5 Things To Watch: Ohio State Buckeyes Host Indiana Hoosiers

Ohio State is set to host Indiana a week after the Hoosiers upset Michigan State in overtime.

Will Ohio State Struggle Against Indiana Again?

Last season, Ohio State's win over Indiana came down to the final moments. In general, the Buckeyes have struggled against the Hoosiers since Urban Meyer took over as head coach in Columbus. Does that guarantee Indiana can hang with Ohio State this year? No, but it sure seems like the Hoosiers have one of the best teams they've had in years. A win over Michigan State means a lot, even if the Spartans are having a down year. If Ohio State is looking a head to Wisconsin, Indiana could be a road block.

But, the Buckeyes are playing as well as ever this season, and Meyer has certainly done his best to make sure his players stay motivated this week.

Can The Hoosiers Slow Down The Buckeyes?

Ohio State's offense has been, well, really good this season. The Buckeyes are averaging 332.0 rushing yards and 576.2 total yards per game this year. Indiana, though, is solid on defense, allowing just 373.0 yards per game. 

The Buckeyes have a host of weapons, though, and it seems like an impossible task to slow down H-back Curtis Samuel and running back Mike Weber. That doesn't even include quarterback J.T. Barrett, who is certainly in the thick of the Heisman conversation.

If Indiana wants to have a chance, it might start with slowing down Ohio State on the ground, but that's a big ask for any team.

Who Gets The Nod At Linebacker?

Junior Dante Booker entered the season as an Ohio State starter at linebacker, but he sprained his MCL in the opener and hasn't played since. In the meantime, sophomore Jerome Baker has made a big impact, including an interception returned for a touchdown against Oklahoma. Booker is listed as probable this week, meaning he's likely to see the field.

Even if Booker does come back, has Baker done enough to keep the starting spot regardless? My guess: yes.

Barrett Is Close To Another Record

Last week, Barrett broke the program record for career touchdown passes when he tossed four against Rutgers. Now, he has 84 total touchdowns, just four away from tying Braxton Miller's program record of 88. With 14 passing touchdowns and three rushing touchdowns going in, it's not out of the realm of possibility that Barrett could break that record against the Hoosiers.

The way Ohio State's offense has been playing, there's no reason to think Barrett will hit the road for Wisconsin without at least a share of the record. If I had to give my best guess, I say he throws three and the Buckeyes find a way to get him in for two more scores on the ground to break the record this week.

Noah Brown Only Caught 1 Pass Last Week

Does Ohio State have a top wide receiver not named Curtis Samuel? Yeah, it's Noah Brown. That said, Brown had just one catch last week, and the Ohio State offense certainly didn't miss a beat.

Does he need to be a consistent threat for the Buckeyes to beat Indiana? No, but it might be time for the coaching staff to get Brown more involved in the offense. He showed his other-worldly ability with four touchdowns against Oklahoma, and Brown should be able to replicate at least some of that form against the Hoosiers.

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