and fumbled at the OSU 11. Joe Evans recovered for the Hawkeyes and returned it 11 yards for the score and a 7-3 lead.
The Buckeyes started from their 25 on the next possession and using a balanced attack, scored 10 plays later on a 2-yard rush by Williams to take a 10-7 lead. The drive covered 75 yards over 4:45.
Six of the 10 plays were on the ground in the go-ahead scoring drive.
Iowa turned it over on a fumble on the next Hawkeye possession. Petras was sacked by Zach Harrison, who forced the fumble. It was recovered by Latham Ransom at the Iowa 27.
The Hawkeye defense held, leading to an Ohio State 41-yard Ruggles field goal and a 13-7 Buckeyes lead.
Ohio State’s defense then forced another Iowa punt. The Hawkeyes tried to gain the first down from punt formation but did not make it after Hawkeye punter Tory Taylor was stopped short of the line to gain, turning the ball over to the Buckeyes on the Iowa 34.
Iowa scored on its first possession of the second quarter after a 10-play, 44-yard drive resulted in a 49-yard Drew Stevens field goal to make it 16-10 Buckeyes with 10:07 on the clock.
The Hawkeyes stopped the Ohio State offense at the OSU 47, forcing a punt. Jesse Mirco then pinned Iowa at the Hawkeye 2-yard line following a 51-yard punt.
Iowa was not able to move the ball and was forced to punt from its 3. Ohio State took over at the Iowa 32 after a 45-yard punt was returned 16 yards by Egbuka.
Stroud and the Buckeyes drove to the Iowa 24 and on fourth down earned the first on a 13-yard completion to Egbuka.
Ohio State then stalled at the Iowa 8. Ruggles remained perfect on the day after hitting from 26 yards out to make it 19-10 Buckeyes with 3:38 left in the half.
Iowa’s Kaleb Johnson was stopped at the Iowa 13 on ensuing kickoff before Ohio State linebacker Eichenberg intercepted Petras at the Iowa 15 and returned it for a touchdown to put the Buckeyes up 26-10.
The Hawkeyes punted on their next effort from scrimmage. The Buckeyes took over at the OSU 22, and then took a knee to end the half leading 26-10.
Stroud finished the first half completing 10-of-17 passes for 105 yards. Egbuka and Marvin Harrison Jr. led the receivers with three catches each.
TreVeyon Henderson rushed for 29 yards on seven carries while Williams scored one touchdown on eight carries.
Ruggles converted on all four field goal attempts from 46, 41, 35 and 26 yards.
The Buckeyes started the second half with the ball but on the first play Stroud was intercepted by Jack Campbell at the OSU 44.
Iowa then fumbled on its first play of the half, turning it over to the Buckeyes after Taron Vincent jumped on the loose ball at the OSU 45.
Ohio State was not able to move the ball and was forced to punt. A Mirco kick went for 43 yards that was fair caught at the Iowa 7.
McCalister then intercepted his second pass of the game, this time from Iowa’s Alex Padilla, giving the ball to Stroud and the Buckeyes at the Iowa 15.
Four plays later Harrison Jr. got a foot down in the front left corner of the endzone for a 6-yard touchdown reception from Stroud. The Buckeyes took a 33-10 lead after the 15-yard drive following the Iowa turnover.
The Hawkeyes gave the Buckeyes the ball back on downs after failing to convert on fourth down at the OSU 45.
Stroud got the passing game going with three-consecutive completions of 13 or more yards to put the Buckeyes up 40-10 after Egbuka scored on a 13-yard catch in the left middle of the endzone. The drive covered 55 yards on four plays.
The quarter ended with Iowa driving and facing a fourth down at its 44 and Ohio State leading 40-10.
Iowa punted to start the final quarter, giving the Buckeyes the ball at the OSU 10 after a 46-yard kick.
Three players later, Stroud delivered a strike right down the middle to Fleming for a 79-yard touchdown and a 47-10 lead.
Iowa gave the ball back on downs on its next possession at the Iowa 40.
Ohio State then drove 40 yards on eight plays to score on a 3-yard touchdown pass from Stroud to Mitch Rossi to make it 54-10 Buckeyes.
Iowa fumbled on its next possession with Kye Stokes forcing the turnover and Palaie Gaoteote IV making the recovery at the OSU 44.
Kyle McCord took over at quarterback for the Buckeyes and drove Ohio State to the Iowa 47 before a 41-yard Mirco punt gave the Hawkeyes the ball at the Iowa 21.
The Hawkeyes punted it back to the Buckeyes, who then ran out the clock for the win.