2005 Opponent: Indiana Hoosiers

We continue on with our look at OSU's opponents as well as the Big Ten for 2005 with this thumbnail sketch of Indiana. Terry Hoeppner takes over the IU program after a successful stint at Miami (Ohio).

We continue our look at Ohio State's 2005 schedule as well as the Big Ten. In today's seventh installment of the series, we look at the Oct. 22 game at Indiana.


* Date, Time: Sat., Oct. 22; time, TV TBA. (A look at the Big Ten schedule shows Purdue-Wisconsin at 3:30 on ABC. The OSU-Indiana game will almost assuredly be a noon game on either ESPN, ESPN2 or ESPN-Plus.)

* Location: Memorial Stadium; Bloomington, Ind.

* Last Year: 3-8. Big Ten: 1-7/10th (tie).

* Coach: Terry Hoeppner (first year at IU; seventh year overall, 48-24).

* Returning Starters: 13. Offense (5): LT Isaac Sowells, LG Adam Hines, C Chris Mangiero, RG Brandon Hatcher, RT Justin Frye. Defense (7): DE Victor Adeyanju, DE Kenny Kendal, LB Kyle Killion, LB Jake Powers, CB Buster Larkins, CB Tracy Porter, SS Will Meyers. Specialists (1): P Tyson Beattie.

* Big Ten Championships: 2, last shared title in 1967.

* Rose Bowls: 1 (1967).

* BCS Bids: None.

* National Championships: None.

* Series Vs. Ohio State: OSU leads the all-time series 63-12-5, including 22-2-1 in Bloomington. OSU has won 12 straight in the series, dating to a 27-27 tie in 1990. Indiana's back-to-back wins in 1987 and '88 are the Hoosiers' only wins in the season dating to 1951. OSU won 30-7 a year ago in Columbus, snapping a three-game losing streak in Big Ten play.

* Schedule: Sept. 2, at Central Michigan; Sept. 10, Nicholls State; Sept. 17, Kentucky; Oct. 1, at Wisconsin; Oct. 8, Illinois; Oct. 15, at Iowa; Oct. 22, Ohio State; Oct. 29, at Michigan State; Nov. 5, Minnesota; Nov. 12, at Michigan; Nov. 19, Purdue.

* Outlook: Hoeppner, a Woodburn, Ind., native leaves the comfy environs of Oxford, Ohio, where he led Miami to two MAC East titles and one MAC championship (2003), for the reclamation project of all reclamation projects – Indiana football. The Hoosiers have not been to a bowl game since the 1993 season.

"We ended up the 2003 season at Miami as the No. 10 team in the country," Hoeppner said. "If we can do that at Miami, I know we can do it at Indiana. We have a president (Adam Herbert) who has taken an interest in the football program. Indiana is a great university. It's been a sleeping giant and we're going to wake it up. That's my goal.

"I give this team an A for attitude and effort from day one. I'm sure the learning curve will continue, but I like this team."

Hoeppner was asked about taking over as the football coach at a school that is so basketball crazy.

"It's a bonus for us," Hoeppner said. "We've had a rich history of success in national championships, not only in basketball but also in (men's) soccer. One of the perks is that I get to go to basketball games and I can use that as a recruiting tool for potential players. There is no reason why we both can't be successful. I have an administration that has said that basketball is part of our DNA but the heart of our athletic program is in Memorial Stadium and we have got to pump blood for the program. I have a great relationship with (men's basketball) coach (Mike) Davis and I think we can work with each other to strengthen the athletic department as a whole."

Leading rusher BenJarvus Green-Ellis transferred out to Mississippi. Sophomore Blake Powers takes over at quarterback, while senior Chris Taylor (329 yards) will likely get the call at tailback.

Hoeppner may be just what the doctor ordered for IU, which was a distant 11th in scoring and total defense last year. Killion (106 tackles) will anchor that side of the ball.

* Jerry Rudzinski Says: It's some excitement for them with Terry Hoeppner going over there. I never thought Gerry DiNardo was the right answer. I know before him they went with Cam Cameron, a younger guy who tried to bring some energy to the program. That didn't work. So they went with DiNardo, an older guy who had been at some big programs like LSU.

Hoeppner comes in from Miami, where he built a solid program. I think the players really liked him. You hear the stories about the players going into the administration and sticking up for him and saying, `This is our guy.' Not many coaches can get that kind of backing from their players.

Looking at them offensively, their line is back. But Blake Powers, taking over at QB, only threw 22 balls last year. Chris Taylor is a senior. He's supposed to be their tailback, but he's also unproven. I think it's going to be more of the same for IU offensively.

Hoeppner will be out front and he will be well liked in the community. I just don't know, though, if he's the guy who will get that program over the hurdle. He may take them to the next level where they are respectable, but that won't happen overnight.

It comes down to recruiting. Indiana has been losing players to MAC schools. That has to stop if they're going to compete.

* Steve Helwagen Says: Indiana was just what the doctor ordered a year ago as the Buckeyes were coming off a three-game losing streak. Every time I've ever attended an OSU-Indiana game at Bloomington, there have been long traffic jams from Indianapolis to Bloomington – and most of the cars have Ohio license plates.

That game in 1996, when OSU clinched the Rose Bowl bid, was a fiasco. IU even sent OSU a bill for damaging the south end zone fence when the fans rushed the field. It's been like a second homefield for OSU, although they only play one game there every two years.

The IU offense is an interesting mix. Powers' next touchdown pass will be his first. Green-Ellis would have provided some modicum of a running game, but he's gone. None of the receivers could be considered a major threat. There is nothing in that mix that makes you quake in your boots.

But then you have to look at what Hoeppner did at Miami and believe he will be putting IU in contention for a bowl bid within a few years. IU has been to one Rose Bowl (after the 1967 season), and it was John Pont – a former coach at Miami – who did it. Maybe lightning will strike twice.

Hey, after Gary Barnett led Northwestern to the Rose Bowl after the 1995 season, I would believe anything is possible.

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