Stadium: Memorial Stadium (52,692)
2011 Record: 1-11
2012 Record: 2-3
Head Coach: Kevin Wilson (2nd year at Indiana, 3-14)
Letterman Returning: (50; lost - 22)
Returning Starters: Offense - 8; Defense - 7; Specialists - 1
Base Defense: 4-3
Base Offense: Ace (3 receivers)
Dick Enberg - Award-winning Sportscaster
Lee Majors - Actor (The Six Million Dollar Man)
Mark Spitz - Swimmer (won 7 gold medals in '72 Olympics)
Jane Pauley - Award-winning TV journalist
Jeff Sagarin - Creator of Sagarin rating system for college sports
Isaiah Thomas - NBA Hall of Fame player, coach, and general manager
Mark Cuban - Entrepreneur; owner of Dallas Mavericks
Cheerleader Scouting Report:
The IU field general is in first year in Bloomington, coming to the Hoosiers after one season at Arizona Western Community College. When Tre Robertson was lost for the season he stepped in and it might have been the best thing that happened to IU. Although he isn't big (6'2", 191) or as athletic as Robertson, Coffman is extremely accurate, completing 67.2% of his passes, with 6 TD's and only 1 INT.
Houston burst onto the scene last year after playing a season at Independence Community College in Kansas, rushing for 802 yards and 8 TD's. He is a load at 222 pounds, but so far in 2012 he isn't carrying it quite as much, sharing time with Tevin Coleman, but is IU's leading ground gainer with 277 yards (5.3 ypc) and 4 TD's. He also has 14 receptions and a touchdown, and is a threat in the passing game.
Last season this physical receiver riddled OSU's secondary, finishing with 8 catches for 147 yards and a TD. So far in 2012 he has missed some time due to injuries but has still hauled in 16 passes for 248 yards and 2 TD's. A season ago he ran the ball 27 times for 162 yards, but has not been used at all in the rushing attack so far this year. That might be something to look for on Saturday.
This Centerville, OH, native is one of three brothers who has played at Indiana, and is the best player on defense so far in 2012. A season ago he finished with 49 tackles, including 4 sacks. To date he has made 36 tackles (tied for the team lead), with 4.5 for loss, including 2.5 sacks. Adam is big (6'3", 298), strong and physical, and will try and clog the middle and keep Carlos Hyde at bay.
Yet another JC transfer, Cooper came to IU from Coffeyville (Kan) CC, and is a sophomore. He isn't that big for a middle linebacker (6'1", 225), but he has good speed, and instincts. A year ago at Coffeyville he finished with 102 tackles, and so far in 2012 is tied with Adam Replogle for the team lead with 36 stops, with 4 of them coming for loss. He is another key cog in slowing down the OSU rushing attack.
Success has yet to come Wilson's way at IU, at least in terms of wins, but it is obvious that he has the Hoosiers headed in the right direction. He came to Bloomington after spending three seasons at Oklahoma as offensive line coach, and offensive coordinator. He is considered a passing game guru, and it is no mistake that IU leads the B1G, averaging 305.2 yards per game through the air.
Last year's B1G doormat, the Hoosiers are really close to getting Kevin Wilson his first conference victory, having pushed Northwestern at Evanston, before nearly upsetting Michigan State in Bloomington. Now they take on the Big Ten's highest ranked team, coming to Indiana fresh off two huge victories, but possible primed for an upset. I won't get into whether or not this is a "trap game," as that has been previously discussed by Drew, but Ohio State is getting an improving Hoosier squad that can move the ball and score points.
For Indiana, it all starts with the passing game, and JC transfer Cameron Coffman. He is accurate in the Hoosier's attack which features short and medium passes. Although he hits over 2/3 of his throws, they go for less than 10 yards per catch. Wilson says he will also play true freshman Nate Sudfeld, who has the stronger arm of the two quarterbacks, and has played well in limited action (3 TD's and 0 INT's)
The Hoosier running game is used to set up the pass but has been pretty effective at 166.2 ypg, at 4.6 ypc. Besides the bruiser, Stephen Houston, IU employs freshmen Tevin Coleman (177 yards, 5.5 ypc) and sophomore D'Angelo Roberts (177 yards, 1 TD). They do miss Tre Robertson's scrambling ability, as neither Coffman or Sudfeld are much of a threat running the ball.
