Bloomington, IN (Sports Network) - The eighth-ranked Ohio State Buckeyes put
their perfect record on the line once more, as they pay a visit to the
struggling Indiana Hoosiers this Saturday for a Big Ten Conference affair.
Ohio State has made Urban Meyer's first year as head coach a memorable one to
this point, as the team has won each of its first six games. Save for a minor
scare from visiting California a few weeks back, the Buckeyes ran roughshod
through their non-conference schedule, but the start of Big Ten play meant an
upgrade in competition. OSU slipped past Michigan State on the road in the
league lidlifter, 17-16, before taking down visiting Nebraska last weekend,
Indiana opened the 2012 campaign with wins in its first two games, but since
then has dropped three in a row. The Hoosiers' most recent outing took place
last week versus Michigan State, and resulted in a tough 31-27 loss. Second-
year head coach Kevin Wilson has yet to taste victory in a Big Ten bout, going
0-8 last year and 0-2 this season. Changing that fact this week won't be easy,
but perhaps IU will be line for that elusive league win when it plays at
Illinois (2-4, 0-2) on Oct. 27.
Ohio State has dominated the all-time series with Indiana (67-12-5), and the
Buckeyes have won the last 16 meetings. The Hoosiers' last victory over OSU
was a 41-7 rout at home back in 1988.
Despite trailing early, the Buckeyes never lost faith in their recent clash
with visiting Nebraska, scoring 56 points in the final three quarters to earn
the comfortable victory. QB Braxton Miller ran for 186 yards and a TD, while
adding 127 yards and a score in the passing game. Not to be outdone, RB Carlos
Hyde had a tremendous game by rushing for 140 yards and four TDs -- the first
four-TD rushing game by an OSU running back since Eddie George turned the
trick against Iowa on Oct. 28, 1995.
Hyde heaped praise upon the guys who rarely receive any, "I have to give all
the credit to the offensive line. If they didn't do their job, we wouldn't
have been able to run for 300-plus yards. They were great tonight."
Coach Meyer added to Hyde's comments, speaking favorably about his back and
the guys in the trenches.
"When he [Hyde] was getting into the line of scrimmage, it was two, three
yards down the field. So with a big guy like that, you get him started, it's
hard to bring down. And he has to get started. He wasn't getting started in
the first quarter. That offensive line did it in the second quarter, third and
Ohio State is outscoring the enemy by 18 ppg this season, using a bruising
rushing attack (248.7 ypg) to do the bulk of its damage. The offense has
generated 29 TDs this season, with 20 of them coming on the ground. Miller has
run for 763 yards and eight TDs, while completing 61.5 percent of his passes
for 1,060 yards, nine TDs and three interceptions. Corey Brown is the team's
leading receiver with 35 grabs for 352 yards, while Devin Smith has turned 19
catches into 351 yards and four scores.
While they amassed 371 rushing yards themselves, the Buckeyes surrendered 223
rushing yards and 437 total yards to the Cornhuskers, but came up with four
sacks and four turnovers, one of which resulted in a TD when DB Bradley Roby
returned an interception 41 yards to open the scoring.
The Buckeyes also got a special teams score when Brown returned a punt 76
yards for a TD in the third quarter. LB Ryan Shazier led the OSU defense with
11 tackles, and he notched his second sack of the season. After half a dozen
games, Shazier leads the team with 59 total tackles, while CB Travis Howard
has three interceptions and DL John Simon has three sacks.
The Hoosiers scored all 27 of their points in the first half and held a 10-
point lead heading into the fourth quarter of last Saturday's home game with
Michigan State, but couldn't hold off the Spartans who wound up earning the
narrow victory. QB Cameron Coffman threw for 282 yards and three TDs, hitting
WR Shane Wynn a dozen times for 70 yards and a score. As for the Indiana
ground attack, it was limited to 35 net yards.
Defensively, the Hoosiers permitted 410 yards, 290 of which came through the
air. Neither team recorded a turnover, and only three combined sacks were
logged on the day. A total of five IU defenders tallied eight stops on the
day, and the defense was credited with nine PBU and six TFL.
Coach Wilson knows his team, while playing well in the first half last week,
can't expect to win against top-flight competition unless they compete hard
for all four quarters.
"Give credit to their guys and their coaches, they got it done at halftime and
played a good second half. You're not going to beat a good team, you're not
going to win the Big Ten like that and you're not going to beat good teams if
you don't play 60 (minutes)."
The Indiana offense averages a robust 32.8 ppg, utilizing an effective aerial
assault (305.2 ypg) to keep opponents off balance. Coffman is a 67.2 percent
passer who has thrown for 801 yards with six TDs and only one interception,
and Wynn heads the team with 28 receptions, turning them into 213 yards with
four scores. Cody Latimer has a club-best 363 receiving yards, and he has
found the end zone twice. Stephen Houston is the Hoosiers' top rusher, but he
has just 277 yards (55.4 ypg). He has scored four TDs.
On the other side of the ball, Indiana is giving up 27.8 ppg, with foes
rolling up 441.0 ypg. The Hoosiers have been particularly lax against the run,
yielding 194.8 ypg, with 10 of the opposition's 17 offensive TDs coming on the
ground. The unit hasn't had much success wrestling the ball away from opposing
offenses, logging just five turnovers, and it averages only two sacks per
game. DT Adam Replogle and LB David Cooper have each collected 36 tackles,
with the former logging a team-best 2.5 sacks.
The Sports Network