Week 7 - Ohio State at Indiana

Posted Oct 12, 2012

Week 7 Fearless Predictions - Ohio State at Indiana

Ohio State (6-0) at Indiana (2-3) Oct. 13, 8:00, BTN

Here's The Deal: October 8, 1988. That's the last time Indiana beat Ohio State. The Hoosiers won in 1987, too. Before that, the previous victory was 1951. This has been as one sided series as any in the history of college football, and this year it might take a minor miracle for that to start to turn around.

Indiana has been far better and far more competitive than it was last season, but close losses to Ball State and Michigan State were still losses, and beating Indiana State and UMass just isn't that big a deal. On the plus side, the offense is working well with a good passing game. However, the Hoosiers have to throw way too often to overcome the problems from the Big Ten's worst defense. With winnable road games against Navy and Illinois up next, IU could go on a nice run if it can buck history and pull off the big upset.

Each and every week is vital for Ohio State to make a statement. It's been well documented that the lack of a bowl game or ability to play in the Big Ten championship has forced the team to try to step up and shine in the regular season to be considered the league's best team – at least by the college football public. Coming away with a close win in the slugfest over Michigan State was impressive, and then came the jaw-dropping final three quarters in the 63-38 stunner over Nebraska. All of a sudden, the Buckeyes showed more explosion and more pop on the way to looking like the league's best team.

Going to Penn State and Wisconsin are going to be difficult, and the season-ender against Michigan is going to be a battle, but OSU doesn't appear to be ready to slow down any time soon.

Why Ohio State Might Win: Indiana doesn't have the defensive front to hold up against the Ohio State running game. Braxton Miller might be the main man, but the Buckeyes were able to pound away last week against Nebraska to open holes for Carlos Hyde, too. The Hoosiers are able to get into the backfield from time to time, and have a decent enough pass rush to get to Miller if he's being used as a pocket passer, but when it comes to going smashmouth, the Buckeyes should be able to do it. They weren't able to blast away against Michigan State, and they haven't been consistent, but they should be able to control the game and the clock by pounding away. IU couldn't slow down Northwestern quarterback/receiver/running back Kain Colter and the speedy Venric Mark, and they're going to have a nightmare of a time with Miller and Hyde.

Why Indiana Might Win: Do the Buckeyes have any linebackers left? Etienne Sabino was lost against Nebraska with a broken leg, and the team's leading tackler, Ryan Shazier, is questionable with an undisclosed injury. The Hoosier offensive line is having a nice year, and while the running game isn't the Big Ten's strongest, it should be able to hold its own at times against the Buckeye defensive front that's strong, but doesn't make too many plays behind the line. OSU gave up 223 rushing yards and four rushing yards against Nebraska, and California tore off 224 yards and three touchdowns. Those might have been the only rushing scores allowed, but IU has to at least try the ground game and has to try to keep pushing it.

What To Watch Out For: The Buckeyes needed help for Miller after Jordan Hall went down, and Carlos Hyde brought it. The junior ran for 100 yards twice last season finishing with 566 yards and six scores. Those two games came against Nebraska and Indiana. This year, Hall had a few nice moments, but he didn't do much of anything until Hall got hurt, finishing with 49 yards against Michigan State before ripping through Nebraska for 140 yards and four scores. Can history repeat itself? Can he run for 100 yards against the Huskers and the Hoosiers for the second year in a row? To keep Miller fresh, the more Hyde, the better.

What Will Happen: There might not be a the 50-mile-wide gap between the two programs that there normally is, and IU will keep this closer than Buckeye fans might like, but Ohio State will run well and will get the one big play needed in the third quarter to open things up a bit.

CFN Prediction: Ohio State 41 … Indiana 20
ATS Consultants Line (Click for more lines and picks) Ohio State -17 O/U: 61
Must Watch Rating (5 – Argo, 1 – Pitch Perfect): 2