Could we really lose to Indiana?

baddogmaine's picture
October 10, 2012 at 7:41a

In his Wednesday skull session Chad observes:

 YARRRGH IT'S A TRAP. Meyer spoke briefly about his concerns for Indiana this week during the B1G teleconference:

    Meyer said he's concerned about execution on defense and stopping Indiana because Hoosiers do things off. that OSU has struggled with.
    — Kyle Rowland (@KyleRowland) October 9, 2012

While some have joked about Ohio State running up the score on Indiana, I don't think scoring will be the issue in this game - it'll be the Indiana offense.

Team Rankings has us as only 86.5% likely to beat Indiana. Not to cover the spread - TR is not optimistic about us covering - but to win by any margin. They list us as one of the prohibative favorites most likely to get upset. AACC will destroy IL, FSU will destroy BC, ASU will demolish CO, but we are only four-stars-out-of-five likely to win according to TR.

The quick response is that Team Rankings doesn't know what they're talking about, but really no one knows in advance what will happen, and TR are no worse than others, and by actually looking at data are better than many.

Chad touches on some concerns - IN's quick passing attack, new OSU LB. Add in depth problems on the o-line, defensive secondary and - as long as Hall is hurt - RB (one good carry against a downtrodden NE does not establish Smith as a workhorse) and we are one injury away from the wheels possibly falling off.

My feeling had been that this is the first game in a while I have felt comfortable about. Since the Miami game I have had concerns about our defense. I still worry that we are too dependent on Braxton, and I don't like all-eggs-in-one-braxket. Even in the MSU game I saw struggles on both sides. But I was convinced by the beating we put on the Cornhuskers that even if our defense is still too bendy for my tastes our offense might make us the WVU of the B1G. I had been ready to predict a laugher on Saturday but the cynic in me is starting to grumble that 17 points is too big for a defense that stops the run but not so much the pass.

What do thinking readers think? I take it as a given that we will all never accept in advance that this Buckeye team could lose to this Hoosier team. But is there really a one-in-seven chance of an upset, as Team Ranking is publicly saying? Are we really less of a lock than AACC, ASU, FSU?  If so why? Let's get some opinions out here before the talking heads, including 11W staff, tell us what to think.

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Optimistic Buckeye Pessimist's picture

The answer is yes, we could lose. 
I watched IU play MSU very close and everything that is being brought up is absolutely correct.  IU on defense held MSU's running game in check for the first three quarters and made MSU pass, which they aren't great at.  We are also in a similar mold of run-first, struggle to pass.  However, I do see the offense improving weekly and think that we will put points on the board.
As it was pointed out, the question lies in the IU offense.  They run up tempo, no huddle and it was pretty impressive against MSU.  They get the ball to the perimeter quickly and MSU struggled with this for most of the game.  However, our defense has played a few teams that like the quick pass and a few that like to spread the field so I don't see this as a novel experience for our defense.  Plus, we should be able to get some excellent film from the MSU game on what not to do (Q1-3) and what to do (Q4).  
So, while we could lose, I think am I confident in our coaching staff to generate a winning gameplan.  Of course, it all comes down to execution and which ways the big plays and TOs go go - recall that in our performance against NEB, we won the execution, big plays, and TOs, against MSU UAB, and Cal, not so much, hence much closer games.

Read my entire screen name....

Alhan's picture

Haha, just don't ask MSU to provide us with the excellent film. Something tells me they'd be very happy to put something together for us.

I'm confident we won't stumble on this one. IU playing MSU close should be more than enough to put the coaches on alert. Not to mention we have a better rushing team than MSU IMHO.

"Nom nom nom" - Brady Hoke

AllDay028's picture

Indiana's offense could, if they have their best game, put up a lot of points on us. If we have an off day, which is certainly not out of the question, we could find ourselves in a close and high scoring game. Add in the fact that it's a night game in Indiana and you can definitely see us losing in the right circumstance. Do I think we'll win? Yes. Would I bet on us winning? Yes. Would I bet on us covering the spread? Probably not, even though I think there is at least a 50% chance of us doing so.

RBuck's picture

No...Roberson is out.

Long live the southend.

