If the Indiana-Michigan game last Saturday showed us anything, it was that Indiana may not have much in the way of defense, but they have several playmakers in their spread offense.
With the Buckeyes banged up defensively, this game could be a little more interesting and closer than we expected going into the season.
The Hoosiers are now 3-1 after the 7-point home loss to the Wolverines last weekend.
Ohio State is 5-0, but they are coming off a 24-13 lethargic showing against Illinois.
Terrelle Pryor injured his quadriceps muscle on a run scramble, and LB/DB Tyler Moeller suffered a torn pectoral muscle and will likely miss the rest of the season.
With mounting injuries on the defense, TP a bit dinged up and an anemic running attack from Brandon Saine and Dan Herron, Buckeye fans should be somewhat concerned this week (do not sleep on the Hoosiers), but especially the following week when Ohio State has to travel to Madison to take on the Badgers in Camp Randall.
But for now, let's keep our focus on the task at hand.
Indiana—By the Numbers
Indiana QB Ben Chappell just set the Indiana all-time record for passing yards in a game with 480 last week against Michigan, yet the Hoosiers still lost.
Ohio State has had trouble defending the spread in the recent past, however, a repeat performance for Chappell this week against the Buckeye defensive unit is still not very likely.
Last year, Chappell did have two touchdown passes, but Ohio State held him to just 210 yards passing and intercepted him twice in the 33-14 Buckeye victory.
Through four games, Chappell has thrown for 1,370 yards with 12 touchdowns and just one interception.
What Chappell has done so far statistically is impressive, but it is only fair to point out that said stats have come against Towson, Western Kentucky, Akron, and Michigan. None of those teams know much about playing real, big-time defense.
Running back Darius Willis is averaging 4.3 yards per carry, and on the year has rushed for 278 yards with four rushing touchdowns. He has also caught 11 balls for 102 yards and one receiving touchdown.
In 2009, the Buckeyes held Willis to 23 yards on 11 carries and he did not score.
The Hoosiers have five players with at least 100 yards or more receiving.
Demarlo Belcher leads the way with 31 receptions for 375 yards and three scores.
Tandon Doss and Terrence Turner are close behind with 23 and 24 catches respectively.
Doss has 323 yards receiving, while Turner has 246 yards through the air. Each have caught one touchdown pass.
Duwyce Wilson has 12 catches for 148 yards and one touchdown.
Rounding out the list, tight end Ted Bolser has made 10 catches for 155 yards, with four of his receptions coming in the endzone.
Nationally, Indiana ranks 4th in passing yards per game (361.8), 99th in rushing yards per game (106.8), 13th in points scored per game (39.8), and 72nd in points allowed per game (25.0).
Ohio State—By the Numbers
QB Terrelle Pryor is still near the top of the Heisman favorites list, but he'll have to shake off the quad injury he suffered last week and put up much better numbers if he wants to remain in the race.
Pryor has 1,015 passing yards, 12 touchdown passes to just three interceptions, 373 rushing yards (6.9 ypc) and three rushing touchdowns.
He also has a 20-yard touchdown reception. His current QB rating is 161.7.
Pryor is currently on pace for 2,436 passing yards, 895 rushing yards, 38 total touchdowns and seven interceptions.
Last week, Dan Herron carried the ball 23 times for 95 yards and emerged as the No. 1 back.
Brandon Saine proved that he belongs out in space, not in the backfield taking handoffs. His field vision and ability to navigate through traffic is horrendous. He has much higher value as a receiver.
Overall, Herron has gained 287 yards rushing and has scored five touchdowns. He is averaging 4.4 yards per carry. He also has eight receptions for 115 yards.
Saine has 183 yards on the ground and 75 through the air with two rushing touchdowns and three receiving touchdowns.
Jaamal Berry has made the most of his limited opportunities. Unfortunately, he did not see any time at running back in the Illinois game last Saturday.
Why you might ask?
Who knows, but Tressel needs to play the kid when it counts.
Berry has carried the ball 15 times for 177 yards and has one touchdown. His ridiculous average of 11.8 yards per carry is nearly triple that of Herron's and Saine's.
Dane Sanzenbacher still leads the Buckeyes in receiving with 23 catches for 351 yards and six touchdowns.
Devier Posey has 18 catches for 261 yards and two touchdowns.
Tight end Jake Stoneburner, who has missed the last two weeks with an ankle injury, has nine catches for 110 yards and a touchdown. No word yet on if he will return this week or not, but if the coaches hold him out until next week at Wisconsin, it would not be a surprise.
Of the 120 FBS teams, Ohio State is 56th in passing yards per game (240.0), 14th in rushing yards per game (234.8), 8th in points per game (44.2), and 11th in points allowed per game (14.2).
Ohio State—Indiana: History Lesson and Other Tidbits
• Ohio State leads the all-time head-to-head series 66-12-5.
• Ohio State has won 15 straight over IU and are 18-2-1 vs. the Hoosiers since 1985.
• Ohio State is 7-0 vs. Indiana under Tressel, having outscored them 255-71.
• Ohio State is 23-2 against unranked conference opponents dating back to 2005.
• Ohio State is 31-5 since 2001 in home conference games under Jim Tressel.
• Ohio State is 41-1 overall in their last 42 home games against unranked opponents under Tressel.
• Ohio State boasts an all-time record of 361-126-28 in October games.
• Ohio State's defense has not allowed a 100-yard rusher in their last 28 games.
• Since the beginning of the 2005 season, the Buckeyes have allowed only seven 100-yard rushers during a span of 69 games, the fewest among FBS teams.
• Terrelle Pryor is now 24-3 as Ohio State's starting quarterback.
• Coach Jim Tressel (99-21) is just one win shy of his 100th at Ohio State.
• Indiana has lost 11 straight Big Ten road games.
• Indiana last defeated Ohio State in Bloomington in 1988.
• Indiana's last win over Ohio State in Columbus was a 31-10 victory in 1987.
• Indiana is 17-24 under head coach Bill Lynch, now in his 4th season at IU.
• With last weeks loss to Michigan, Indiana is now 0-7 against top 25 teams under Lynch.
• Since 2005, Indiana is just 1-11 vs. ranked Big Ten opponents, with three of those losses coming against the Buckeyes.
Summary and Prediction
Indiana has a porous defense and even if Terrelle Pryor isn't at 100%, he and his Buckeye teammates shouldn't find much resistance moving the ball and finding the endzone.
Offensively, IU has a handful of talented players and they too will have some success moving the ball and scoring points against a younger, less experienced Buckeye defense that has had to shift or replace a couple of key starters due to injury.
Ohio State survived a bit of a scare last week against Illinois in their first road game of the year, but coming back home to play in Ohio Stadium against Indiana is practically a sure-fire confidence builder and the cure for whatever ails you.
Final Score Prediction
Ohio State 48