4 keys to Indiana’s game at Ohio State

1. Play disciplined defense: Indiana has seen a few mobile quarterbacks this season, but none are quite as crippling as Ohio State’s J.T. Barrett, who’s having an incredible season in place of injured Braxton MIller. Barrett has been responsible for a Buckeye-record 28 touchdowns, which are tied for the most in the FBS with Oregon Heisman Trophy candidate Marcus Mariota. Barrett has also had four-touchdown performances six times this season, and he set school records for the longest run by a quarterback on an 86-yard touchdown dash and the most single-game rushing yards by a quarterback (189) in last week’s win at Minnesota. Barrett will get his yards and, inevitably, his points against Indiana’s defense.

2. Receivers must hold on to the ball: Tevin Coleman proved last week that he is capable of doing only so much to carry this team. Even a career-high 302 rushing yards weren’t nearly enough for Indiana to find success at Rutgers. So, it’s up to IU’s receivers to help freshman quarterback Zander Diamont continue to progress. Diamont has gotten better in each of his four starts up to this point, but his receivers have let him down at key moments, including on a handful of third-down opportunities. Indiana will continue to throw the ball to get both Diamont and his receivers on the same page. It’s up to the latter to start making plays on the catchable balls.

3. Make plays on defense and special teams: Minnesota scored three touchdowns after Ohio State turnovers last week, keeping a snowy game in Minneapolis closer than it probably should’ve been before the Buckeyes prevailed, 31-24. Two of those three turnovers came on fumbles by OSU receiver Jalin Marshall, who dropped a punt return and a catch. While the inclement weather may have played a role in Marshall’s struggles, Indiana should follow a similar template this weekend. The Hoosiers need to not only force turnovers, they need to cash in on them. Scoring on or after turnovers is among the few avenues IU can take to keep this one close.

4. Stay healthy: The postseason is not a possibility, and the oddsmakers have the Hoosiers as 33‰-point underdogs today in Ohio Stadium. With only two games remaining on the schedule, the one that matters is next week against Purdue. At this point, Indiana is simply playing to retain the Old Oaken Bucket. So, whatever happens against the Buckeyes, Indiana simply must get in and out without suffering a serious injury. That means playing hard for all four quarters and not letting up, even if things get out of hand.

6 comments

  1. Mike ..Why play the game against Ohio State,when all that matters is the Old Oaken Bucket..We have already lost the game right?

  2. AD Wilson not only neutralized the SI article stating IU would fire Coach Wilson at the end of the season but he kicked it solidly off the page. When asked lf the FB program was heading in the right direction Under Coach Wilson’s leadership he emphatically stated “resoundingly yes”.

    I’m sure the sensationalism the SI writers meant was the tennis coach would be fired. NOT!

    3 QB’s IU is looking at are JUCO’s Chad Kelly(has an offer)formerly a Clemson commit, Austin Apodaca a former Wash St. commit and Damarcus Smith past WKU commit.

  3. The last thing this team needs is Kelly of the bench. He’s the nephew if Jim Kelly who was kicked off the Clemson team for being an ass. Fingers crossed we find someone else.

  4. mike miller,

    i assume this story is written in a sarcastic tone. sometimes it’s hard to feel the sarcasm in the written word. i suggest you try using some of those sarcasm emoticons.

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