Indiana vs. Ohio State Preview: Battle of the Backs

Indiana, coming off a huge upset of Michigan State, will hope to make it two big wins in a row when they visit the unbeaten Buckeyes in Columbus.

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IndianaIndiana Hoosiers

RECORD: 3-1

CONFERENCE RECORD: 1-0

NEXT OPPONENT: vs. Nebraska Cornhuskers

https://twitter.com/HoosierFootball/status/782459401840037888

GAME INFORMATION

LOCATION: Ohio Stadium, Columbus, Ohio

BETTING LINE: Ohio State (-29)

OVER/UNDER: 110

Ohio StateThe Ohio State Buckeyes

RECORD: 4-0

CONFERENCE RECORD: 1-0

NEXT OPPONENT: at Wisconsin Badgers

https://twitter.com/Buckeyes/status/783376175435485185

Indiana Player to Watch

Devine Redding

Running back Devine Redding needs to have a huge game if the Hoosiers want to be competitive. They’re 3-0 in games when he rushes for over 100 yards, and 0-1 otherwise. The key to the offense revolves around Redding, as his success opens up passing lanes and helps QB Richard Lagow throw downfield with confidence. After rebounding from an embarrassing loss to Wake Forest with an overtime win against Michigan State, Indiana is feeling and looking better than ever. However, Ohio State is a different animal. The Hoosiers will need to play perfectly to have a chance, and Redding is the key to it all. Look for Indiana to try and get him going early.

Ohio State Player to Watch

Raekwon McMillan

Ohio State comes into their week six matchup a heavy favorite, but if Indiana is able to control the tempo of the game the Buckeyes may have trouble stopping the Hoosiers’ fierce run game. Indiana has two running backs averaging over five yards per carry, so Ohio State’s linebacker corps must be spot on. This starts with their defensive captain and middle linebacker, Raekwon McMillan. He is the clear leader of Ohio State’s defense and played exceptionally against Rutgers a week ago. Because he is expected to perform he sometimes goes unnoticed, especially with all of the new faces on the Buckeyes’ defense. Look for McMillan to wreak havoc as Ohio State runs through their week six matchup and moves onto Wisconsin.

Indiana Hoosiers Key Positions

QUARTERBACKS:

Richard Lagow was dominant against Michigan State, throwing for over 250 yards and two touchdowns, while catching another. He shook off an early interception after a miscommunication, and marched the Hoosiers back from a 14-point hole. They have the offensive firepower to keep up with anyone, and as long as Mitchell Paige is on the field, there’s a big play threat looming. But if they want to keep pace with the Buckeyes, they’ll need more than one big play.

DEFENSIVE LINE:

The defensive line was sensational last game, sacking the Spartans’ Tyler O’Connor twice in the overtime period to help secure the win. The secondary can be shaky at times, but is vastly improved from last year’s group. The only weakness is stopping the run, and Ohio State is known to have dominant rushers. The linebackers will need to play better than ever to keep this one close.

SPECIAL TEAMS:

Griffin Oakes is only 5/9 on the year, including missing two field goals before finally hitting the game winner last week. He’s one missed field goal from matching all of last year’s total, and he’s only attempted one of 50+. Oakes has to find his stroke and start kicking with confidence again, as touchdowns against Ohio State are hard to come by, and they may often have to settle for 3.

https://twitter.com/HoosierFootball/status/782952590833221632

GAME PREVIEW ANALYSIS

Indiana travels to Columbus, Ohio to take on an undefeated Ohio State football team. Ohio State is the clear favorite headed into Saturday, but the Hoosiers are coming off of a big win against Michigan State and are looking to force an upset two weeks in a row.

Indiana’s offense is led by junior quarterback Richard Lagow and features a two-headed running back corps in Devine Redding and Mike Majette. Indiana will have to play near perfect to upset the Buckeyes at home and will have to rely heavily on the run game to control the tempo and keep J.T Barrett off of the field. Look for Indiana to be creative with their play calling and try to keep co-defensive coordinator Greg Schiano guessing.

On the opposite sideline Ohio State has been rolling on both sides of the ball. J.T. Barrett broke the passing touchdown record for Ohio State with more than eight weeks to go in the season as Mike Weber broke out for a “cool” 144 yards on just 14 carries. The Buckeyes’ offense should run right through Indiana’s defense while the Buckeyes’ defense should shut down the Hoosiers’ offense accordingly. Look for middle linebacker Raekwon McMillan to shut down the Hoosiers’ run game as the Buckeyes’ secondary pulls down at least one more interception.

Prediction

The Buckeyes come into their week six matchup as a 29-point favorite. Although Indiana is much better than they were a year ago, they still lack the talent and coaching to upset the Buckeyes in Columbus on Saturday.

Ohio State – 55 Indiana – 14

Ohio State Buckeyes Key Positions

RUNNING BACKS:

Coming off of a bye week last week, Urban Meyer committed to running the ball, and he was rewarded nicely. Mike Weber broke out of his shell last week against Rutgers and proved that he has the potential to be Ohio State’s next great running back. Look for the same result this week against an Indiana defense that does not appear to have the ability to keep up with the Buckeyes’ playmakers.

LINEBACKERS:

Ohio State’s defense has highlighted many emerging playmakers this year and will be tested in the near future. Ohio State’s linebackers must be on their A-game as they move toward a harder schedule. They have one more week until they take on Wisconsin and must play near-perfect moving forward.

SPECIAL TEAMS:

Ohio State has excelled in nearly every position so far this season, but they’ve yet to record a special teams touchdown. Their defense has stepped up and found the end zone off of interceptions but the Buckeyes would like to see a kick or punt returned to the end zone. Although the Buckeyes have won every contest big this season, they need to find a way to score in every aspect of the game.

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Author Details
Beau Kirkbride is a student at The Ohio State University, where he studies Sports Industry and Management. Growing up a Saints and Buckeyes fan, football is his passion.
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Beau Kirkbride is a student at The Ohio State University, where he studies Sports Industry and Management. Growing up a Saints and Buckeyes fan, football is his passion.

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