Five Keys to the game: Ohio State

Here are five things that must happen for the Hoosiers to pull the upset on Saturday.

With every game that Indiana plays this season, we'll take a pregame look at five keys that the Hoosiers will need to be successful.

Here's the five keys for today's game with Ohio State:

1. START FAST: And by that I mean score first. Indiana found itself in a deep hole early last week at Wisconsin, and that can't happen if you want to upset a good team. Ohio State is one of the nation's top teams, so getting ahead of the Buckeyes early won't be easy. But Indiana's offense is fully capable of scoring early and often, even against Ohio State.

2. DON'T FEAR THE OPPONENT: The Hoosiers seemed to be afraid of Wisconsin last week, and they can't play that way. Sure, Ohio State hasn't lost a game in the last two seasons and is playing for a shot at the BCS national title game, but Indiana needs to play the Buckeyes just like they're any other team. Get starstruck, and you lose. It's that simple.

3. AVOID THE BIG PLAY ON DEFENSE: Easier said than done, I know. Indiana's defense has always had a problem with giving up big plays, but it can't afford to do it against this Ohio State team. Quarterback Braxton Miller is one of the elite players in the game, and he's fully capable of making big plays with his arm and his legs.

4. NEVER STOP SCORING: In my opinion, this could be a game where the two teams combine for 120 points. Ohio State's defense hasn't always been great this year, and both offenses are fully capable of putting up big numbers. Even if they have a lead or a large number of points, the Hoosiers can never take their foot off the gas pedal. Every point will be needed in this one.

5. GET BETTER: It sounds cliche, but Indiana coach Kevin Wilson talked in his weekly press conference this week about the importance of improving within the game on Saturday and not necessarily being concerned only with the result. The Hoosiers took a big step backward last week at Wisconsin, and it's important they make improvements this week.


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