4 storylines for Indiana’s game at Ohio State

1. IU has been competitive with Ohio State in recent seasons.
Perhaps that is in part to the Buckeyes overlooking Indiana, which hasn’t scored a win in this series since 1988. Another part of it is certainly a credit to the Hoosiers, who have recruited better and built a foundation on the offensive line that has allowed them to sling it against just about anyone. IU has held leads against Ohio State during the second half in each of the past two seasons before watching the Buckeyes pull ahead. Across the past two meetings, Ohio State has only outscored Indiana 41-37 through three quarters. It’s the four quarter where Ohio State has outpaced IU by a combined score of 35-17 in the last two years.

2. How much luck goes Indiana’s way?
Ohio Stadium is one of the toughest venues for road teams in the country. Meanwhile, Urban Meyer-coached Buckeye teams have won 30 of the 32 games they’ve played in Columbus. So beyond being good, IU may need a little luck, too. The Hoosiers can’t afford the penalties that have followed them over the last two weeks, where they’ve been flagged 16 times for 144 yards. Might some of those whistles go the the other way? They could. Ohio State has been one of the most penalized teams in the league. IU also needs the ball to bounce its way. Ohio State is second nationally with a plus-eight in the turnover margin, so if IU can secure a takeway, the Hoosiers better make the most of it.

3. Can Indiana continue avoiding explosive plays?
For the most part this season, Indiana has done a better job of making plays in space and sticking to assignments. They’re also making the tackles they’ve missed in previous seasons. According to puntjohnpunt.com, Indiana missed only five tackles against Michigan State — three of which came on one play. It was the big play, in part, that doomed Indiana vs. Ohio State last season. In that game, former Buckeye running back Ezekiel Elliott ran for 274 yards, of which 195 came on three scoring runs.

4. This will be Richard Lagow’s first true road test.
Sure, Lagow kicked off his IU career on the road at Florida International last month. But there will probably be 93,000 more fans in Ohio Stadium than there were in Miami. Ohio State’s defense has been tough through four games, with nine interceptions — four of which have been returned for scores. Lagow could lean on someone like Mitchell Paige, who has done an outstanding job of finding openings. This may also be an opportunity to see where heralded transfer Camion Patrick fits in the offense. Although Patrick didn’t play vs. Michigan State, he and Lagow were among the first players on the field before the game, throwing and catching passes with one another.

3 comments

  1. It would be great to see Patrick on the field and playing like he did before getting hurt. Lagow has the arm to throw passes in tight windows like he has done in the past week. IU will have to have a running game to help control the defense and the way our RBs and WRs have played against MSU, very physical, OSU could be surprised by the way IU is playing. I hope the RBs and WRs continue to play physical and make some great plays.

    Our defense is doing a good job keep offense in front of them and stopping them from getting too many yards. They will get tested this week but playing the right way and not making mental mistakes will keep OSU work hard to move the ball. It will be up to the offense to finish drives and score TDs but we have the people to do that.

    This game will show how far IU has come. OSU is young and able to make young mistakes leading to TDs for IU. It also will help the defense to create takeaways. This is the kind of game the guys came to IU to win.

  2. IU has played OSU tough for, IMHO, no apparent reason the past few years. We won’t sneak up on them. That being said, we have the most comparable talent in quite some time. We will have to play better and get some breaks but that describes half the games this weekend.

    If our guys win it will be because they played their best and OSU perhaps did not. Nothing to be ashamed of about that. They started off with a 10 yard head start. That’s why they play the games.

    If it was just about talent and recruiting FSU would be playing for the title instead of hoping to get into the Alamo Bowl.

  3. Over a season, KW’s offense has never scored more points than his defense has allowed. This season, OSU’s DEFENSE is scoring more points than their defense has allowed. Tough, tough game today.

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