OSU/Indiana—A Few Opening Thoughts...
Coming off last weeks' huge upset win over the then-No. 15 Wisconsin Badgers, the Buckeyes host Indiana this Saturday at noon in Ohio Stadium.
As predicted, it was a Braxton Miller coming out party of sorts, as Miller had his best game as a Buckeye with 89 passing yards, 99 rushing yards, and three total touchdowns -- none bigger than the game-winning, 40-yard TD toss to Devin Smith with just 20 seconds left on the clock after Wisconsin had stormed back from 12 down to take the lead with 1:18 left.
The Buckeyes kept their Big Ten title hopes alive with the win, and have instilled renewed excitement across Buckeye Nation. Conversely, Indiana is probably just hoping their nightmare season ends soon.
The hapless Hoosiers are just 1-8 on the year. Having just booted their top WR, DeMarlo Belcher, from the team this past week won't help their struggling offense either.
The Buckeyes need to avoid the classic let-down performance here that so often follows a big win for many-a-team. Indiana is obviously not a good team, but they've played a couple of halfway-decent teams (Virginia, Penn State) closer than might have been expected, and they'll come to Columbus with a nothing-to-lose mentality -- fair warning to the Bucks not to overlook them -- any given Saturday...
Team Overview / Players of Note
The Indiana offense ranks 75th nationally at 378 yards per game. They are 112th in total defense (62nd vs. the pass, 117th vs. the run), allowing an average of 458 yards per game, and rank 114th in points allowed per game (36.2). In a word, the IU defense (especially against the run) is woeful.
Quarterback Tre Roberson has thrown for 524 yards, with 2 touchdowns and two interceptions. His passer efficiency rating is 125. He also has 267 yards rushing and two touchdowns.
Wide receiver Kofi Hughes has 20 catches for 298 yards, with two touchdowns. He's the only receiver on the roster that has made any significant contribution with Belcher gone and Duwyce Wilson injured and out for the year.
Running back Stephen Houston leads the team with 577 yards and six touchdowns. He also has 12 receptions for 125 yards.
Ohio State is 110th in total offense (310 yards per game) nationally. They are 17th in total defense (27th vs. the pass, 26th vs. the run), allowing an average of 310 yards per game, and rank 16th in points allowed per game (17.9).
The Silver Bullets have 17 sacks and nine interceptions through eight games.
On the season, last weeks hero QB Braxton Miller, has 492 passing yards with six touchdowns and two interceptions. He also has 342 yards on the ground and two rushing touchdowns. His current passer efficiency rating is 143.
Devin Smith made his single reception against the Badgers count in a big way when he caught the game-winner with 20 seconds left on the clock last Saturday. He leads the team in yardage with 227 yards on 10 catches, including four for scores.
Despite another week without a catch, TE Jake Stoneburner is second on the team with 150 yards, and still leads in receptions and touchdowns, with 12 and six respectively.
With Jordan hall set to miss the Indiana game due to injury, Carlos Hyde will get another chance to see the field along with Dan Herron. Hyde still leads the team in rushing with 408 yards and five touchdowns, while Herron -- who rushed for his second straight 100-yard game in as many starts -- has 274 yards and a score.
Ohio State—Indiana History Lesson And Trends
• Ohio State is 67-12-5 all-time vs. Indiana.
• Ohio State is 68-8 in Ohio Stadium since 2001.
• Ohio State is 17-1 in November games since 2005.
• Ohio State has won 16 straight games against Indiana.
• Ohio State is 43-10-4 in Columbus all-time vs. Indiana.
• Ohio State is 182-78-11 all-time in November home games.
• Ohio State's defense has held opponent to fewer than 10 points 31 times since 2006.
• Ohio State's defense has allowed just one 100-yard rusher in the past 27 games at home.
• Ohio State's defense has allowed just seven 100-yard rushers in their last 45 games.
• Ohio State has held 66 opponents to 21 points or less since the start of the 2005 season.
• Ohio State has lost just two games in the month of November since their last loss to Michigan on November 22nd, 2003 (Purdue 2004, Illinois 2007).
• Indiana is 42-85 overall since 2001.
• Indiana last defeated Ohio State in 1988.
• Indiana last beat Ohio State in Columbus in 1987.
Final Thoughts and Score Prediction
In their last two games, the Buckeyes have upset Illinois and Wisconsin. In those games, they averaged 135 yards passing and 239 yards rushing. It's a safe bet that the gameplan for Indiana will be to run a lot, and then run some more.
Sorry to any Hoosier fans out there, but even you know that the Bucks could completely overlook Indiana and still gain 200+ on the ground while posting a win in convincing fashion.
The final outcome really shouldn't be a mystery, so me picking the Buckeyes is a given here.
Wisconsin crushed IU 59-7, so since Ohio State beat UW by 4, Ohio State will win by at least eight touchdowns -- or I'll never-ever count on that damn transitive property when making my weekly pick again...
Ohio State 48
Yeah, I was joking about the eight TDs and the transitive property -- I am not kidding however on that final score.
I definitely can see OSU scoring close to 50 AND pitching the shutout -- Believe it!
"To be a champion, you have to believe in yourself when no one else will" - Sugar Ray Robinson