#9 Ohio State at Indiana
Memorial Stadium, Bloomington, Indiana
The question of the day will be: How will Indiana react to getting jobbed by the Michigan friendly referees in the “Big House” last week. That was one of the biggest BS calls I have seen in my many years of watching college football. Indiana should file a formal protest with the Big Ten and remove those referees from ever calling a Big Ten game again. That said, will the Hoosiers come out with a chip on their shoulders or will they pack it in for the rest of the season? The Buckeyes have one of the best defenses in the country having held USC to only 19 points and posted back to back shut-outs. On paper, Indiana just doesn’t have the horses to keep up with the Buckeyes but with their outstanding performance against Michigan one might wonder.
The game plan was simple for the Buckeyes, it’s raining…a lot…keep it on the ground. They did and the Buckeyes controlled the game from start to finish. With Indiana, it shouldn’t be too different as the Buckeyes will try to minimize injuries while giving the offensive line a lot of practice run blocking. Quarterback Terrell Pryor is starting to get comfortable in the pocket which should send a collective chill down the backs of the other schools in the Big Ten. He’s got work to do yet but it’s starting to show. Hoosier linebacker Matt Mayberry leads the team in tackles with 26 and fellow linebackers Tyler Replogle (24) and Will Patterson (22) aren’t far behind. Lineman Greg Middleton is a sack machine with three so far on the season. However, the Indiana defense has not been able to keep opposing offenses out of the endzone and is giving up and average of 22 points and 327 yards per game. This game will be another boost for Pryor’s confidence. Eclipsing the 372 total yards of offense Pryor had last week is not something that is expected but it could be a huge day for the young man.
It might not be the biggest surprise but this Buckeye defense is shaping up to be something special. Linebacker Brian Rolle is taking full advantage of the outstanding play by Thaddeus Gibson, Cameron Heyward, Dexter Larimore and a carousel of defensive linemen. Through four games, Rolle has a 39 yard interception, an interception for a safety on a two point conversion and leads the team in tackles. He’s the newest OSU star linebacker and he’s only going to get better. Indiana quarterback Ben Chappell is having a very good year with 944 yards passing and three touchdowns on the season. Chappell’s favorite target is wide receiver Tandon Doss who is averaging just shy of 120 yards per game while running back Darius Willis had a breakout game against Michigan last week with 152 yards rushing. The game plan should be pretty straight forward for the defense; stop the run and put pressure on the quarterback. Two things this defense is very good at so far this season. Expect to see Chappell running for his life on a frequent basis this Saturday.
This should be just another day at the office for the Buckeyes. It’s a night game and I can’t remember the last time Bloomington hosted a game under the lights. The players and student body will be frothing at the mouth (could be the liquor, could be the excitement, could be both) but after a quarter or two the Buckeyes will have let the entire stadium know who’s the biggest dog in the Big Ten. Don’t be surprised to see Indiana score first but after that they won’t be able to muster much offense against the Buckeye Silver Bullet defense.
Prediction: OSU 28 - Indiana 10
Why OSU will win:
Offensive ball control.
Swarming, disruptive defense.
Hoosier turnovers leading to points (hopefully touchdowns).
Why OSU will lose:
The team misses their exit and end up in West Lafayette.
The Indianapolis Colts show up in Hoosier uniforms.
Bold prediction for the game:
After having a fantastic 152 yard game against the Wolverines, Darius Willis will get held to under 100 yards by the Buckeye defense.
Crazy stat of the game:
The Buckeyes have won 14 straight contests against Indiana dating back to a 41-7 Hoosier smack down in 1988.
Last time they met…
2006, OSU 44-3
Indiana players to watch:
Junior QB #4 Ben Chappell
Freshman RB #28 Darius Willis
Sophomore WR #2 Tandon Doss
Sophomore WR #88 Damarlo Belcher
Senior LB #34 Will Patterson
Junior LB #46 Tyler Replogle
Senior LB #43 Matt Mayberry
Senior S #20 Austin Thomas