Tomorrow, th Ohio State Buckeyes to on the road to face the Indiana Hoosiers. In order to gain some insight into how the Hoosiers are going to stack up against the surging Buckeyes, we checked in with Hoosiers 101 for a little Q&A:
1. Kevin Wilson is in his second season as head coach. IU hasn’t win a Big Ten Championship since 1967 and hasn’t been to a bowl game since 2007. How do IU fans feel about his ability to turn the program around?
Fans are getting a little bit impatient. They are expecting a quick turnaround which just doesn’t happen to a program like IU. The impatience with Wilson has been enhanced by local media who just seem to flat out not like him on a personal level. The simple fact of the matter is that IU would probably be 4-1 if starting QB Tre Roberson hadn’t broken his leg in the second game of the season. There has been a lot of improvement this year, and fans have to be as patient with Wilson as they were with Tom Crean and the basketball program.
2. With Penn State and Ohio State banned from post-season play this year, IU has its best shot at reaching the championship game. What are the chances they leap over Purdue and Wisconsin to get there?
Doubtful. IU would probably have to beat Ohio State, Wisconsin, and Penn State to pull this off. They end the season with two road games, at Penn State and at Purdue, and it’s unlikely that they’ll win either of them. It has been an awful long time since they beat Wisconsin, and IU’s last two games against the Badgers went poorly giving up 59 points in 2011 and 83 in 2010. Illinois and Iowa are both games that IU could win, but this defense is just not good enough to really stop anyone.
3. In its last three losses, IU has allowed 116 points. How do they plan on slowing down the dynamic Buckeye offense that scored 63 points against Nebraska?
IU will have to outscore the Buckeyes. The defense is simply not very good. There are a few solid play makers, DT Adam Repogle, S Drew Hardin, and CB Greg Heban come to mind. IU ranks last in rush defense in the Big Ten. They have a tendency to over commit on play fakes and the defensive line struggles to shed blocks. If IU manages to force a few early three-and-outs and the offense can put up points consistently, the Hoosiers may be able to force OSU into more passing situations.
4. IU only has 2 turnovers in 5 games. How do they continue that trend against a defense that is creating over 2 turnovers per game?
QB Cam Coffman will have to execute well and be decisive. Coffman looked very good in the first half against Michigan State, but the offense stalled in the second. Coffman doesn’t take too many risks with the ball and the no-huddle offense is good at keeping defenses on their heels. Turnovers, and near turnovers, have usually occurred when the wide receivers get lazy on their routes. If they come in focused and the o-line doesn’t give up too much pressure, then Coffman should have success down field without any turnovers.
5. Ohio State hasn’t lost to Indiana since 1990, what are the coaching staff and players doing different that gives them a shot at victory this year?
The staff has preached execution all season. Last week we saw the best defense in the Big Ten give up a season high of 27 points to IU in large part due to a great game plan and excellent execution. They failed to make the necessary halftime adjustments and it cost them the game. Each week, Wilson has found something on the opposing teams defense that he can attack, but it all comes down to how well the offense does it’s job. This game will probably be a shoot out but that still favors the Buckeyes.
This insight bodes well for Ohio State. The Hoosiers have the worst rush defense in the Big Ten. The Buckeyes get the Jose yardage on the ground. So if they can keep their mistakes to a minimum, don’t turn the ball over, and put up points on every possession then Indiana will be hard pressed to compete. We fully expect the Buckeyes to come away with a victory on the road tomorrow, and for more insight on that, please view our Q&A over at Hoosiers 101.
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