“Red Nation II”

Campus Clash

(9) Indiana Hoosiers at (3) Ohio State Buckeyes

Indiana: Who saw this coming? It’s been a season where you’ve seen the Michigan Wolverines, Penn State Nittany Lions, and Minnesota Golden Gophers (who were good last year) struggle. The other day, one of my former radio associates asked were they for real? I said it’s looking that way because each year, the Indiana Hoosiers have climbed the ladder and gradually improved. They may be 4-0, but their offense tends to lack production at times. Where they’ve been successful has been the red zone. In 16 trips to the red area, they have come away with 12 touchdowns. They’re efficient where it matters most. Look at how they play defense. They swarm to the ball as a unit. Also, they force takeaways. Four of them against Michigan State should grab your attention. Next is a true test. To be the best, you must beat the best.

Ohio State: Some things won’t change. They’ve dominated their division and this conference every year since 2017. Now, it’s these Buckeyes with everyone one else looking up. When I watch Justin Fields play, I see a guy that’s even more locked in. You couldn’t ask for a better start to the season as he’s been practically perfect. As I said last week, if he continues this, he’ll be invited to New York. This Buckeyes offense has speed from the running backs to the receivers on the perimeter. They get whatever they want offensively down the field whether it’s on the ground or through the air. As for the defense, they’re still trying to get acclimated to each other after losing some key guys last year (Chase Young and Jeff Okudah to name a few). They return home after a week off to face a team on the rise this weekend.

Indiana X-Factor: Stevie Scott III– This is who provides the Hoosiers offense with balance out the backfield. Stevie is a bigger back that can insert himself into the next tier up the field. Also, he’s a downhill runner that initiates contact. He’ll never run away from it.

Ohio State X-Factor: Shaun Wade– He’s the unquestioned leader of the Buckeyes secondary. I hope he preaches to his guys that they’re about to be tested because this offense has receivers that can go up and get the football in the air. I can’t wait to watch this battle.

Final Thoughts: Who saw this as a top ten matchup? Because like many other people, I didn’t! The key matchup to watch in this game is the Indiana receivers against this Buckeyes secondary. Also, Indiana can’t play sloppy football against this team because it will hurt them. Ohio State needs to pressure Michael Penix Jr. Rattle him up and hit him. This will be interesting.

Prediction: Ohio State 38 Indiana 24

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