11W RoundTable: Indiana

By David Sokol on October 12, 2012 at 10:00a

The Buckeyes keep rolling and so do we. It's time for another edition of the 11W RoundTable featuring your favorite Dubster Analysts.

About 1/2 of Ohio Stadium rolls in to Bloomington

This week, we have Derek, Miles and Chad for some intense discussion about Ohio State and their upcoming game with the Indiana Hoosiers.

Without hesitation, here we go.

After the Nebraska victory and looking forward to the Indiana game, what are your current thoughts about this Buckeye team?

Chad: I really like this team - they show consistent growth at key spots each week, Braxton is always good for a few dropped jaws, and the players seem more excited this year than in previous years. The early weaknesses on defense are still there, but I think they've shown enough growth (assuming no more injuries) to actually shoot for 12-0.

Miles: I think the Buckeyes are a good, not great team in a very, very weak conference. There are still many things that need improvement, especially on the defensive side of the ball, if they want to run the table.

Derek: It is a team that continues to improve, week to week. For a team that has not shared that kind of success in a while—a convincing victory over a Big Ten contender—this Saturday has the recipe to be one of those "letdown" games.

Do you see this Indiana game as a trap game of any sorts? How do the Buckeyes avoid the big-game hangover effect?

Chad: I'm still up in the air on whether there will be a slight hangover, though I think there's a very high probability that Ohio State wins. On the one hand, Urban understand incentives and motivation and has done a great job keeping this team hungry. The players have all said the right things this week, e.g. Hyde talking about MSU's close one with Indiana last week. On the other hand, Indiana does run the type of quick screen offense that gave the Buckeyes trouble in the first 3 games. Meyer admitted this, however, which makes me think they'll adjust on defense and do just fine.

Miles: I don't think the Indiana game is in any way a trap game. Indiana is simply a terrible team that the Buckeyes should have no problem beating in what's kind of a home game as I think the Buckeye fans could outnumber Hoosier fans.

IU gives up tons of yards on the ground. Hello, Brax.

Derek: I mentioned already that this could be a "letdown" game for Ohio State. I think Urban Meyer is too good of a coach to allow that to happen.  Hangovers usually occur if they lack focus and preparation throughout the week and that won't be tolerable under Meyer. The message the staff has sent all year is that they are a long way from where they want to be and I think the team believes that.

How do the Buckeyes fill in for an injured Etienne Sabino? Who gets the majority of his playing time in his absence?

Chad: It looks like Joshua Perry will get the start, but I'd imagine we see more of the nickel defense with CJ Barnett, OJ, Doran Grant, and Corey Brown all playing more.

Miles: Losing Sabino is tough especially since there aren't many experienced linebackers on this team. I expect true freshmen Joshua Perry will get the bulk of the playing time is Sabino's place. Sophomore Curtis Grant and true freshman Jamal Marcus could also see additional playing time.

Derek: The defense will be running a lot of nickel against the Indiana spread offense, meaning only two linebackers will see the field much. I'd expect those two linebackers to be Storm Klein and Ryan Shazier. When in the base defense, I'd expect true freshman Josh Perry to see the field.

OSU did score 63 points but gave up 38 against Nebraska. 38 is a boatload of points. What must the defense do to not give up as many points from this point forward?

Chad: Well, they did play a pretty good offense in Nebraska - they're rated as the 18th-best scoring offense. I think they need time to really settle in to Cover-4 coverages and disguise their blitzes a bit better schematically. Apart from that, they really need to keep improving in their defense of short passes and screens, as well as improve their tackling angles.

Miles: Easy: Tackle. The tackling has been flat out terrible this year and has led to other teams getting scores they shouldn't be getting (see Cal and MSU games). Once they learn how to tackle the right way, I think there will be an improvement.

Derek: Just as in every game so far, the Buckeyes lapsed and were unable to make tackles at key junctures that turned into plays far bigger than they ever should have been. That remains a concern.

