12 – The number of sacks Ohio State tallied in its 35-24 win over Michigan State last weekend, including eight in second half and a school-record four by linebacker Bobby Carpenter. Ohio State leads the Big Ten by a large margin in sacks with 28, well ahead of second place Penn State (23) and nearly double the total of third-place Wisconsin (16). Ohio State has already exceeded its sack total from last year (24).
The Buckeyes like to bring five and six pass rushers on occasion, evidenced by the fact linebackers Carpenter and A.J. Hawk rank first and eighth, respectively, in the Big Ten in sacks. Another player to keep an eye on is junior defensive end David Patterson, a one-time defensive tackle who has moved to defensive end and into the starting lineup. Patterson totaled three sacks against Michigan State quarterback Drew Stanton, his first three sacks of the year.
21 – The Buckeyes have fumbled the ball a staggering 21 times in six games this year, losing 10 of them. That's the biggest reason why Ohio State has a -6 turnover margin, which ranks last in the Big Ten. By comparison, Indiana has fumbled nine times in six games, losing the ball five times.
Fifteen of Ohio State's fumbles have come in its last three games, including six against both Iowa and Michigan State. The biggest source of the miscues has been quarterback Troy Smith, who has only thrown two interceptions this season, but has fumbled seven times. Of course, getting pressure on the Buckeye quarterback is paramount if Indiana wants to force the signal caller into more mistakes. Indiana ranks near the bottom of the conference standings with just nine sacks in six games, so it will need an improved effort on Saturday if it to take advantage of Smith's propensity to put the ball on the turf.
Indiana will also have to be aware of Smith being a big part of the Buckeye running game. Smith averages nearly 60 yards rushing/game, and has scored six of Ohio State's eight rushing touchdowns this season.
92.3 – All-purpose being produced by sophomore Ted Ginn, Jr. Considered one of the nation's most explosive playmakers, Ginn has been held largely in check this year. He's averaging a modest 6.9 yards on 11 punt returns, while his 18.8 yards/kickoff return hasn't done much damage, either. Ginn does rank second on the team with 20 catches, but he's averaging just 13.5 yards/reception and has scored only two touchdowns. He also has three fumbles this season, which ranks second to Troy Smith's seven.
This pales in comparison to what he did as a true freshman, when he touched the ball 55 times and scored eight touchdowns. In 2004, Ginn led the nation in punt returns (25.6/return), returning four punts for touchdowns. He also had a pair of touchdown receptions (including a season-long 59-yard touchdown pass against Indiana) and two touchdown runs. Ohio State fans have been waiting for their dynamic sophomore to have his breakout game, and IU is hoping it doesn't happen in Bloomington.
195 – Receiving yards for OSU's top wideout, Santonio Holmes, in two career games against Indiana. Most of that came in 2003, when Holmes burned the Hoosiers for six catches, 153 yards, and a pair of touchdowns in Bloomington. He followed that up with a four-catch, 42-yard effort a year ago in Columbus that also included a touchdown reception. While Ted Ginn, Jr., is the best known Buckeye receiver, Holmes is probably the best. He leads the team with 27 receptions and four touchdowns, and his 17.6 yards/reception is second in the Big Ten to Iowa's Clinton Solomon (21.6). He was a second-team All-Big Ten pick a year ago, and will likely be checked by Hoosier sophomore cornerback Tracy Porter.
12 – Straight losses for the Hoosiers against the Buckeyes, dating back to a 27-27 tie in 1990. That IU's second-longest active losing streak to a Big Ten foe, second only to its 13 straight setbacks to Michigan.
Overall, Ohio State leads the all-time series 63-12-5. Since that tie in 1990, Indiana has lost six straight to Ohio State at Memorial Stadium, with an average margin of 19.2 points. The Hoosiers haven't scored 20 points in a game against Ohio State since that 27-27 tie either, averaging only 10.9 points/game in those 12 straight setbacks.
What's coming up:
On Monday – Five Numbers to Note
On Tuesday - Four Key Matchups
On Wednesday – Three Big Concerns
On Thursday – Two Things IU Must Do to Win
On Friday – One Bold Prediction
On Saturday – Hoosier Gameday
Five Days and Counting...
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