NCAA Football Big Ten Matchup: Indiana Hoosiers at No. 6 Ohio State Buckeyes

Devin Smith has eight receiving TDs this season for OSU, tied for team-lead.
Devin Smith has eight receiving TDs this season for OSU, tied for team-lead.

Indiana-Ohio State
Time: Sat, 11 AM CST
Spread: OSU -35

Betting odds c/o Bovada

Ohio State enters this week ranked No. 6 in the nation and hosts Indiana for a Big Ten showdown. The Hoosiers are winless (0-6) in conference play this year and enter the game as 35-point underdogs to the Buckeyes.

OSU has won eight straight since losing week 2 to Virginia Tech. Last week, the Buckeyes took out then-No. 25 Minnesota and won the prior week against then-No. 8 Michigan State. In typical fashion, the Buckeyes will close out the year against Michigan in a highly anticipated rivalry game.

Last week in the victory over Minnesota, QB J.T. Barrett threw 15-of-25 for 200 yards while racking up an additional 189 yards on the ground. He threw for three TDs and ran for one as Ohio State held on to win by a TD despite a 10-point fourth quarter from hosting Minnesota. Ohio State totaled 489 yards in the win while completing 9-of-13 on fourth down.

Barrett has thrown for 2,356 yards this season at a 64 percent clip while managing 29 TDs to just 8 INTs. His passer rating is 171.6 for the year, while he’s totaled an additional 771 yards rushing. RB Ezekiel Elliot has rushed for 954 yards on 5.7 yards per carry with seven TDs. At WR, the Buckeyes have four wideouts with at least 250 yards, paced by Michael Thomas (583 yards, eight TDs).

It helps account for OSU ranking 5th in the nation in points scored (44.5) and the defense has been very solid too, holding opponents to 22 points per game. The ground game for Ohio State has been dominant, mainly due to Barrett and Elliot, as the Buckeyes average 263.1 yards per game via the rush.

Indiana is riding a five-game losing streak, and lost 45-23 to Rutgers last week. The Hoosiers rank 11th in the nation in rushing yardage behind the strength of Tevin Coleman. Coleman has rushed for 1,678 yards with 7.8 yards per carry and 12 TDs on the season. D’Angelo Roberts has also rushed for 460 yards on 4.6 yards per carry.

All in all, though, the Hoosiers still only get 25.1 points per game from its offense, largely due to the fact that the team averages only 146 yards per game via the pass. Since the Hoosiers 31-27 win over then-No. 18 Missouri in week 3, little has gone right. Nate Sudfield was something of a disappointment, throwing for just 6.89 yards per reception with a 126.6 passer rating before succumbing to a season ending shoulder injury.

In his stead,  Zander Diamont has started with disastrous results.  The 6’1″ freshman has thrown just 46 percent for completion with three INTs and just one TD.  It won’t bode well for Indiana this week, nor is it especially confidence-inspiring for the Hoosiers’ future prospects.

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