5 Answers: Indiana at Ohio State

For Ohio State's matchup with Indiana, we looked at the potential for a slow start, the improvement of the Buckeye passing game, the problems with a no-huddle Hoosier offense and more. See how it turned out with this week's Five Answers.

1. Will the Buckeyes be ready to go at the opening kickoff?

Ohio State head coach Luke Fickell disagreed with the idea there was a letdown after the emotional win over Wisconsin a week earlier, but some of his players admitted they may not have been as dialed in for the early game as they were for the evening affair against the Badgers.

"It's real tough," said cornerback Travis Howard, who was suspended for the first two games of the season, the only other times the Buckeyes kicked off before 3:30 in 2010. "This is my first noon game, and a lot of guys weren't really used to it."

The Hoosiers established a 10-point lead before the Buckeyes got on the board.

"It's tough waking up early and getting yourself going but at the same time that's not an excuse, we've just got to go out there and compete whether it's morning, noon or a night game," Howard said. "We've just got to play our brand of football."


2. Can Ohio State work on the passing game?

Indiana brought the nation's 118th-ranked pass efficiency defense to Columbus, but one could scarcely tell Saturday afternoon.

Braxton Miller completed only 5 of 11 passes for 55 yards. He also threw an interception on a fade pattern into double coverage inside the Indiana 5-yard line.

"I'm still growing in it," Miller said. "We just have to keep working. Yeah (I'm frustrated) a little bit. We just have to keep working at everything."

"We couldn't really get a rhythm at first. Coming off a hard week of practice we should have had a better performance, but we came out with the win."


3. Will the Hoosiers' offensive tempo bother the Ohio State defense?

The Buckeyes seemed off balance for much of the afternoon, but they said the no-huddle attack was not a major issue.

"They just executed and sometimes we didn't execute," linebacker Andrew Sweat said. "We didn't line up. It's just little things we have to correct."

He saw more trouble with the variety of different looks from Indiana head coach Kevin Wilson's offense.

"They just formation you up," Sweat said. "You can't align perfectly with every formation. You wish you could, but you can't, and then they gashed us on us.

"Defense is all about turnovers and tackling. We didn't get as many turnovers as we want today and we missed some tackles, but then we got the job done."

Sweat and his teammates were not happy with allowing 159 yards rushing, but the Buckeyes actually snapped a three-game streak of 200-yard rushing games Indiana had going prior to the contest.


4. What kind of impact will the Hoosiers from Ohio have on the contest?

Starting running back Stephen Houston of Lakota West ran for 56 yards on 20 carries and scored a touchdown, and Cleveland Glenville wide receiver Shane Wynn picked up 17 yards on two carries.

Linebacker Chase Hoobler of Orrville was Indiana's No. 2 tackler with nine stops, including three for loss and two sacks, while Mark Murphy of Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary logged eight tackles.

Murphy's most noticeable moment was not one of his best, however, as he was the victim of a vicious Miller juke move on the quarterback's 20-yard touchdown run in the third quarter.

Former Cincinnati Wyoming standout Larry Black Jr. also had a sack and forced a fumble.

"We need to keep getting better, and that's all there is to it," Hoobler said. "We have a lot of young guys out there, and sometimes we're not as physical as we should be because we're trying to read the other team so much."


5. Can any Buckeye pad some stats?

It was apparent from early on this would not be the day for Ohio State to rack up any gaudy numbers. The Hoosiers struck early and played hard throughout the contest, forcing the Buckeyes to stick with a conservative offensive approach.

They still managed one remarkable statistical achievement, however, as three Buckeyes eclipsed the 100-yard rushing mark in the same game for the first time more than 20 years.

Miller's 81-yard run is the longest by an Ohio State quarterback, breaking Rex Kern's record of 76 yards on a jaunt against Duke in 1970.


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