Ohio State begins its 2011 stretch drive this week, a drive that will go a long way toward…
Saturday, Nov. 5
Noon ET, Big Ten Network
Ohio Stadium; Columbus, Ohio
Head coach: Kevin Wilson, 1-8, first year
2010 record: 5-7 (1-7 Big Ten, tied for last place)
Series mark: Ohio State leads 66-12-5
School location: Bloomington, Ind.
Colors: Crimson and Cream
Stadium: Memorial Stadium
Fight song: "Indiana, Our Indiana"
Football series don't come much more lopsided than the one between Ohio State and Indiana.
Not only does Ohio State hold a 54-game edge in the series standings, the 12 games Indiana has won are skewed considering the Hoosiers went 5-0-1 against the Buckeyes from 1901-13. Since then, OSU is a cool 66-6-4 in the series, including a 23-game winning streak from 1960-86 and a current 16-game winning streak since 1991 if you include last year's 38-10 win since vacated by Ohio State.
The last Indiana win in the series came in 1988, and it was a 41-7 thumping of the Buckeyes in Bloomington. That came one year after Indiana beat Ohio State by a 31-10 final in Columbus in 1987, a loss soon-to-be-fired head coach Earle Bruce termed the darkest day in OSU history.
The teams did tie, 27-all, in 1990, but everything has been Scarlet and Gray in the series since then. In the last 16 meetings, Indiana has failed reach the 20-point threshold in every game and has been kept to single digits on the scoreboard six times. Ohio State, meanwhile, has scored 20 points or more in each of those 16 contests.
In fact, the last game between the teams to be settled by 10 points or less was in 1996, a 27-17 win by the Buckeyes in Bloomington that clinched OSU's ticket to the Rose Bowl. Joyous OSU fans stormed the field and tore down one of the Memorial Stadium goalposts afterward.
The dominance of the series might be wrapped up in this stat: Woody Hayes lost his first game to the Hoosiers in 1951 and never fell to the Illini again, going 22-0-1 in the next 23 contests and shutting out the Hoosiers five times.
It is a program whose head coach – the now famous Lee Corso – once posed for a photograph in front of the scoreboard when the Hoosiers took an early lead on Ohio State in the ‘70s.
New head coach Kevin Wilson doesn't figure to be quite as obsequious, but he still knows the Hoosiers are in for a big trip to Columbus this week.
"Going to Columbus is going to be unique and special," the former Miami (Ohio), Northwestern and Oklahoma offensive coordinator said. "It's one of the great places to play and our kids get a chance to go there, so we look forward to going into a great venue."
Offense In A Nutshell
With Wilson's new system and the relative youth of the Indiana team, it is hard to use season statistics to judge Indiana. The Hoosiers enter the game eighth in the Big Ten in rushing yards per game and fifth in passing, but the correct offense the team is using is strong when it comes to running the ball. The Hoosiers have topped 200 rushing yards in the last three games, running for 319 a week ago against Northwestern.
The starting quarterback for the last two games has been true freshman Tre Roberson. The first Mr. Football to attend Indiana since 1995, Roberson – a product of Indianapolis Lawrence Central – has accounted for 205 rushing yards and 376 passing yards in his two starts and Indiana has scored 30.5 points per game. The first true freshman to start in Indiana history, Roberson has completed 30 of 50 passes (60.0 percent) in his starts vs. Iowa and Northwestern for 376 yards, two touchdowns and an interception while rushing for a touchdown.
Running back Stephen Houston has emerged as the starter of late. A good mix of size and speed, the sophomore has topped 60 yards in five straight games, becoming the first Indiana back to do so since BenJarvus Green-Ellis had an eight-game streak from in 2003-04. Houston is coming off a 151-yard, two-touchdown game vs. Northwestern, and on the year he has 111 rushing for 577 yards and six touchdowns. He can run the Wildcat, though Indiana generally runs a spread-option offense with Roberson in the game. Backup D'Angelo Roberts has 50 carries for 232 yards and two touchdowns.
Out wide, Indiana just dismissed senior Damarlo Belcher, who led the Big Ten in career receptions, while sophomore Duwyce Wilson is now out for the season after suffering a torn ACL vs. Northwestern a week ago. Belcher had a team-high 25 catches this year while Wilson had a team-high three touchdowns among his 17 grabs. Left is 2009 state prep player of the year Kofi Hughes, who has 20 catches for 298 yards and two touchdowns, while sophomore Jamonne Chester has 17 catches for 292 yards, Purdue transfer Dre Muhammad has 16 cathces, and true freshman Ohioans Shane Wynn and Cody Latimer has 14 and 12, respectively.
Indiana has had a fair share of injuries on its offensive line, though senior left tackle Andrew McDonald is the only offensive player to start all nine games. True freshman Bernard Taylor has settled in at left guard, while junior center Will Matte has 31 career starts but is battling injury and has been replaced by redshirt freshman Collin Rahrid the past two games. Senior Justin Pagán has 34 career starts and can play any position, though he'll likely start at right guard with true freshman Peyton Eckert at tackle.
