Brandon Saine, RB – Dan "Boom" Herron is probably the better known of the Buckeye tailbacks, but Saine is of equal concern for the Hoosier defense this weekend. Saine is the only Buckeye tailback to run for 100 yards in a game this season (9 carries, 103 yards vs. Marshall in season opener) and he carried 17 times for 113 yards in OSU's 33-14 win over IU a season ago when Herron was sidelined with an ankle injury. He's been limited to 80 rushing yards in OSU's other four games this season, but that should change Saturday. With quarterback Terrelle Pryor expected to be limited with a quad injury, OSU will likely lean on its stable of running backs more against the Hoosiers. When OSU does throw the ball Saine has been a reliable weapon out of the backfield, with three of his nine receptions going for touchdowns.
Christian Bryant, S – The Buckeyes suffered a blow this week when it learned fifth-year senior nickel back Tyler Moeller will undergo season-ending surgery to repair a torn pectoral muscle. His absence has opened a spot in the starting lineup for Bryant, a 5'9", 178-pound true freshman from Cleveland's Glenville H.S. Moeller was leading the team in tackles for loss (4 ½), had recorded 20 tackles, and was a physical presence in his role on the Buckeye defense. Bryant, meanwhile, is untested, having recorded seven tackles in a reserve role this season. Bryant's speed and athleticism will be needed against IU's pass-dominated offense, but his inexperience could present some opportunities for Ben Chappell and company.
Dexter Larimore, DT – if Indiana hopes to run between the tackles, the 6'2", 310-pound Larimore will be one of the biggest obstacles. This Merrillville (Ind.) H.S. product is a fifth-year senior who's been a reliable part of the Buckeyes' defensive tackle rotation for the past two seasons. In his final season, he's blossomed into more of a playmaker up front. Larimore ranks sixth on the team in tackles (16), second in tackles for loss (4) and his 1 ½ sacks is tied for the team high. Larimore would also like to have a better outing against IU than he did in their first encounter last fall. In that 33-14 Buckeye win, Larimore left the game with a sprained knee and was sidelined for the next month.
Cameron Heyward, DE – Considering the likelihood that Indiana will be forced to put the ball in the air regularly if it has any hopes of keeping pace with the nation's second-ranked team, that makes the 6'5", 288-pound Heyward a primary focus for Indiana's offensive coaches. While the son of former NFL player Craig "Ironhead" Heyward has relatively modest totals of 13 tackles, 3 ½ tackles for loss and ½ sack this season, he's more than capable of putting together a big game Saturday when he lines up opposite Andrew McDonald. Heyward has 38 career starts under his belt and has 27 ½ tackles for loss and 12 ½ career sacks as a Buckeye. He earned second-team All-Big Ten honors a season ago and he'll command plenty of attention from IU's blocking schemes.
On Monday – Five Numbers to Note
On Tuesday – Four Names to Know
On Wednesday – Three Key Match-Ups
On Thursday – Two Big Concerns
On Friday – One Bold Prediction
OHIO STATE: Four Days and Counting
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