No. 2 Ohio State did not earn many style points in its win vs. Northwestern last week. The Buckeyes, however, look for a return to dominant form this weekend against a struggling Indiana team when they host the Hoosiers as they aim to remain near the top of the College Football Playoff rankings.
The Buckeyes are 9-0 and rolling toward a gargantuan showdown against Michigan regular-season finale. That said, Ohio State looked somewhat underwhelming in a 21-7 win over Northwestern, which was played in terrible weather at Ryan Field. C.J. Stroud and the offense struggled, but they can prove that was a fluke with an explosive showing against Indiana on Saturday afternoon. On the other side of the field, Jim Knowles' defense will try to build off a strong game against the Wildcats.
Indiana has lost six games in a row, and now it has to go to Ohio Stadium to face the Buckeyes. The Hoosiers will limp into the game after suffering a lopsided defeat at the hands of Penn State, 45-14. Coach Tom Allen will have his hands full as he tries to rally the team for a matchup against an Ohio State team that is fully capable of winning a national title.
How to watch Ohio State vs. Indiana live
Date: Saturday, Nov. 12 | Time: Noon, ET
Location: Ohio Stadium -- Columbus, Ohio
TV: Fox | Live stream: fuboTV (Try for free)
Ohio State vs. Indiana: Need to know
Marvin Harrison Jr. might be the best WR in college football: Where does Ohio State find these guys? Jaxon Smith-Njigba has missed significant time with a hamstring injury, and Harrison has stepped up and taken his place as one of the best wide receivers in college football. Harrison has emerged as quarterback C.J. Stroud's favorite target in the passing game, and he has totaled 53 receptions for 834 yards and 10 touchdowns. Harrison was held to five catches for 51 yards last week against Northwestern, but he could go off against an Indiana passing defense that ranks dead last in the Big Ten.
Ohio State's defense is for real: In the offseason, Ryan Day spent big money to lure defensive coordinator Jim Knowles away from Oklahoma State. That seems like it was money well spent. In 2021, Ohio State's defense ranked ninth in the Big Ten in yards allowed per game. This season, the Buckeyes rank fourth in that same category. Linebacker Tommy Eichenberg and EDGE J.T. Tuimoloau lead an improved unit, and this defense makes Ohio State look like one of the most complete teams in the country.
Open season on Connor Bazelak: Speaking of that Ohio State defense, it should get the opportunity to go after Bazelak, who has been under siege all season as the Indiana quarterback. The Hoosiers have allowed 28 sacks through nine games, which is the worst mark in the conference. Things won't get any easier for Indiana's offensive line on Saturday, when it will be in the midst of a hostile atmosphere inside Ohio Stadium. The Buckeyes have recorded 22 sacks of their own this fall, and that total is likely to increase in a matchup that favors Ohio State's rejuvenated defense under Knowles.
Ohio State vs. Indiana prediction, picks
Ohio State is a 40-point favorite over Indiana, and while that may seem like too many points, the Buckeyes did cover that number in a 54-7 dismantling of the Hoosiers last fall. In fact, Ohio State has beaten Indiana by more than 40 points twice in the last three years with the exception being the pandemic-altered season in 2020. After being criticized for a somewhat lackluster performance against Northwestern last week, the Buckeyes may come out firing and hang a big number on the Hoosiers at home. Ohio State cruises and covers in a favorable matchup. Prediction: Ohio State -40
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