QB 5 Tre Roberson, 6-0, 184
RB 12 Stephen Houston, 6-0, 228
WR 3 Cody Latimer, 6-3, 208
WR 13 Kofi Hughes, 6-2, 205
WR 84 Jamonne Chester, 6-2, 199
TE 41 Max Dedmond, 6-5, 250
LT 72 Andrew McDonald, 6-6, 285
LG 73 Bernard Taylor, 6-2, 278
C 60 Will Matte, 6-2, 282
RG 64 Collin Rahrig, 6-2, 263
RT 70 Justin Pagán, 6-5, 294
K 16 Mitch Ewald, 5-10, 174
KR 1 Shane Wynn, 5-7, 153
Defense In A Nutshell
There's no way to sugarcoat things – Indiana's defense has been awful in Big Ten play. After giving up 59 points and more than 300 yards both rushing and passing vs. Northwestern, the Hoosiers sit last in the Big Ten in all the major categories. The rushing defense mark of 234.7 yards allowed is 117th in the country, the passing efficiency defense is 118th, the total defense mark of 458.3 yards is 112th and the 36.2 points allowed is 114th in the nation. In addition, the Hoosiers started six freshmen in their latest game against Northwestern.
The struggles have been obvious up front, as Indiana has given up 300-plus rushing yards in three of the last four Big Ten games. All nine opponents have topped 160 yards on the ground on the year.
The team is solid at tackle, though, as junior Adam Replogle has 32 career starts and 39 tackles this year including four sacks. Larry Black Jr. has added 36 stops, while Nicholas Sliger and Mick Mentzer have added depth. At end, true freshman Bobby Richardson has 13 tackles, as does redshirt freshman starter Ryan Phillis. Senior Darius Johnson has 29 tackles and two fumble recoveries at end.
Middle linebacker Jeff Thomas missed the Northwestern game with an injury but is expected to play vs. Ohio State. He leads the team with 58 tackles and 8.5 TFL. Fellow senior Leon Beckum has come back from injury and doubled his tackle output on the year with 13 last week, while redshirt freshman Chase Hoobler starts on the strong side and has 30 stops. Depth is provided by fifth-year senior Brandon McGhee (17 tackles) and sophomore Griffen Dahlstrom (five tackles vs. NU).
Indiana's secondary has allowed teams to complete 22 touchdown passes while making only four interceptions, including only one in league play. Linebacker/safety hybrid Mark Murphy has 50 tackles and a pick, while cornerback Greg Heban leads the two with two interceptions and the sophomore has 45 tackles. The Hoosiers also have the Hardin brothers, Drew (34 tackles, forced fumble) and Forisse (13 tackles, interception), at safety because of injuries of injuries to veterans Chris Adkins, Donnell Jones and Jarrell Drane.
True freshman Michael Hunter and sophomore Lawrence Barnett have split time opposite Heban at cornerback. Barnett has 33 stops, four passes defended, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery he returned 54 yards, while Hunter has 10 tackles. Finally, true freshman Kenny Mullen is the team's nickel back. He has seven tackles and two sacks.
LE 95 Bobby Richardson, 6-3, 263
DT 97 Larry Black Jr., 6-2, 305
DT 98 Adam Replogle, 6-3, 290
RE 25 Ryan Phillis, 6-3, 244
WLB 48 Leon Beckum, 5-11, 213
MLB 53 Jeff Thomas, 6-1, 239
SLB 47 Chase Hoobler, 6-2, 232
LCB 9 Greg Heban, 6-1, 186
S 37 Mark Murphy, 6-2, 202
S 8 Drew Hardin, 6-0, 200
RCB 17 Michael Hunter, 6-1, 170
P 18 Adam Pines, 6-0, 184
PR 14 Nick Stoner, 6-1, 167
Five Fast Facts
1. Indiana is among the youngest teams in the nation. The Hoosiers started seven freshmen (four true, three redshirt) last week on defense and five (four and one) on offense. On the whole, IU has played 16 true freshmen, tied for third-most in the country. Eleven of those have started at least one game.
2. Indiana had a commitment from quarterback Gunner Kiel, the brother of current signal caller Dusty Kiel, before he chose to reopen his recruiting Oct. 21. The top quarterback in the nation according to Scout.com, the younger Kiel (6-4, 200) preps at Columbus (Ind.) East and is the No. 16 player in the Scout 100 for 2012.
3. Starting freshman safety Mark Murphy went to Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary and is also the son of the Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame safety with the same name.
4. Starting corner Greg Heban was discovered in the oddest of ways. A three-sport star growing up in Muncie, Ind., Heban first arrived at Indiana as a pitcher on the baseball team. But after he dominated the 2009 intramural flag football season, IU baseball coach Tracy Smith suggested he give football another try and it has worked out.
5. Backup running back D'Angelo Roberts and senior linebacker Leon Beckum both hail from Bloomington.
Last Time Out
Ohio State ascended to the No. 1 national ranking after downing Indiana by a 38-10 score last Oct. 9 in front of 105,291 in Ohio Stadium.
