Five Days and Counting

It's been eight years since Indiana went up against the No. 1 team in the country, and the Hoosiers are 0-14 all-time against top-ranked foes. HoosierNation.com takes a look at five numbers to note about IU's match-up with the Buckeyes...

9 – Points/game the Ohio State defense is yielding this season, which ranks third nationally (Rutgers 8.3/game, LSU 8.6/game). At the start of the season much was made of the fact the Buckeyes had to replace nine starters from last year's defensive unit, but this year's group has been even more dominant than last season. During Ohio State's 7-0 start only two teams have scored more than seven points – Northern Illinois (12) and Iowa (17) – and the smallest margin of victory for Coach Jim Tressel's team is 17 (24-7 vs. then-No. 2 Texas). Ohio State surrenders 286.0 yards/game (26th nationally) but manages to keep teams out of the end zone with a defense that has forced 15 turnovers and keeps opposing offenses to just a 28.6 percent success rate on third downs.

13 – interceptions for the Buckeye defense. Eight different OSU players have at least one interception, led by sophomore linebacker James Laurinaitis' four. In addition, both of OSU's starting cornerbacks - Malcolm Jenkins and Antonio Smith – have an interception return for a touchdown this season. This OSU defense will present a big test for Indiana redshirt freshman quarterback Kellen Lewis, who hasn't thrown an interception since Big Ten play opened and has a current streak of 93 straight passes without an interception. Ohio State ranks second in the nation in turnover margin with a +1.43.

24 – sacks for the Ohio State defense, tying the Buckeyes with Michigan for the most in the Big Ten and ranking both teams eighth nationally. The biggest threat comes from right up front as 6-3, 295-pound OSU defensive tackle Quinn Pitcock has seven sacks and 8.5 tackles for loss this season. Defensive end Vernon Gholston, meanwhile, has 4 ½ sacks as well and leads the team with nine tackles for loss. They'll test an Indiana offensive line that has surrendered only four sacks in IU's first three Big Ten games, including zero on Saturday by Iowa. By contrast, Indiana has recorded only 10 sacks in its first seven games, and only Kenny Kendal (2 ½) and Brian Faires (2) have more than one sack this season.

2 – 50-plus yard scoring plays for Ted Ginn, Jr., against the Hoosiers in the last two seasons. As a true freshman in 2004 Ginn scored on a 59-yard pass play from Troy Smith for his first career touchdown reception, and then last season he scored on a 62-yard punt return to help the Buckeyes to a 41-10 victory in Bloomington. Ginn actually also added a 98-yard kickoff return for a score in last year's game, but an OSU personal foul on the return nullified the touchdown and he was credited with only a 73-yard return. He still wound up with a staggering 279 all-purpose yards (110 on kickoff returns, 110 on punt returns, 59 receiving yards) in last year's contest and he'll be a player to keep an eye on during special teams and when the Buckeyes have the ball.

8- Years since Indiana faced a No. 1 ranked team. In 1998 it was once again the Buckeyes that were on the top of the national polls, and Coach John Cooper's team handed IU a 38-7 setback in Bloomington. Before that meeting, you have to go all the way back to 1976 for another encounter with the No. 1 team in the nation (L vs. Michigan 35-0). According to the IU Football media guide, Indiana is 0-14 all-time against top-ranked teams.

What's coming up:
On Monday – Five Numbers to Note
On Tuesday - Four Names to Know
On Wednesday – Three Big Concerns
On Thursday – Two Key Matchups
On Friday – One Bold Prediction

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