Three B1G Keys For Indiana Against Ohio State
Each week, Phil Harison provides keys for each matchup involving Big Ten teams. What must Indiana do to pull off the shocker at home against Ohio State?
B1G Key No. 1 – Ride the Crowd
Bloomington is ready to explode. The nation’s No. 2 team in both the media and coaches’ poll is coming to town to break the seal on the season. Indiana has a history of getting stage fright in these types of scenarios, but something has been building for a few years now.
There is a new culture at Indiana and it began with former head coach Kevin Wilson, and the new man in town, Tom Allen, will look to continue the trend. The Hoosiers have shown they can play with Ohio State over the past few years, and now there’s a night game, at home, with a crowd that will be lit.
These sorts of things don’t happen much at Indiana — at least not outside of a basketball court — so it’s time to embrace the moment, let juices flow behind the home crowd and shock the college football universe.
B1G Key No. 2 – Be Very, Very Patient
There’s no need to get in a rush here. Ohio State gobbled up Kevin Wilson once he was available to add some spice to the Urban Meyer spread offense. It wants to play fast, with purpose.
It would be easy to fall into the trap of trying to match the pace, but that would be a mistake. The Buckeyes are one of the deepest teams in the country and won’t be fazed by a lightning quick game.
Instead, Indiana should look to come with a balanced and steady attack on offense to keep the OSU offense off the field. Play solid defense, shorten the game and steal it at the end.
B1G Key No. 3 – Bury the Ground Game
When things weren’t going well for the Buckeye offense last year, the coaching staff often fell back on the power-running game. Some of that came from freshman running back Mike Weber, but a lot of it came from the running abilities of quarterback J.T. Barrett.
The struggles in the passing game are well-chronicled for Ohio State, and if you are Indiana, you have to bring guys forward to stop the running game and take your chances that the passing game is still a work in progress.
Keep Barrett and Weber below a combined 150 yards on the ground and there’s a chance.
Phil Harrison is the lead Big Ten writer for College Football News. Get his opinion and analysis all year long. Follow him on Twitter @PhilHarrisonCFB