Indiana's receivers are getting better, led by Kofi Hughes and ex-Glenville Tarblooder Shane Wynn. Hughes is big and physical, and does damage on slants across the middle, whereas Wynn is a tiny speedster, used greatly on screens, and only averages 7.8 ypc on his 28 receptions. However he is always a threat to take it to the house, and does have a 71 yard reception. Cody Lattimer is another big receiver at 6'3", 208, and has 20 receptions for 383 yards, as the Hoosier's deep threat. Throw in tight end Ted Bolser (15, 161, 1) and it is obvious that there are multiple threats on the field for the Hoosiers.
If IU has an Achilles heel on offense it is the line, due to inexperience. True freshmen Jason Spriggs starts at Left tackle, and classmate Dan Feeney starts at right guard. Spriggs is a converted tight end and only weighs about 270 pounds. The one true veteran on the line is center Will Matte, who is a good one. In spite of the youth on the line, Indiana has only surrendered 8 sacks and is averaging 471.4 ypg and 32.8 points per contest. There is a reason that Kevin Wilson is considered an offensive genius.
Defense is not so rosy for IU as they are giving up 441 yards per game. Two weeks ago Northwestern rolled up 704 yards on the Hoosiers and you know Ohio State coaches and players have watched that tape and made notes on what worked.
Up front IU has a couple of playmakers in the middle with Adam Replogle and Larry Black (4.5 tackles for loss & 2 sacks). Both are big and active. The ends are young, however, and none of the three guys who have logged the majority of minutes there has been a difference maker.
At linebacker, Indiana has an improving David Cooper in the middle, flanked by Jacari Alexander (yet another JC transfer) and Griffen Dahlstrom. The trio is very inexperienced and a big reason IU has given up 194.8 ypg on the ground.
Three starters returned from a year ago in the secondary but only one of them is presently in the starting lineup, and that is safety Mark Murphy, who has 31 tackles thus far. Corner Kenny Mullen has also been active with 29 tackles and 4 passes broken up. The other starters are Brian Williams and Drew Hardin, although nickel Greg Heban is usually in the game and has 26 tackles and an interception. As a team IU has only picked off 3 passes, and has surrendered 246.2 yards per game through the air.
Special teams feature veteran kicker Mitch Ewald who is solid but does not have the strongest leg around, and first year punter Mitchell Voss who has struggled. The official IU two-deep lists Erich Toth as the starting punter this week, though, so that might be something to watch. Punt returns are handled by Nick Stoner, and kick returns feature the dynamic duo of Shane Wynn, who had a 99 yard TD return a year ago, and Tevin Coleman, who has taken one to the house this year, so the "piranhas" better be on their game this week.
Two teams with very different styles and records meet Saturday night in Bloomington, in a game that many may feel is ho-hum, but which could be quite entertaining. All season IU has been fast out of the gate, while OSU has been a notoriously slow-starting team, and I don't look for that to change. Indiana will come out with both guns blazing, seeking to attack a suspect Buckeye secondary, surrendering 263.3 ypg through the air. No matter how many times Urban has warned his squad about not letting down, I think they come to Bloomington physically beat up, probably thinking it will be easy against a team that has not won a B1G game since 2010. Look for Indiana to jump on top. However, Braxton Miller is the best athlete on the field, and at some point he should take over the game. A porous Indiana defense can be exploited on the ground and in the air, and Northwestern rung up over 700 yards on the Hoosiers a coupe weeks ago. You have to think Tom Hermann has watched that tape, and seen how effective Kain Colter was running the ball against the Hoosiers. Although Miller should make some big plays with both his feet and his arm, I think OSU will attack primarily through the running game, featuring not only Brax, but also Carlos Hyde and Rod Smith.
Something else to look for on this night is turnovers. While the Buckeyes have shown good ball security most of the season, they did struggle holding on to it in their one road game, at MSU. That can't happen in Bloomington, because IU is dynamic enough on offense to make them pay. On the other hand, the Hoosiers have only turned the ball over twice all year, in spite of their youth. It will be interesting to see if a hard-hitting OSU team can have success dislodging the ball this week.
When the dust settles I think Ohio State leaves with a hard-fought victory. Indiana may put them in a hole, but so long as the Buckeyes don't shoot themselves in the foot with penalties and turnovers, they should come out on top due to having superior athletes. Along the way, look for a whole lot of yards to be gained by both teams, in another pinball-style game.
Father vs. Son Prediction Battle:
Dave: OSU 38, Indiana 27
Drew: OSU 42, Indiana 20