Bank Blog: Week-Five Preview

After completing the pre-Big Ten schedule undefeated, Ohio State will travel to Bloomington this Saturday to take on the Hoosiers. What should people expect to see?

- Who are the Ohio State Buckeyes? The best team in America? An overrated and over-hyped squad? Does anyone really KNOW what team is going to show up on a weekly basis? The dominant powerhouse that smashed Virginia Tech? Or the sleepwaking pussycat that flirted with disaster against Northern Illinois? 

- I'm not sure I know who this team is and how they will play on a weekly basis, so all I can go by is what I see on the field after one month of play. Although not always playing well, this team has as much talent as any team in America right now, and that has not changed for me. Defensively, there were a few cracks in the run defense against Western Michigan, but overall this unit has been what was expected. They are playing at championship level.

- What about the offense, and specifically the quarterback position? Right now, Cardale Jones is not the 2014 J.T. Barrett, and even more shocking, the 2015 J.T. Barrett is nowhere near to the 2014 J.T. Barrett. The offense has been inconsistent for the most part, and the dropoff at the quarterback spot has contributed greatly. The turnovers have been costly, and there have been far too many wide open receivers where the ball does not come on time or on the money. Simply put, this position needs to be better.

- What about the offensive line? To me, they were much better last week, especially the interior. I don't think Chase Farris has been as bad as some have hinted, and he is still very new to the offensive line. Give him a little more slack. Can this group win with Cardale Jones as the QB, and running less option? I definitely think so. The result might be fewer big plays, but more long drives, and this group can definitely play power football. No worries with these guys.

- The passing game was only a few bad throws by Cardale Jones away from having a pretty big day against Western Michigan, and there could have been three more touchdowns on the board. The offensive efficiency looked better last week from the coaching standpoint, and should only improve as Urban Meyer, Tim Beck and Ed Warinner become more familiar with each other in their current roles. No worries with scheme, playcalling or overall approach. 

- What about this week's game with Indiana? Well, the Hoosiers are exactly who we think they are, thank you Dennis Green. They can throw the football with Nate Sudfeld, and run it with bruiser Jordan Howard. They can score points, and they've always scored points under Kevin Wilson. But their defense is bad, about as bad as it usually is. 

- If Ohio State can cut back on the turnovers, penalties and just get a little bit better play from Cardale Jones, they are going to score points. A LOT of points. And I'm not sure Indiana will score much on Ohio State, although they could try to control the football with Howard running it and Sudfeld throwing it short. They should try to shorten the game, play keep away from Ohio State, and play field position. 

- Or Wilson could come out and play with the pedal to the medal, push tempo, and try to get Ohio State down on the scoreboard, to see how Jones might react. Could Wilson actually try to outscore Ohio State, hoping his team will find the end zone enough and also hope the Buckeyes turn it over and bog down offensively? 

- To me, the Indiana offensive philosophy will dictate the game. If he elects to play it Tressel-style, this could be a game that ends up in 38-20 range, with Ohio State winning. But if Wilson goes all out offensively and pushes pace, then it's up to the Ohio State offense to answer. If Jones and his teammates are on point and penalty free, then you could be looking at a 62-14 Buckeye win. Or if the QB's continue to yuck it up the way they have on offense the past few weeks, could this be a game that is a shootout that goes to the wire and ends up 48-47? 

- I'm not going to make a formal pick this week, because I have no clue how this game is going to be played at all. Off the top of my head, I'm thinking it should be in the range of OSU 38 IU 20, but that's just a guess. Want to see more of Ohio State before sticking my neck out on a prediction. 


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