It may sound crazy but the more times I watched that game, and the more I dwelled on it, I have a rough time saying the defense didn't play well.  Obviously giving up 38 points is unacceptable and not a winning recipe, but it seemed like they played much better than the score would indicate.  The defensive line dominated most of that game, and if they do so against the rest of the Big Ten teams, I doubt 38 ever gets reached by the opponent.

Braxton Miller is once again on that Heisman shortlist with WVU QB Geno Smith at the top, of course. What would it mean to OSU to get the invite to NYC for the ceremony?

Chad: Two things come to mind: 1. It would mean that he's set up well for a real Heisman run next year. 2. It would help with recruiting elite quarterbacks. Imagine telling recruits, "Look what this guy did in his first year in the Urban Meyer offense!"

Miles: I think it would be great to see Braxton invited to the ceremony in NYC. It would show the country the Buckeyes are "back", the new offense is working, and OSU will be a national threat as long as Braxton is at QB.

Derek: I don't think it really means anything to Ohio State if he doesn't win it, which I do not expect him to. At the end of the day, the most important thing for this team is to keep getting familiar with the new staff and their expectations.

Bloomington is often referred to as Columbus West when the Buckeyes come to town. Of the 55K, how many will be scarlet and gray clad?

Chad: 15-20K, I'd guess.

Miles: I think the majority of the fans will be wearing scarlet and gray.

Derek: I'll predict about 25-30K of the stadium to be Buckeye fans Saturday night. I'm not sure if the 8:00 start will alter past precedent.

Indiana gave Michigan State a scare last Saturday. What must OSU do to get off to a faster start than MSU did against the Hoosiers?

Chad: Indiana struggles with run defense, giving up an average of 195 yards per game. We have at least 2.5 (.5 for Rod Smith, who I want to see more of to evaluate) fantastic runners on offense. I let them run wild, then use play-action, run/pass options, and deep passes to give Braxton and the receivers some work. I think Devin Smith and Stoney are probably eager for some touches after Nebraska.

Miles: Tackle and limit penalties.

Derek: It sounds "cliche" but if it wants to avoid a slow start against the Hoosiers, the simple thing would be to let Braxton be Braxton. Indiana doesn't have the athletes on defense to contain him.

It'll be interesting to see if Ohio State decides to unleash Braxton early, or try to get him going in the passing game and develop that part of his game more.

Bonus: Will the Buckeyes run the table? What is the biggest remaining road block?

Chad: I don't want to be a homer, but I think things look pretty good right now for a run. I think Purdue and Penn State will be tougher than many realize, but Michigan is obviously our toughest remaining opponent.

Miles: I can't answer this question with any confidence either way. I certainly think there's a chance, but with the way the defense has played this year, I'm really not sure. Gun to my head, I'd say yes, with the biggest road block being Wisconsin.

Derek: Heading into the season I had Ohio State going 10-2. Those two losses were to Michigan State and Wisconsin on the road. Wisconsin hasn't looked as scary as some may have thought they'd be, but that is the biggest road block in my eyes. Wisconsin gets the Buckeyes at home looking for revenge from last year. I'll say Ohio State goes 11-1, losing that game.


Comments Show All Comments

bhardy22132's picture

I dont see whisky beating us. Ball will be limited and for all the hype O Brien got he really hasnt shown anything that worries me at all. If I had a watch out game IMO it would have to be in Happy Valley.

David Sokol's picture

I do not see Wisco beating the Buckeyes. It's just not believable... Weak defense, less than impressive offense.

NC_Buckeye's picture

I agree about Penn State. In spite of his lack of physical abilities, McGloin is showing that he understands BOB's system and is making plays when needed. Plus, PSU's defense is mostly intact despite the sanctions.
Also, the 6:00pm start time makes it a night-game more or less.

