|Matchup Preview | November 22, 2014|
| No. 6 Ohio State Buckeyes|
Five Fast Facts About Indiana
1. Indiana beat Missouri, which is leading the SEC East Division and could return to the SEC title game for the second consecutive year, by a 31-27 score in Columbia on Sept. 20. Now-injured quarterback Nate Sudfeld threw for 252 yards, Indiana ran for 241 as a team and D’Angelo Roberts scored the winning TD on a 3-yard run with 22 seconds left.
2. Indiana running back Tevin Coleman is on pace to rush for 2,014 yards. Only four running backs in Big Ten history have reached 2,000 yards: Wisconsin’s Ron Dayne (2,109 in 1996; 2,034 in 1999), Penn State’s Larry Johnson (2,087 in 2002), Michigan State’s Lorenzo White (2,066 in 1985) and Northwestern’s Damien Anderson (2,063 in 2000).
3. Fifteen Hoosiers hail from the state of Ohio: Mike Barwick, Jr., (Cincinnati/Summit Country Day), Nick Carovillano (Cincinnati/St. Xavier), Patrick Dougherty (Aurora), Dawson Fletcher (West Chester/Lakota West), Nate Hoff (Solon), David Kaminski (Strongsville), Wes Martin (West Milton/Milton-Union), Mark Murphy (Akron/St. Vincent-St. Mary), Marcus Oliver (Hamilton), Devine Redding (Youngstown/Cleveland Glenville), Mike Replogle (Centerville), Tegray Scales (Cincinnati/Colerain), Zack Shaw (Coshocton/, Dameon Willis, Jr., (Cleveland/St. Ignatius) and Shane Wynn (Cleveland/Glenville).
4. Ohio State holds a 70-12-5 advantage in the all-time series with Indiana after last year’s 42-14 win at Ohio Stadium on Nov. 23. IU last downed OSU on Oct. 8, 1988, (41-7 in Bloomington), a year after a 31-10 victory in Columbus. Those are the only two Indiana wins vs. Ohio State since 1952.
5. Wynn is the lone Hoosier in school history and one of only eight active FBS players with receiving (20), rushing (two), punt return (one) and kick return (one) touchdowns in his career. On IU’s career lists, Wynn is third in receptions (176) and kick return yardage (1,854), tied for third in receiving TDs (20), fourth in all-purpose yardage (4,225), seventh in receiving yardage (2,058) and ninth in total scores (24).
OHIO STATE RUSH OFFENSE vs. INDIANA RUSH DEFENSE
The Hoosiers have been trying to put together a competent defense throughout the Kevin Wilson era, and with some personnel changes the rushing D has improved over the years. Indiana allows 173.9 rushing yards per game, an improvement on past seasons though not a completely impressive mark. Michigan State still racked up 330 yards and five touchdowns on the Hoosiers while Rutgers and Iowa also topped the 200-yard mark. The way Ohio State’s run game is rolling right now, this should be a significant edge for the Buckeyes, who are stringing together performances on the ground that look a little bit like last year’s dominant efforts. EDGE: OHIO STATE
INDIANA RUSH OFFENSE vs. OHIO STATE RUSH DEFENSE
The one thing Indiana does about as well as anyone in the country is run the football, and that’s largely because of the excellent campaign put together by Coleman. Running out of IU’s spread sets, Coleman is extremely quick and fast, making him hard to bring down in the open field. Coleman topped the 300-yard mark vs. Rutgers on Nov. 15, finishing with 307 yards and a 67-yard TD, and he is second in the Big Ten with 11 rushes of at least 40 yards. Roberts is a nice complement as well. Ohio State hasn’t been totally pleased the way it has stopped the run the last two weeks, and this will be another challenge in a conference full of them. EDGE: EVEN
OHIO STATE PASS OFFENSE vs. INDIANA PASS DEFENSE
The Buckeyes weren’t totally thrilled with the passing game in Minneapolis, but Indiana is the place where passing offenses have gone to get better for years. The Hoosiers are 86th in the nation in passing efficiency defense and 101st in passing yards allowed, and teams have completed 61.1 percent of their passes for 20 touchdowns and eight interceptions. Indiana just doesn’t have the athletes out wide to match up with a team like Ohio State, and all but one Big Ten opponent has at least two scores through the air vs. IU. The Hoosiers are better defending the pass than previous years – which isn’t saying much – but the Buckeyes should still have the advantage. EDGE: OHIO STATE
INDIANA PASS OFFENSE vs. OHIO STATE PASS DEFENSE
Indiana has had one of the best passing offenses in the nation the past few years, as Wilson directed a very strong aerial attack when he was offensive coordinator at Oklahoma and adapted it to Bloomington with great success. Sudfeld was again throwing the ball around with some success earlier this year – though not as much as in years past after most of the team’s top targets exhausted their eligibility – before suffering a season-ending injury. Indiana’s passing offense has cratered since then, with freshman Zander Diamont failing to throw for 100 yards in three of four starts. He showed since improvement vs. Rutgers, throwing for 179 yards and a score, but there’s still a long way to go for this attack. EDGE: OHIO STATE
Indiana still has electric return man Wynn, so the Hoosiers are dangerous even if Wynn hasn’t broken one yet this season. In fact, Indiana has some of the worst return stats in the nation, and the net punt isn’t much to write home about either as Erich Toth appears to favor high, short kicks to take away returns. One highlight is that kicker Griffin Oakes has one of the strongest legs in the league having made field goals of 58, 48 and 48 yards this season. Ohio State will want to make amends after an uncharacteristically sloppy performance at Minnesota. EDGE: OHIO STATE
Ohio State is in a position that it often sees, as the Buckeyes are playing to keep big dreams alive while an opponent comes into Ohio Stadium just trying to earn a signature win as part of an otherwise forgettable year. Indiana will be playing for pride and there are plenty of Ohioans on the roster, but the Buckeyes are playing for playoff positioning as well as a conference crown. EDGE: EVEN
Simply put, the way Indiana’s offense has been neutered since the injury to Sudfeld, this should be a blowout. Ohio State will want to make a statement as it wraps up the Big Ten East Division’s bid to the league title game, and what better time to do that in the return to Ohio Stadium after a two-game road swing? Indiana’s offense has troubled OSU at times the past three seasons under Wilson, but there just isn’t much there right now without a competent passing attack to complement Coleman. Ohio State should win going away to make it 23 consecutive regular-season Big Ten wins. OHIO STATE 61-13
The staff pick is an average of predictions by staffers Kane Anderson, Ryan Ginn, Matthew Hager, Mark Rea, Jeff Svoboda and Blake Williams