IU at Ohio State analysis from Andy Graham

PREGAME

COLUMBUS, Ohio — There was a group of union protesters outside Ohio Stadium this morning, picketing about conditions for concession workers.

Some of the larger members of the group might have found work today on Indiana’s offensive line, because berths were certainly open — in part, unfortunately, due to tragedy. Marc Damisch’s father has passed away, so the sophomore starting right guard is with his family in Illinois. The Hoosiers already had starting right tackle James Brewer out with an ankle injury.

Given how protecting quarterback Ben Chappell from the attentions of a very talented OSU defensive front was key to Indiana’s chances today, the offensive line situation does not augur well. Backup center Jordan Marquette will shift  over to start in Damisch’s spot, and Jordan Pagan — experienced at every position except center, will play right tackle. But the Hoosiers are now extremely thin on the offensive-line two-deep.

IU’s ability to keep OSU’s defense honest with a running attack also might be impaired a bit, as the playing status of starting tailback Darius Willis is questionable due to a groin injury sustained this week.

The Buckeyes aren’t in the best of moods following last week’s 24-13 at Illinois, during which the Illini were very competitive. OSU people expect this No. 2-ranked team to dominate, and will look for that today.

I’ll add some thoughts and observations here on this thread as the game unfolds on this gloriously sunny and warm afternoon.

Willis is out. Yet another obstacle for Indiana.

FIRST QUARTER: OHIO STATE 14, INDIANA 0

“Boooooooooom!”

The voice of doom, or in this case over 100,000 Ohioans chanting the nickname of Dan “Boom” Herron, the Buckeye tailback who opened the scoring untouched from 39 yards out just 1:57 into the game.  It seemed a harbinger.

IU’s defense actually posted a 3-and-out on OSU’s next possession, but then Hoosier offense started contributing to the problems with a gift interception to set up the Buckeyes’ second TD, followed by a pair of false-start penalties to help bog down the next Hoosier possession.

It is shaping up to be what it always figured to be — a very long day for the visitors.

The Buckeyes came out throwing quite a bit, and quarterback Terrellle Pryor, who got dinged up a bit in the Illinois game, has yet to make a planned run.

And for some reason, IU keeps trying to run it. To no avail. The Hoosiers are playing very close to the (sweater) vest, all fruitless runs and non-threatening passes, not amounting to much. Timid is the word that comes to mind.

HALFTIME: OHIO STATE 31, INDIANA 0

The score sums it up. Indiana has been flat-out awful, and this time it’s the offense laying the biggest egg.

Ben Chappell is having a terrible day, his first such outing in quite a while. Even when he has time to throw, it appears he’s not reading things or seeing the field well.  And the only time he’s even attempted to throw downfield turned into a gift interception for the Buckeyes, because wideout Damarlo Belcher cut the route off short. The Hoosiers have run 29 plays and have only 68 yards of offense to show, with no legitimate scoring threat mounted the entire half.

IU’s defense hasn’t exactly covered itself with glory, either. But two of the Buckeye touchdowns were set up by Chappell interceptions. And the Hoosier defenders have mounted a pass-rush at times. But the Hoosiers are still giving up way too many big plays, and far too easily. It’s either feast or famine. IU’s can look stout on one play, and get shredded on the next.

This always figured to be a tough day at the office, but the Hoosiers have failed to look like a legitimate Big Ten football team, and have done so on national television. They’ve managed to fall shy of meager expectations today.

Regardless, they will just need to flush this one, regroup for a winnable homecoming game against Arkansas State, and go from there.

THIRD QUARTER: OHIO STATE 00, INDIANA 0

“Booooooooom!”

Harren opens the scoring in this half, too, with an 8-yard scamper out of a wildcat formation. That made it 38-0. The Buckeyes are having fun.

Unless you happen to be an Ohio State fan, there was absolutely no reason to watch this game today. I’m sure the ESPN execs are thrilled.

FOURTH QUARTER

Most of the crowd of 105,291, the 15th largest in Ohio Stadium history, departed well before the end, not choosing to watch the second units of both schools play.

Indiana scored a disputed TD with 5:06 left, with Antonio Banks breaking the plane from 2 yards out with an assist from Dusty Kiel, who led the Hoosiers on a 10-play, 52-yard scoring drive keyed by a 21-yard connection with tight end Ted Bolser. It was a little sneak peak of next season for IU fans, and one of the few positives to take away on the day for them.

One comment

  1. WoW they sure faked me out. I actually thought they had a chance for an upset. Ohio State is a far superior team this day. I sure hope all the coaches look at the film and are able to determine how it seemed that OS defense always knew what play IU was running. I wonder if in the game plan that they found any positions of strength for IU and weakness of OS that could be exploited. I did see some positives on defense but the cornerbacks got to get better. Makes me wonder how Doss and Belcher and Turner would do as corners. Man, Victor O. and Hanner P. as leaping cornerbacks, what a gift they have!

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