AllDay028's picture

Roberson has been out for weeks, yet they are still doing extremely well offensively.

rkylet83's picture

I honestly don't feel comfortable going into any game yet.  I think the Nebraska game showed us how phenomenal our offense can be when everything is clicking, but conversely the UAB game showed that we can just as easily struggle for long periods of time before kicking it into gear.  Defensively have not consistently shutdown any team yet this season, and we still give up huge plays on the ground and in the air.  In my opinion I think it would take a "Purdue Harbor" like scenario to lose to Indiana, but as the OP wrote the ingredients are there for an upset if we come in completely flat.  The nice thing about this game is its at night under the lights and MSU semi-exposed Indiana's ability to surprise a flat team.  I think we'll be up and ready this week.  Ohio State 48 Indiana 21. 

phxbuck's picture

This is the best comment of this entire thread. 

O-H Kee Pa's picture

It will go one of two ways:
1) We have an emotional let down after the Nebraska game, come out flat, and it's a game well into the second half.
2) Urbz once agains reminds us that he's not JT, we press our foot down on IU's throat early, and the starters get some much needed rest halfway through the 3rd quarter.
Both options will result in a win; it's just a matter of whether or not we play down to IU.

Ahh Saturday's picture

Some numbers of note regarding IU:
They were down 27-0 against NW at the half.  In that game Colter ran for 161 yards on 14 carries.  The IU offense had 4 3-and-outs in the game.
Against MSU they were outscored 17-0 in the 2nd half, had 4 3-and-outs, and gained just 47 yards on 23 plays.
Their D has given up 41, 44, and 31 points to Ball State, NW, and MSU respectively.  The MSU offensive total is 10 points above their season average.
They have lost 3 games in a row, their only wins coming against some school called Indiana St, and UMass.
MSU came out flat and got in a pretty deep hole, but IU is so bad that they couldn't hold a 17 point lead against one of the worst scoring offenses in all of CFB (21 pts/game).  Buckeyes will have learned from MSU not to come out flat against IU, and learned from NW not to let off the gas.  They have a couple players who can make plays, and my guess is they will make a couple, but OSU not only wins, but covers the spread easily. 
OSU 49-17 IU

NoVA Buckeye's picture

Some school called Indiana State... isn't that where Larry Bird played?

The offseason begins when your season ends. Even then there are no days off.

Rjpfish2's picture

Indeed. I believe he was referring to the anonymity of their football team, which has an all time record of...       363–485–23 (.430) 

NoVA Buckeye's picture

Doesn't look that bad in comparison to some FCS teams.

The offseason begins when your season ends. Even then there are no days off.

cplunk's picture

Yes, we could lose. I would not say there is a high chance of us losing, but there is definitely a chance:
1) Everything the Indiana offense does well matches with what our defense does poorly stopping.
2) Our LBs have not been a position of strength and are now also missing Sabino
3) Indiana played MSU close by holding their running game down for most of the game. If our running game is held down, we are dead in the water offensively.
I really do think Indiana's offense is capable of doing very well against our defense. The whole question for me if our offense. If we come out sharp and play like we've shown we can when things click then the game is a slaughter. If we come out flat and Indiana plays well against the run, we could be in trouble. 
I think they'll get their points, so it is up to offense. I say that, though, really hoping that our defense comes out and proves me wrong.

Ahh Saturday's picture

Regarding point 3, I'd say that Braxton Miller looks a lot more like Kain Colter who ran for 161 yards on 14 carries than LeVeon Bell.  IU will not come close to stopping the offense.

btalbert25's picture

I suppose there's a chance to lose any game really.  I would be shocked if it's this game against IU though.  IU has had better teams and Ohio State has had worse and Ohio State still came out ahead by quite a bit.  I'd be surprised if this one isn't a laugher.  I'm betting the offense continues to get better.  I have said all along there was going to be an "Aha moment" where the offense just started clicking, I think that came after the first quarter last week.  I'm thinking 50+ points against IU.

O-H Kee Pa's picture

If there was a year for IU to tag us, it was 2011. Their "big time upset against OSU" ship sailed when Urbz became HC.

zachofaltrades's picture

My concern is that they will revert back to that UAB mode, which is not overlooking the team in terms of effort, but overlooking them in terms of their schemes.  They really tried to work on Braxton's passing and audibling and what not against UAB, and that did not go so well.  Hopefully they learned a lot from that game and will be able to whoop on IU by running the HBs and passing rather than Brax running for a buck-50, 3 TDs, and a handful of health scares.

