No. 10 Indiana travels to No. 3 Ohio State on Saturday (noon, FOX) in a game that will decide the Big Ten East Division.
Who hasn’t had this written forecast in 2020?
The Hoosiers (4-0) have developed as an expensive midfielder under coach Tom Allen after beating Penn State, Michigan and Michigan State in the first four weeks of the season. Michael Penix Jr. leads the Big Ten in passing yards, and the Hoosiers try to break a 25-game losing streak for the Buckeyes (3-0).
It will not be easy. Second-year coach Ryan Day has yet to lose a Big Ten game, and Heisman Trophy frontman Justin Fields leads the conference with 11 touchdowns and a completion rate of 86.7. Ohio State is a three-TD favorite in a top-10 showdown.
It’s the biggest piece of College Football Playoff for the conference at this point. With that in mind, here’s a closer look at Saturday’s meeting.
Indiana Vs. Ohio State odds
- Propagation: Ohio State -20.5
- Over below: 64.5
- Probability of spreading points: Indiana –110, Ohio State -110
The Buckeyes opened up as a 21-point favorite, but the line dropped a half point this week. This gives the Hoosiers a bit of respect in a rivalry where they haven’t had much success.
Indiana Vs. Ohio State series of all time
Ohio State leads the all-time series against Indiana 76-9-4. The Buckeyes have won 25 straight games on the field against the Hoosiers, although the 2010 contest was later released.
Indiana has not defeated the Buckeyes since a 41-7 run on October 8, 1988.
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Three trends to know
– The Buckeyes are 2-1 ATS this season and 8-3 ATS as a home favorite under Day. It’s still a big spread considering the two teams are in the top 10.
– Indiana is 0-3 S / U against the Buckeyes under Allen. The Hoosiers lost those three meetings by an average of 30.7 points.
– The Hoosiers are 4-0 ATS this season, and that includes covers as underdogs against Penn State and Michigan. Both games were at Memorial Stadium in Bloomington, Ind. Indiana has not won at Ohio Stadium since 1987.
Three things to look at
– Michael Penix Jr. and Justin Fields. These are the two best quarterbacks in the Big Ten this season, and it’s an opportunity for Penix to prove it along the way. He has an average of 267.5 passing yards per game, and the Buckeyes allow 9.9 yards per touchdown. Favorite target Ty Fryfogle has an average of 17.7 yards per catch and will test Ohio State high school, led by American cornerback Shaun Wade Fields working with Garrett Wilson’s 1-2 tandem (344 yards, 2 TD) and Chris Olave (288 yards, 4 TD).
– Indiana pressure defense. The Hoosiers averaged three sacks per game, and the Buckeyes allowed seven sacks in three games. Can Indiana do enough to get Fields in third and long – and will it matter? Ohio State has managed to convert 58.3 percent of its third chances this season.
– Racing game. Big Ten football is still predicated on the running game, and the Hoosiers have allowed only 111.0 rushing yards per game. If they can slow down Master Teague and Trey Sermon, then they will have a chance. But it is only if the Hoosiers can generate more than 3.5 yards per port on the other side. Indiana can’t allow Ohio State passers-by – particularly Tommy Togiai and Haskell Garrett inside – to dictate the game.
Stat that counts
It’s Ohio State’s record against Big Ten opponents since Day joined the Ohio State staff as offensive coordinator in 2017. The Buckeyes have won those 12 games by an average point of 39.5-20.4. Ohio State was 5-0 in this situation with Day as head coach last year, and that average score was 39.8-18.2.
Indiana must be fired. It’s a tremendous opportunity for the program, and it won’t be a surprise if Penix Jr. directs an initial scoring test that puts the Hoosiers ahead. In each of the past three meetings, the score has been 7-3 after a quarter. The Buckeyes, as in these past three meetings, will take control from there. The Fields threw several TDs in the first half, and a pair of turnovers in the second half would charge another convincing victory for the Big Ten three-time defenders.
Ohio State 45, Indiana 21