Is it more of the same for the IU football program this weekend?
One week after going up against a dynamic dual-threat, Heisman quality quarterback in Michigan's Denard Robinson, the Hoosiers face another one in Ohio State's Terrelle Pryor. While Robinson showed he probably has the edge over Pryor in terms of speed and elusiveness during his 494-yard effort against Indiana, the 6'6", 233-pound Pryor has some strengths of his own that IU will have to contend with Saturday.
"Size makes the biggest difference," IU Coach Bill Lynch said about the differences between the two quarterbacks. "(Pryor's) a big man when he plays. He can really go…To relate it to basketball, there's that great point guard that you can't stop versus a big, overpowering guy that has the ball in his hands all the time. There are both great players but it's just different."
In addition to the quarterbacks, it's also another week of going up against one of the Big Ten's traditional powers. While Michigan is the winningest program in college football history, Ohio State ranks number five. The Buckeyes have also dominated the conference as of late, compiling a 37-4 Big Ten mark since 2005 while winning at least a share of the Big Ten title each season.
On top of that, this is another program that Indiana has had little success with in recent years. With last week's 42-35 setback to Michigan, Indiana failed to end a losing skid to the Wolverines that dates back to 1987. In Ohio State's case the Hoosiers last beat the Buckeyes in 1988.
That's a lot of similarities between Michigan and Ohio State, there's one huge difference between this week and last week.
While Michigan's offense had to make up for some glaring deficiencies on defense, the same can't be said about Ohio State. In fact, it's that side of the ball that probably concerns the IU coaching staff the most as it readies for its trip to Columbus.
"Everybody is going to talk about [Terrelle] Pryor because he is such a good player, but it starts with their defense," Lynch said. "They play great defense at Ohio State. Everything is tough to come by whether you are running or throwing it."
The stats bear that out. Ohio State ranks among the nation's leaders in rushing defense (8th), total defense (5th), pass efficiency defense (11th) and scoring defense (11th). Compare that to Michigan, which ranks 10th in the league in scoring defense and last in the Big Ten in pass defense and total defense.
That should make for the biggest challenge of the season for the Hoosiers – and most likely a long afternoon. While Indiana has enough offensively to put some points on the board, Ohio State likely won't allow Ben Chappell to march up and down the field all afternoon and match scores with the OSU offense.
Hoosier Nation's Prediction: Ohio State 38, Indiana 17.
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: One Day and Counting
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