Let’s go home and regroup
Okay so last week was a bit of a toe stubbing to be sure but we came through okay and now we get to come back to the Shoe with the Hoosiers coming to town. The last time the Hoosiers have beaten the Buckeyes is 1988. This year presents a different and interesting edge with Indiana averaging 348 yard per game through the air against a Buckeye secondary that has sustained some significant losses (Barnett, Moeller, Evege) over first five games. The good news for us is that the Indiana defense lost the bookends Kirlew and Middleton on defense and has is currently ranked 108thagainst the run. Moving the ball on offense even with a less than superhuman Pryor should be doable. The only thing is that if you didn’t like the play calling last week it may be a good week to watch the game with an ample supply of alcohol. Because if Tressel can run the ball, control the clock and keep the Indiana offense off the field – he will do it all day long.
– The offense is really all about senior QB #4 Chappell. The fifth year senior has improved significantly over last year. He is averaging 342 yards passing over the first four games which is third in the nation. Granted the competition has somewhat suspect so (ahem, TSUN) but with the weapons on the outside and the command of the offense he has he cannot be overlooked. He has a quick release so bringing heat on him is going to be tough.
– The talent on the outside is highlighted by #2 Tandon Doss who also gets touches through end arounds, special teams, and out of the wildcat. Also there is 6’5” red zone threat #88 Belcher and the number three guy is senior #1 Turner. All average over 10 yards per catch. Even the backup TE #83 has gone for 155 yards and 4 TDs and the TB #38 Willis has 11 catches on the year. This team lives through the air.
– The Indiana defense has less playmakers than last year and just have not been very good. Susceptible to passing attacks and unable to stop the run. Going into the actual lineup doesn’t really make too much sense. This group is ripe for the picking with the talent the Buckeyes have.
For the Buckeyes the key really is to move the ball on the ground. Word is that Jordan Hall got more snaps in practice this week at running back and Saine spent more time in passing situations. Here’s to hoping that his true. Tressel reported that Pryor was 100% but still will see limited action. Definitely expect to not see roll outs, designed runs, spread read plays. Stoneburner is out which hurts a little because the big target would be a nice security blanket on passing plays. On defense it really comes down to the secondary getting with the program quickly. Bryant has to man Star because we need Hines in the middle and over the top. Johnson needs to step up his game. Chekwa and Torrance have to lead by example and can’t give up big plays. The biggest key is grinding out clock with long drives on offense to keep the Chappell show off air and on the bench.
With a win Tressel gets his 100th victory – getting to the mark faster the Cooper and Woody – the only other two Buckeye coaches to reach that mark. Let’s get this one for the Vest. On the ground with solid defense. Just like he wants it.
Ohio State: 35
Indiana – 21