ShowThemOhiosHere's picture

There is a chance that we could lose.  Just like there's a chance that the sun will rise from the west.  Indiana does things on offense that OSU struggles with?  Oh, so they basically run the same stuff 5 out of our first 6 opponents run?  Nebraska put up 38 because they are very talented.  Indiana might have a nice offensive system, but they don't have nearly the talent.  Will Indiana put up some points?  Probably.  They could get into the 20's.  But how's the Indiana defense playing?  Yeah.  They'll probably get a good portion of their points in garbage time.  I'm feeling optimistic, so I say OSU wins 59-17.  Worst case, it may be something like 42-27.   

Class of 2010.

Run_Fido_Run's picture

I reluctantly asked a beautiful woman if she'd go out on a date with me - I predicted that she'd turn me down cold because it's not like I'm Orlando Bloom, or something. Surprisingly, she agreed to go out with me!
Now I'm worried, though, that it might rain on the nice picnic that I have planned for our first date. Will the ants eat the cucumber sandwiches? Will the wine cork be spoiled? Will we get mugged in the park?

ccollins0325's picture

Spoken like a true Buckeye!

BrewstersMillions's picture

Nope. Ohio State will NEVER lose to Indiana under Urban Meyer. While at Florida, I think the only time his Gators were ever upset heavily was the infamous Ole Miss game. He is a master at combining talent and motivation into a near unstoppable force.

Buckeyejason's picture

yes, we could lose anygame any given Saturday. 


buckeyedude's picture

The only way we lose is if Braxton, El Guapo, Roby, and Philly Brown all break their femurs or tear their meniscus on the first play of scrimmage.



d5k's picture

I would bet heavily against a 15% chance for Indiana to win... but obviously we could lose.  It would require big plays on the defense (which has happened), Indiana winning the turnover battle (which has happened) and possibly a Miller injury (which has happened).  In other words, several reasonably possible things need to ALL happen just for them to have a better than level playing field.  All those things could happen and we still win but it is highly unlikely for Indiana to win without those things going their way.
I would say this would be a once in every 5 seasons type of upset or more like a 3-5% chance.

kareemabduljacobb's picture

Watching the game vs Sparty, they really like to throw the ball out in the flats to WRs and RBs... quick screens.  I saw like 5 in a row at one point.  We do struggle with speed out in space, so hopefully our LB/CBs come ready to play!  We had 3 players run for over 100 on them last year, I can see much of the same, or at least big games from Hyde and Miller with potentionally Smith getting a good workload in.

ccollins0325's picture

I am curious to get Earle's take on this post. His quote from the Most Difficult Remaining Game thread:

I think this team is capable of losing to anyone left on the schedule (well, maybe not Indiana)

I stand by my response: Buckeyes fans, we're going to worry each week no matter who we are playing.

I think that the fear we have each week, especially after the non-conference games, is what makes it fun to be a Buckeye. I don't think we have taken any game for granted since "that one game, against that one team, that one year" (will that pain ever really go away?)

Earle's picture

Sorry, I must have missed this comment last week, though I saw the thread and didn't see the need to reiterate.
My original comment was more geared to the specific thread (which game worries you most), and I must admit that Indiana was pretty low (at the bottom?) of the list, but I threw in the IU comment half-jokingly.
Truth is, I am with you in worrying about every game, and even though I was sweating out the 4Q, I never thought they would actually lose the game.
Having said that, I will no longer disparage any remaining opponents until after the Buckeyes have dispatched them.
I will add my mea culpa to the "Overwhelming Guilt" thead.

Snarkies gonna snark. 

