As an Ohio State fan, I watch all of their games. I agree with you that he did struggle a bit in the first half. I think it was a bunch of factors. The first being that Iowa has a really good defense that no one wants to give credit for, at least against Ohio state. I think we may have been off a bit due to the bye week. The receivers struggled to get open (partially due to their dubs holding our receivers and tight ends- watch the no call on the potential touchdown and the other where they just grabbed our tight end). And CJ was just off a bit.
The 79 yard pass seemed well placed to me. His yards were down because he did struggle the first half but when your average starting position is in the opponents side, that is part of the reason yards will be down.
I’m not sure how his running game was carrying him. That was our worst running performance in I don’t know how long (running game saved us and CJ against Notre Dame). We couldn’t run at all. Receivers did adjust to a few balls that weren’t the best thrown balls, but CJ had many throws in the second half that were right where they needed to be.
I do agree that he struggles under pressure sometimes. Our o line has kept him pretty clean until Iowa. As I mentioned before, he sometimes gets those deer in headlights look. My other knock would be that he hasn’t put the team on his back and willed us to a win(maybe somewhat against Utah last year)
I do think Ryan Day and Kevin Wilson are two of the best offensive coaches, so maybe that has given Haskins, Fields, and Stroud a bit of an advantage over the years. But Stroud goes through his progressions much more than fields ever did
Just my opinion, but while Stroud might not be the best qb in the country, I do think he is top 3. Penn State will be a good test for him.