Ohio State vs. Indiana football preview and prediction

·5 min read

Your Ohio State Buckeyes are up to No. 5 in all the major polls, including the USA TODAY Sports AFCA Coaches Poll and the AP Top 25 Poll. After a bye week to rest up, the Bucks head into the second half of the season with some important matchups ahead.

First on the docket, a trip to Bloomington where Indiana waits and hopes to exact some revenge on OSU after falling just short to the Buckeyes last year in Columbus. The Hoosier’s lone regular-season loss kept them out of the Big Ten Championship game and may have cost them a trip to the College Football Playoff.

IU fans have been waiting on this one as many feel that Ohio State was handed a spot to represent the Big Ten East after not meeting the minimum required games played. However, Kevin Warren and the Big Ten actually got this one right, something that can’t be said about much of the commissioner’s short tenure.

Time to take the grudge match from the fan’s social media to the gridiron.

NEXT … Records and broadcast information

Records

Ohio State (5-1), Indiana (2-4)

Broadcast, TV, Game Time

Date: Saturday, Oct. 23
Game Time: 7:30 p.m. EDT
Network: ABC
Venue: Memorial Stadium (Bloomington, Indiana) Capacity: 52,929
All-Time Series: Ohio State leads 76-12-5
Last Meeting: Ohio State defeated Indiana 42-35 in 2020

Next … The game plan

Ohio State game plan for victory

Take a look at the Ohio State roster and you’ll find one of the most talented teams in the country. Get off the bus with better players and the odds of winning increase dramatically. But experience matters, or at least it should.

Indiana returned a great deal of talent to a team that had an outstanding 2020 and came into the 2021 season with a No. 17 ranking. With quarterback Michael Penix Jr and wide receiver Ty Fryfogle returning, expectations were high. But this Hoosier team has been underwhelming at best.

Penix hurt his throwing shoulder in an October 4 matchup against Penn State. And after a breakout 2020, Fryfogle was expected to be a game-breaker. Instead, he’s going in the wrong direction. So what does the Buckeye defense need to do to stop Indiana? Keep dominating the line of scrimmage.

In its last three games, the defense has recorded 15 sacks. When the line can get to the quarterback at that kind of rate, it makes it really difficult for the opposing offense to do much of anything. But it makes life so much easier on the secondary, who has benefited with nine interceptions, turning four of those into touchdowns.

On the offensive side of the ball, opposing defensive coordinators are having nightmares about how to stop this offensive attack. Ohio State leads the country with 563 yards per game of offense. There’s just too much talent on the field all at once to stop the Buckeyes.

Usually, the run game sets up the passing attack, but it seems to be the opposite on this team. C.J. Stroud opens up through the air and when the defense is on their heels, TreVeyon Henderson runs wild with his 8.7 yards per carry. Good luck keeping up.

Next … The key players for Ohio State

Two Key Players For Ohio State

C.J. Stroud – Quarterback: C.J. Stroud has seemed to find his way as the starting quarterback at The Ohio State University. Stroud looks like a completely different QB from the beginning of the season. The offense begins with Stroud and he’ll keep slinging the rock to a plethora of NFL talent to open up the running game for TreVeyon Henderson.

Haskell Garrett – Defensive Tackle: Haskell Garrett is the heart and soul of the Buckeye defense. He’s second on the team with 3.5 sacks behind true freshman Tyleik Williams who has four sacks of his own. Garrett needs to keep leading this young defensive line, stuffing the run, and putting pressure on the opposing passing game.

Next … How it’ll all go down

The prediction

Indiana has a lot to play for, especially after Ohio State was granted the opportunity to play in the 2020 Big Ten Championship game. But that was last year and the Buckeyes have a lot more to play for in the present day. It’ll be a raucous scene in Bloomington, at least to start the game for their standards, but the Bucks won’t be looking backward.

Being a night game in primetime on national television will have the Hoosiers hyped. And I think they will play the Buckeyes tough for the first few possessions. Remember, Indiana plays an odd zone defense that gave Justin Fields fits last year. I feel confident that Ryan Day and Kevin Wilson won’t be caught off guard this season.

The Hoosiers just don’t have the horses to hang with Ohio State. Indiana keeps it close early, but the stands start to empty by the middle of the third quarter as Ohio State continues to roll.

Final Score

Ohio State 48, Indiana 17

TIPICO Line

Ohio State favored by 19.5

All Betting Lines are Courtesy of Tipico Sportsbook

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