WIN, LOSE OR DRAW: Ohio State

Part five of a 12-part series outlining Indiana football’s opponents this season.

Ohio St Media Day Football

Ohio State quarterback Terrelle Pryor takes questions from reporters during the Buckeyes media day. Associated Press

OPPONENT: Ohio State

DATE: Oct. 3

TIME: 7 p.m.

TV: Big Ten Network

TICKETS: Click here.

FOLLOW THE TEAM: Ohio State’s official site.

The media guide.

Coverage from BuckeyeXtra.com, a site run by the Columbus Dispatch.

HISTORY VS. INDIANA: Indiana is 12-65-5 alltime against Michigan. The teams last met in 2006, with Ohio State winning by a 44-3 score at Columbus. The last win, 41-7, came in 1988.

WHO ARE THEY: The Ohio State Buckeyes are very much a team in transition, having lost standouts like James Laurinaitis, Malcolm Jenkins and Beanie Wells. All totaled, Seven different Buckeyes were picked in this year’s NFL Draft. In an effort to keep the 10-win seasons coming (four straight after 2008’s 10-3 mark), coach Jim Tressel is turning over the field to a group of sophomores that were ranked fourth-nationally as high school seniors. This year’s offense should be more suited to the skills of quarterback Terrelle Pryor, while the defense will continue to play a similar style as in past seasons, suited for Big Ten football.

OFFENSIVE STAR: Pryor, the man whose arms and legs forced even ol’ Joe Paterno to start recruiting again, is now a sophomore and has 10 starts under his belt. He was 9-1 last season as the starter, but was not asked to control the offense as much as maintain it. Things should be more opened up this season, to take advantage of his dual-threat capabilities (Ohio State recently timed him a 4.33 seconds in the 40-yard dash, a dubious time but also indicating he is fast for a 6-foot-6, 235-pound man). He threw for 1,311 yards and 12 touchdowns, and ran for 631 yards and six scores as a freshman. He was the preseason offensive player of the year in the Big Ten, and could be a darkhorse Heisman Trophy contender.

DEFENSIVE STAR: Certainly not Tyler Moeller, the outside linebacker who was recently lost for the season after undergoing brain surgery. He was attacked while on a family vacation in Florida, and his family has said he did nothing to prompt the violence (early reports indicated it was a bar fight). So how about Anderson Russell? The third-year starter in the defensive backfield will be at free safety this season. He’s posted more than 60 tackles a season two years running, and is known as an intelligent player that picks up opposing offenses’ tendencies quickly.

WHY INDIANA WILL WIN: Um, well, yeah. Ohio State and Penn State are the Hoosiers’ two most difficult opponents this season, with Penn State slightly ahead because of the game being in State College. But the Buckeyes were voted sixth in the preseason USA Today coaches’ poll because of Tressel, Pryor and a defense that seems to be able to plug in new faces and always respond. If Indiana is to have a chance in the game, the crowd is going to have to play a factor (Indiana is planning to dedicate the new North End Zone expansion during the game). On the field, Ben Chappell will have to manage the game effectively and the defensive ends (Jammie Kirlew and Greg Middleton) will have to keep Pryor contained in the pocket.

WHY OHIO STATE WILL WIN: The Buckeyes are bigger, stronger and faster than the Hoosiers. Make no mistakes about it — a rebuilding Ohio State team is still one of the better teams in the country, at least before January and a bowl date with an SEC opponent. While athletics director Fred Glass will likely do everything short of selling the shirt off his back in order to fill Memorial Stadium on gameday with Indiana fans, the Ohio State faithful are still going to show up in droves and they’re going to get into the stadium. Look for Ohio State to run the ball early and often, controlling the clock and sucking any and all Indiana energy out of the stadium.

NOW YOU: Call it — win, lose or draw? Well, ok, just win or lose. State your reason, as well.

21 comments

  1. I think for the purpose of actually having a debate on this installment, we should define a “win” as losing by less than two touchdowns. And a “loss” as losing by two touchdowns or more.

    If IU actually outscores Ohio State, we’ll refer to that as “end of mankind as we know it.”

    Sound good?

  2. Wisco,

    What the front office will probably say: “We felt that the amount of national attention and league attention that will inevitably be directed toward the Ohio State game warranted holding off on the dedication until that day, October 3rd. This way, our new building is showcased in a greater spotlight, as to maximize the number of potential IU student athletes who are exposed to the unveiling of our new state-of-the-art facilities.

    This is the most likely actual reason: “We have to take tons of pictures at the building dedication, obviously — it being an extremely rare occurence. But the thing is, most of our games won’t be sold out this year.

    BUT, check this out: Ohio state has essentially the same colors as us. So when the 15,000 OSU fans fill in the gaps in our stadium, it’ll look like a sold out IU crowd!

    And even though we stand a good chance of getting torched that night, at least the pictures will look legit.”

  3. Probably accurate Casey. I understand the pictures, but it still kinda sucks. The dedication should be a positive event, but instead it will be drowned out by OSU fans laughing and then getting whipped.

    I guess the same as when the stadium itself was dedicated; I believe we were whipped by MSU.

  4. Wisco,

    I actually did ask this. And was told that the dedication date was set by the previous administration.

    So I’ll keep doing some digging. I’ve been trying to get in touch with Rick Greenspan anyway.

  5. I look at it as an opportunity for IU players to get pumped and play the game of their lives, extra incentive. I am excited! Something to play for and make the day extra memorable.

  6. I would dearly love to at least see IU put up a fight here.

    A big deal has been made about the $5 student tickets for this season, but I have a different idea: IU students get in free to this game. We absolutely need about 20,000 students in the building being as loud as possible to at least help us out.

    and for some historical perspective, the October 8, 1960 game in which the stadium was originally dedicated: Michigan State 35, Indiana 0. Awkward dedication games are nothing new here.

  7. OK, fellow Hoosier fans, here’s my challenge. Even though I’ll be unlikely to make the 120 mile trip to the game, I’m going to buy a ticket just so a Bug-eye can’t. Now, how many of you are on board?
    Hell, who knows, maybe I’ll tell the wife I’m going to the corner for a pack of smokes and head south.

  8. Kurk81,
    If I give you my seat number info, will you buy the one beside me so that I don’t have to sit next to that crap right next to me AGAIN?????

    O
    H
    I
    O

    Spelling? What is that? Who does that impress?

    ugh.

  9. When they start doing the O-H-I-O chant, follow it up by yelling “Bobcats”!! (as in Ohio U.) I’ve heard that that actually ticks them off!

  10. Just wondering, do they remember to include the ‘T H E’ before they do that stuff with the o- h- i- o? If not, they’re not honoring their school, but rather something else.

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