Boxley's picture

At PSU, At Wisky, both are games that will not allow us to make turnovers and still win. We have the better offense in both games, but are playing at their home. Our defense will have seen enough offenses by then to be doing much better.
The AACC game if we are 11-0, will be game for historical legend in the stadium, recruiting and national cred will be on the line

"...the man who really counts in the world is the doer, not the mere critic-the man who actually does the work, even if roughly and imperfectly, not the man who only talks or writes about how it ought to be done." President T. Roosevelt

nickma71's picture

You can stop cribbing analysis from the haters ESPN. They call the Big Ten weak because they think Michigan is one of the better teams in the league, when they are one of the worst.

lippertini's picture

You can still hate M*chigan and admit that they're a good team, because they are.  They outplayed Notre Dame and manhandled Purdue.  Thinking otherwise is just willful ignorance.  That game won't be easy.  We could conceivable lose at Wisconsin, Penn St. and to Michigan at home.  Purdue may be tough as well.  We should be favored in each of them, but all will be tough.

NC_Buckeye's picture

Please share whatever you're smoking if you think Mich outplayed ND. ND was in control of that game from the first snap. UM is too one-dimensional as an offense. Robinson can't throw a ball to save his life. And if he gets turn-over crazy like he did against the Irish, then stick a fork in the Wolverines cause they're done.
Not to take anything away from ND though. If they continue to play like this, they are an easy BCS bowl selection if not NCG selection. And that's tough for me to write. I hate ND almost as much as I hate Mich.

bhardy22132's picture

This years Michigan team is the EXACT same Michigan team from last year. The one that was dominated on paper by VT and ran out of their own backyard with a squeak win over our pathetic offense last year as well. They really arent that good of a team.
If they were good, I would give them the props that they would deserve but that is not the case honestly. They really have yet to show me anything that suggests that they are a team that deserves any kind of respect just like last year when they (and VT) were gifted a BCS bowl game.

OSUBias's picture

Michigan may not be great, but they are certainly not "one of the worst" teams in the B1G. Their losses are to teams that are a combined 10-0. Not like they lost to a MAC team (PSU, Iowa, Indiana) or La Tech (Illinois) or mediocre unranked PAC12 schools (Illinois again, Nebraska).
So far Michigan got owned by 'Bama, which is exactly the same thing that would have happened to every other team in our conference in the first game of the season. Then they played a consensus top-10 close (Notre Dame) despite 6 turnovers. Two tough losses, but have taken care of business since then. Let's see how they handle MSU before we categorize them quite so negatively.

7 yards and a cloud of dust is a beautiful thing

bhardy22132's picture

Im not saying they are one of the worst teams in the BIG. Im just saying that they are not what people think they are. As far as Penn. st. loss to OU, that is a special team this year. One that IMO should be in the top 25 right now. Ohio is good. The MAC is a decent conference this year. They arent great but they have some solid teams this year. Yeah Iowa is better than that and still shouldnt have let Cent. Michigan beat them but eh. IU on the other hand has had fits with Ball St. so that was nothing shocking I think.
The Bama game showed us all exactly what we already knew. That this Michigan team is not what their fans thought they were and are not what alot of other people thought they were going to be. The ND game, it was just a matter of time before they lost to them. They had problems with ND even when they werent good so teams were already catching up to this class.
They are a decent team (they are OK, Good if you want to say that but alot of people on here want to call us good so if that is the case then im calling UM OK). Still gonna bring everything they have against us because it is a rivalry game and I expect nothing but the best out of them but they gave us their best last year which is equal to what they have this year and they needed a Fick third down timeout in the final drive to beat us.
It will be a tough game for sure but I think in terms of uncertainty, PSU poses more of a threat than UM.

buckeye56's picture

Last year Michigan was a 8-4 team with a 10-2 schedule, this year they are an 8-4 team with a 8-4 schedule probably at best.

headina's picture

Count me as a buckeye fan in Bloomington. I bought alum season tickets for this one game. $30 versus $60 for a single game ticket. Not sure I get the math but hey...