The Buckeyes entered the game ranked No. 2 in the country but moved up to the top ranking when Alabama lost later that day to South Carolina. During the day in the venerable Horseshoe, Ohio State quarterback Terrelle Pryor enjoyed a career passing day, completing 24 of 30 attempts for 334 yards and three touchdowns in less than three quarters of action.
The yardage figure was a new career best and the most by an OSU quarterback since Troy Smith threw for 342 against Notre Dame in the 2005 Fiesta Bowl.
Pryor's total represented the 10th best single-game output in Ohio State history, and he was an equal opportunity quarterback. Junior wideout DeVier Posey was Pryor's favorite target as he caught eight balls for 103 yards and a touchdown. Senior co-captains Brandon Saine and Dane Sanzenbacher had four receptions apiece which were good for 84 and 60 yards, respectively. Each also had a touchdown.
"I thought Terrelle had a good game today," OSU head coach Jim Tressel said. "I don't know what his stats were – 24 for 30 for 334 yards and no interceptions. That's a pretty good day. If we do that every time, we'll have a chance (to win) every time."
The Buckeyes rolled up 478 yards of total offense while allowing only 210 to the Hoosiers, which entered the game averaging 39.8 yards and 455.0 yards per game. Indiana was coming off a 42-35 loss to Michigan a week earlier during which it ran 98 offensive plays and totaled 568 yards.
IU quarterback Ben Chappell, who set several new school records against the Wolverines including throwing for 480 yards, was held in check by the OSU defense. Chappell completed 16 of 26 passes for only 106 yards with two interceptions.
Chappell's backup, redshirt freshman Dusty Kiel, directed the lone touchdown drive for the Hoosiers late in the fourth quarter.
Tressel said he was pleased with the way his defense swarmed after the Hoosiers.
"The thing about playing against our defense is you're going to have less time to get rid of the ball," he said. "Our secondary breaks on the ball and plays you close. They're very, very well prepared."
While the Hoosiers were scratching for everything they could get, the Buckeyes seemed to be on cruise control virtually from the opening kickoff. Each of their first three scoring drives lasted less than two minutes as Ohio State built an early second-quarter lead of 21-0 and never looked back.
Pryor came out throwing during the first possession, completing his first three attempts of the afternoon – a 13-yarder to Saine, a 14-yarder to Posey and a 5-yard flip to Posey.
On the fourth play of the drive, the Buckeyes called their first running play of the day and it resulted in a 39-yard touchdown romp by Dan Herron. Kicker Devin Barclay added the extra point and OSU was off and running with a 7-0 lead at the 13:13 mark of the opening period.
Ohio State cornerback Devon Torrence set up his team's next score when he intercepted Chappell at the OSU 42 and returned the pick 25 yards back to the Indiana 33. From there, it took only three plays for the Buckeyes to score.
After Pryor was sacked on first down, he found Sanzenbacher over the middle for 17 yards and then went right back to Sanzenbacher for a 22-yard touchdown. Barclay's PAT finished off the 56-second drive and made it 14-0 with 6:35 to go in the first quarter.
The third drive was the most efficient, covering 77 yards in four plays that took only 1:53. Saine covered the final 60 yards on a post route when he beat IU cornerback Richard Council and gathered in a beautifully thrown ball from Pryor.
Barclay tacked on the extra point and the Buckeyes enjoyed a 21-0 lead at the 13:31 mark of the second quarter.
Pryor notched his third touchdown pass of the game with an 18-yard toss to Posey with 6:55 remaining and then Barclay added a 36-yard field goal with 46 seconds remaining to give Ohio State a 31-0 advantage at halftime.
By the break, the Buckeyes were in complete control. They had 320 total yards to 68 for the Hoosiers and 15 first downs to only four for IU. Additionally, Pryor had already established a new career high with 280 yards on 19-of-24 passing.
Somewhat curiously, though, while Pryor was attempting 24 passes in the first half, his team rushed the ball only 12 times for 40 yards against an Indiana defense that entered the game surrendering a Big Ten-worst 207.0 yards per game on the ground.
The Buckeyes remedied that somewhat in the second half, rushing 20 times for 90 yards but they still wound up with only 130 for the game. Herron was the leading ball-carrier with 68 yards and a pair of touchdowns on 12 carries.
His second TD run came at the end of Ohio State's opening possession of the second half. After Pryor had directed the team to the Indiana 8-yard line, Herron took a direct snap in the Wildcat formation and ran over left guard for the touchdown. Barclay added the extra point for a 38-0 OSU lead with 8:02 remaining in the third quarter.
Indiana finally dented the scoreboard with a 36-yard field goal from kicker Mitch Ewald with 4:50 left in the third period, and then Kiel directed the Hoosiers' only touchdown drive that resulted in a 1-yard run by freshman running back Antonio Banks with 5:06 left in the game.
The victory marked No. 100 at Ohio State for Tressel and athletic director Gene Smith interrupted the coach's postgame comments to present him with a special award, a trophy with the number "100" embossed in scarlet and gray.
Asked for his thoughts about reaching the milestone, Tressel said, "It's exciting every time you win. We've had a lot of awfully good players here, had a lot of good coaches and a lot of those 100 wins have been here at home in front of our great fans. But this is place where if they let you stay long enough you should win 100."