Who: No.6 Ohio State (9-1, 6-0) vs. Indiana (3-7, 0-6)
When: Saturday, Nov. 22nd at Noon.
Where: Ohio Stadium, Columbus, Ohio
TV: Big Ten Network
It is hard to believe that just one game stands between us and The Game, but that’s the cold hard truth. The Buckeyes know something about the cold aspect of that truth, following a win against the Top 25 Gophers in freezing, snowy Minneapolis, so this Saturday will feel like pleasant fall day with temperatures expected near 40 degrees.
Indiana registered one of its biggest wins in recent memory when the Hoosiers traveled to Missouri in late September and beat the Tigers 31-27 on their home turf, but since then, things have not been going to that same script. Missouri has climbed to first place in the SEC East, while the Hoosiers have lost all six of the games it has played in the Big10. Now, Indiana travels to Columbus to face a Buckeye team firing on all cylinders and looking for style points to hopefully jump another idle Big12 team (TCU).
Keys for the Buckeyes
JT to NY
JT Barrett continues to be nothing short of amazing taking snaps for the Buckeyes, and just as I predicted, Dak Prescott has pretty much removed himself from Heisman consideration. Barrett put up 389 yards of total offense and four touchdowns against Minnesota, and he has a chance to punch his ticket to New York this week against a porous Hoosier defense. Barrett is on pace to score 49 total touchdowns and account for 4,065 total yards in just 13 games – if those aren’t Heisman numbers, I’m not sure what are.
Diamont staying in the Rough
After losing their starting quarterback, Nate Sudefeld, and his backup, Chris Covington, on the same October day, the Hoosiers have been forced to play their third-string freshman Zander Diamont. Diamont would probably not even be the third-string quarterback without the transfers of Tre Roberson and Cameron Coffman in the off-season.
The 6’1”, 175 pound Diamont looks the part of a freshman, and has undergone trial by fire, amassing only 282 yard passing, one touchdown, three interceptions, and a 46.9 completion percentage in four games. The Buckeye defense looks to make it a long day for Diamont and you can bet there will opportunities for the likes of Eli Apple, Von Bell, Doran Grant, and company to make plays on the ball in the secondary.
Stop the Run
In order to make those plays in the secondary, the Buckeyes will have to force Diamont in to throwing situations. Doing so will require the defense to stop yet another running back lost in the shadow of Melvin Gordon and Ameer Abdullah – Tevin Coleman.
Coleman has rushed for 1,678 yards and 12 touchdowns this year, while averaging nearly eight yards per carry. The Ohio State front seven, who gave up 145 yards and three touchdowns last week to Minnesota’s David Cobb, will look to slow down Coleman to force Indiana to throw the ball.
The score of this game will come down to how soon Urban Meyer takes his foot off the gas.
Buckeyes Win 56-13
Cover Photo: Associated Press
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