Game Preview: Ohio State vs Indiana
The last quarter of the regular season is here as the second week of November approaches. It feels like yesterday that the Buckeyes were preparing to host Notre Dame in a top 5 match up, and now we are just over 2 weeks away from The Game. The College Football Playoff picture is getting even more clearer now, and the Buckeyes are right where they want to be with an undefeated record, and a chance to face a top 3 team in Michigan to punch their ticket to Indianapolis fit the Big Ten Championship game, and a chance to make the playoff.
Georgia has asserted itself as the number 1 team after a dominating win against the new media darling Tennessee, and once-Heisman-frontrunner Hendon Hooker had his worst game, and will be waiting to see what happens in the landscape around them. The Buckeyes are one of four remaining undefeated teams along with Georgia, Michigan, and TCU, who are the top 4 teams in all polls.
The Buckeyes know what has to be done, and they need to take care of business these next two weeks against Indiana and Maryland, and the showdown in the show for The Game will have as high of stakes as the 2006 edition.
𝐜𝐡.𝐗 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐦𝐢𝐧𝐝𝐬𝐞𝐭 🎥🔥🍿 pic.twitter.com/RJw9aSnkys— Ohio State Football (@OhioStateFB) November 10, 2022
Know the Opponent:
Head Coach: Tom Allen (7th season)
2022 Record: 3-6
Location: Bloomington, IN
Conference: Big Ten
Ohio State Preview
Ohio State returns home after two straight road games. We talked about it in the recap, but I am sure last weeks game against Northwestern is one that the Buckeyes were just wanting to forget, and glad they got out of the windy game with a win, and let the chaos of the rest of the country unfold. Despite the worst statistical performance offensively under Ryan Day, the Buckeyes stayed in second place for the College Football Playoff rankings, and will likely stay there until the match up against Michigan on November 26th.
CJ Stroud has passed for 2453 yards this season, and still at 29 touchdowns and 4 interceptions. It was his first game as a starter where he did not throw for the passing touchdown, breaking a 20 game streak. What he did do though his show off he will run if he has to, and ran for 76 yards last week on 6 carries to help the offense move against a cover 0 look from Northwestern because of the wind pretty much eliminating any chance of a passing game. He now has a chance to pad his stats this week and next week, and with a win against Michigan, he can all but secure the Heisman, the first winner since Troy Smith won it in 2006.
Miyan Williams was the only running back who played last week, with TreVeyon Henderson resting, and now leads the team with 102 rushes for 636 yards and 12 touchdowns. Henderson is second on the team with 96 carries for 552 yards and 6 touchdowns. It has been a few games since we have seen Dallan Hayden play, and it might be due to the staff wanting to keep his redshirt, but don’t be surprised if Chi[ Trayanum gets some plays in the backfield if the anticipated blow out happens.
Marvin Harrison Jr was the only one who was able to catch the ball in the hurricane, and that might be due to all the practice he does with the Juggs Machine every single day. He leads the team with 53 catches for 834 yards and 10 touchdowns. Emeka Egbuka is second on the team with 49 catches with 794 yards and 7 touchdowns. Both receivers are on the Biletnikoff watch list, and you can vote for them here.
The Hoosiers have had a tale of two season this year, and at this point are in a spot where they are on a slide, and could miss out on Bowl eligibility with a 3-6 record, but have Ohio State, Michigan State, and Purdue left on their schedule. 2020 seemed like an anomaly where they beat Michigan, Michigan State, Penn State, and Wisconsin, and lost to Ohio State, which cost them the chance to go to the Big Ten Championship game that year, and 2021 they dropped off in the worst way. There was some promise as they opened up with a win against Illinois, which now looks like a solid win against a top 25 team. They then won their next two games against Idaho and Western Kentucky, but started a 6 game losing streak after getting beat by Cincinnati 45-24.
Indiana’s offense is the 100th best scoring offense, and 90th in the country in total offense. Defensively, they are 114th in scoring defense, giving up over 32 points a a game, and 103 in total defense, with 423 yards allowed.
Connor Bazelak is their best quarterback, passing for 2099 yards for the year, and throwing for 12 touchdowns and 9 interceptions. He has been sacked 23 times this year, but has a rushing touchdown. Jack Tuttle came in last week against Penn State, but was injured, and Dexter Williams II had to step in, but threw 2 interceptions in the loss.
Shaun Shivers is the leading running back, carrying the ball for 399 yards on 106 carries, and has 4 rushing touchdowns. He is also involved in the passing game, catching 21 catches for 125 yards and 1 touchdown. Josh Henderson is the second leading running back, with 286 yards on 63 carries and 3 touchdowns. He is the third leading receiver with 18 catches for 232 yards and 3 touchdowns.
Cam Camper is the top target for the Hoosiers, catching 46 times for 569 yards and 2 touchdowns. Emery Simmons is the second leading receiver with 32 catches for 335 yard and 1 touchdown.
Ohio State Run Game. For the second straight week, after two weeks of concern at the push at the line of scrimmage, the run game will be looked at as a must improve for this team. At this point, its not so much about who the Buckeyes are playing, but who they are gearing up the play down the road with Michigan, and the post season match ups, and Buckeyes fans will want to see that improved to feel a bit more confident about our chances to implement their will.
Connor Bazelak. The transfer quarterback sat out last week due to an injury, but according to head coach Tom Allen, there is a chance Bazelak will play. If he is not able to, the Hoosiers would be down to their third string quarterback Dexter Williams II.
Water Cooler Stat of the Game
27. Ohio State is on a 27 game win streak against the Hoosiers, dating back from 1991. Overall the Buckeyes lead the series 77-12-5.
After two straight weeks on the road, playing at home should be a shot in the arm for the Buckeyes to help get them ready for the last quarter of the season. Hopefully the weather conditions in Columbus are much better than they were in Evanston, but the Buckeyes issues will need to be fixed if they want to compete for a National Championship. The biggest concern is getting push at the line of scrimmage in the run game, and last week the Buckeyes had Miyan Williams as the only running back who took carries. Hopefully TreVeyon Henderson is back this week after getting some rest for a foot injury that was aggravated against Toledo, as all the weapons will need to be healthy. On defense, they are going against Indiana’s third strong quarterback, but he is not Cardale Jones. This will be a good game for the Buckeyes to get a win, get some style points, and work on their run game
Ohio State 49 – Indiana 10
Photo Credit: FanNation