BUCKfutter's picture

2) They lost to BALL STATE
3) The most frequent time that teams come out flat is after losing an emotional, knock-down drag-out game at home to a tough team.  Obviously what happened to MSU last week, and they woke up in enough time to win.  MSU would beat Indiana 19/20 times if not more.
4) We are not MSU.  We proved against them (and Nebraska) that we are dominant in the trenches on both sides of the ball, which is where games are won and lost.  17-16 was as close as the MSU game should have been (we lost turnovers 3-0).
5) Even if they stack the box and force us to throw, Braxton showed (after 1Q) that he can, contrary to popular belief, throw, and has been constantly improving throughout the season.  The seam routes to the TE's will be wide open again if IU stacks the box (which they will have to do to have a chance to stop the run).
As in any game, there is a snowball's chance we will lose, but it will require Braxton or multiple O-Linemen getting hurt, or Braxton losing his mind and turning it over 4+ times.  However, without Roberson, Indiana has the least or second-least talent of any team we will play this year (probably close to UAB).
49-17 good guys

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

headina's picture

UAB took a dump on South East Louisiana last week. UAB>IU


hodge's picture

"When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth"
~Sherlock Holmes, via Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Losing to Indiana is not impossible, therefore--however improbable it may be--it is indeed possible that we lose to them.
That said; 52-10, good guys.

ccollins0325's picture

I don't think I could cut through that with Occam's razor.

Jeremy91's picture

No. I don't expect to beat them 70-0, but our offense should be able to exert their will on Indiana's defense. Then again I thought they would do the same to UAB, and we all saw how that game turned out. I think it'll be something like 49-20 tOSU. However if the offense from the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th quarter of the Nebraska game shows up from the start this could get ugly for Indiana.

"Do not pray for an easy life. Rather, pray for the the strength to endure a difficult one" - Bruce Lee

tampa buckeye's picture

IU has a pretty good offense and Ohio state lets be honest has looked like dog shit on D.  I want to see some press coverage at least on time this year.  They have a running qb we should have 9-10 guys in the box all game long while rushing 7 and forcing their qb to beat us with his arm.  
Also, great to see our special teams improve as much as they have this year if that continues we go 12-0 and extend a big middle finger to the NCAA.

Dougger's picture

If Kenny Powers was a buckeye fan, i think he'd talk like that. So.. nice avatar.

I like football

jestertcf's picture

yes we could, because I was nervous at times against Miami Ohio. However by the third quarter I think we break their will and pull away comfortably.

~Because we couldn't go for three~

1stYrBuckIClub's picture

I believe the fact that the Buckeye faithful travel extremely well to Bloomington offsets any typical road woes. The Bucks know this is a B1G game and I'm confident Urban won't 'give them the week off' in practice. I'm more curious to see if we really can dominate a lesser opponent, and if we do, when does Urban give some of the backups some quality playing time...

cajunbuckeye's picture

The talking baby said it the best, "The same odds as being mauled by a polar bear and a grizzly on the same day."

An angry fan...rooting for an angry team...led by angry coaches

headina's picture

Cardale "We ain't come to play school" Jones could win the game Saturday. I am going to go out on a limb and say Ohio state will not lose to IU in our lifetime.


grant87's picture

Northwestern put up over 700 yards.  Nearly 400 on ther ground.
I see the Silver Bullets running an aggressive cover 4 out of the nickel. 
IU had their chance to shock the world last week.  MSU woke up and the rest well was...normal for Indiana.
45-13 to 52-16 range..
I would not be shocked if 60 were to be scored.

Maybe tomorrow, when today will be yesterday things will be clearer.


tommrkr's picture

Sure, we could lose to IU.
Oh wait, you're talking about football?  GTFO :)  When people talk about how great Indiana is doing, they mean compared to when IU blows dead goats. They've upgraded to blowing live goats, but they are still pretty bad.  As you can see from last year, a good season by Bloomington standards turns a hero into a goat in Columbus.
702-3, OSU.

brbrbuckeye's picture has this comment been left alone?


cplunk's picture

There should be no further questions like this for other opponents this year. Our D has made it obvious that we can lose to anybody.

brbrbuckeye's picture

Anyone who votes on us to cover spreads, with our defense, is playing a new kind of Roulette game. Seriously, please give up on bettering LOL.


ArTbkward's picture

No joke, I picked OSU to cover.  What on earth was I thinking?  Thankfully the only actual currency involved is Monopoly money.

We should strive to keep thy name, of fair repute and spotless fame...

(Also, I'm not a dude)

Buckeyejason's picture

Yes, could've possibly lost that game.