Written By Sammy Jacobs (@Hoosier_Huddle)
This Years Record: 4-0 (0-0 T-1st in Big Ten East)
Head Coach: Urban Meyer (4th Year)
Overall: 95-89 (.375) 16th year
At Ohio State: 42-3 (24-0)
Bowl Appearances: 2
Last Years Record: 13-1 (8-0 Won National Title)
Bowl Appearances Since 2000: 15 Appearances (8-7 Record)
Mascot: Brutus Buckeye
Colors: Scarlet and Grey
National Titles: 8
Conference Titles: 37
Fun Fact: Ohio State was originally known as the Ohio Agricultural and Mechanical College.
1. The Offense is Not Clicking On All Cylinders. Yet
The Buckeyes are averaging 34.5 points per game so far in 2015, but the offense is not where it was at the end of their championship run last season. There are several reasons why the offense has been slow to start the year. First and foremost is the change in offensive coordinators. We talked to Alex Gleitman of Bucknuts.com earlier this week and he had this to say about the OSU offense. “Many of the issues Ohio State faced in the first three games of the season were an issue of the new offensive staff needing to get on the same page. The Buckeyes lost offensive coordinator Tom Herman this off-season and promoted Ed Warinner to handle those duties in addition to coaching the offensive line. They brought in Tim Beck to coach quarterbacks and help Warinner call the games, but through three games things were a mess, as Warinner was calling the game from the field (versus the box), as you can't coach the big guys up front from the sky.”
A second reason that this offense has “struggled” is because quarterback Cardale Jones has not been sharp. In the first four games he has been throwing off his back foot, which has caused him to under throw his receivers on deep balls. He is still very talented and has complete 57 percent of his passes for 622 yards and four touchdowns, but his mechanical flaws have led to four interceptions.
2. The Buckeye Defense is More Than Just Joey Bosa
Joey Bosa, who has been relatively quiet in 2015, is the face of this Ohio State defense and his trademark shrug is recognizable around anywhere in the college football universe, but there are standouts all over the field for the Buckeyes’ ‘D’.
The Bucks are led by linebackers Raekwon McMillin and Joshua Perry who have combined for a ridiculous 78 tackles, four TFLs, three sacks, and two pass break ups. They will be tasked with stopping the nation’s leading rusher Jordan Howard.
Along the defensive line Adolphus Washington is stealing headlines as he has 18 total tackles, 1.5 TFLs and a pick. Washington versus the Indiana offensive line will definitely be one of the many match-ups to watch closely.
In the secondary OSU is led by safety Tyvis Powell who has been a wrecking ball to opposing offenses as the team’s third leading tackler. He has also picked off a pass and blocked a kick.
3. Sound On Special Teams
The Hoosiers’ bid at an upset last year was squashed thanks to an unbelievable Cam Johnston punt that died at the 1-yard line and set up Jalin Marshall’s electrifying touchdown return on an ensuing punt.
Well, both Johnston and Marshall are back for an encore in 2015. The punter from Australia is averaging 47.4 yards per punt dropping seven of them inside the 20 and booming nine punts over 50 yards. Even if the Hoosiers defense can force a punt early in drives, it will be difficult to control the field position battle with this guy kicking the ball.
Jalin Marshall hasn’t been back to his usual self since being suspended for the season opener at Virginia Tech. He has only 170 total yards in three games. However, 76 of those yards have come off of six punt returns so he is still dangerous. Indiana has been very solid in their kick and punt coverage this year, but you can bet
4. Ohio State is Pretty Good in the Third Quarter As Well
Indiana fans know all about the Hoosiers’ third quarter shut out streak. If you haven’t, the Hoosiers have not allowed a point in the third stanza all year and for the last 69:25 dating back to last year’s Old Oaken Bucket Game when Akeem Hunt scored with 9:25 left in the third. IU has outscored their opponents 51-0 in the first 15 minutes of second halves.
Well the Buckeyes have been pretty dominant themselves in the third quarter outscoring opponents 34-6. So something will have to give as both coaching staffs have proven they can succeed coming out of the locker room.