Alhan's picture

In my opinion, there are no acceptable losses left on the table this year. Maybe I'm just high on Kool-aid right now, but I feel we are head and shoulders above the rest of the league at this point.

"Nom nom nom" - Brady Hoke

hodge's picture

If y'all aren't at least scared of Michigan, you're smoking something.  I understand that Urbz is awesome, and that he coaches a Hell of a ballgame, but Hoke is pretty passionate about this rivalry, as well.  He's going to have his team fired up for that game, every ounce of frustration this year has given them is going to come out on that Saturday afternoon in Columbus.  I'll admit it, I like our chances, but I don't get this whole "Michigan game's in the bag this year" attitude--I recall that was the prevailing sentiment when Coop was coach, as well.  
If we've learned anything, it's that Michigan is the most unpredictable game of all--records never matter.  We all condemn Michigan for allowing us--with our anemic offense--to come so close to upsetting them, but we forget that Bollman blew each and every one of us away with only his second decent gameplan of the season that year (the first being the first half in Lincoln).  This game is going to be epic, and though I couldn't be happier that Urban (and his impeccable rivalry record) is leading my team, I will never, ever declare a Michigan game as "in the bag"; we've been burned by that mentality far too often.  Make no mistake, the Fighting Hokesters will come out to play, and it will be a battle of epic proportions.  Confidence is key, my fellow Buckeye fans, but remember: pride comes before the fall.

Alhan's picture

I hope I didn't come across as thinking Michigan was in the bag.  I just don't feel that losing to Michigan is acceptable this year! (or any year) 

"Nom nom nom" - Brady Hoke

hodge's picture

I wasn't referring to anyone, in particular; it just seems that the overriding sentiment on this site is that Michigan is almost a guaranteed victory.  Like somehow Meyer will be able to singularly eliminate bad plays, and have the Bucks hyped to a level that will make them unbeatable.  People are saying that "this is our bowl game", but I'm betting that Michigan would trade a bowl victory for an OSU victory, any day of the week.  And I'm sure they'd cherish nothing as much as destroying OSU's perfect season, and crashing Urban's COY bash.
I think they're the most dangerous team we're going to face.  Robinson carved us up like a Thanksgiving turkey last year, and our linebackers are going to have to improve if they want to limit him.  He's going to limit throws and try to change the game with his legs, and if we allow the big play (like we did to Nebraska last week), Robinson will have a field day--he's about ten times as explosive as Taylor Martinez.

BUCKfutter's picture

Spot on. Even during the richrod years, scum would come out fired up. The game was always relatively close in the first half until their terrible QB play did them in.

the kids are playing their tail off, and the coaches are screwing it up! - JLS

Boxley's picture

To take it a little further, for those of us old enough to remember watching all of the games during the Woody, Bruce, Cooper years, the M$chian game is never in the bag. For them or for us. As soon as you assume it is, you have lost.

"...the man who really counts in the world is the doer, not the mere critic-the man who actually does the work, even if roughly and imperfectly, not the man who only talks or writes about how it ought to be done." President T. Roosevelt

btalbert25's picture

I do n ot believe in any way shape or form that the IU game is a trap game or letdown game etc.  Now, I do think, it has the makings of a UAB type game though because Urban said they are going to try a few things and not let Braxton run as much.  Maybe this is the game where he starts hitting a lot of nice passes and does rack up yards and points through the air, but if not, there could be some stahling on offense.

pukindawg's picture

If Braxton gets a Heisman invite it's huge for tOSU. He immediately will be talked about as "possibly" the next Archie Griffin and ESPiN will go all-in and the publicity will be good. I personally don't think we'll see another 2-time Heisman winner but I think Braxton can get one (and hope for two).

gwalther's picture

Has anyone actually watched Wisconsin play? They look like shit. Biggest remaining obstacle is Michigan. Even at Madison, this Wisconsin team does not particularly scare me.

Class of 2008