Meet the Opponent: No. 6-ranked Ohio State Buckeyes

Tom Brew

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — Indiana has been able to hang tight with mighty Ohio State for two or three quarters the past few years, but it hasn’t been able to close it out and end a long losing streak to the Buckeyes that goes back to 1988.

Here’s a quick primer for you on the game, and the Buckeyes, the defending Big Ten champions.

The details

  • Who: No. 6 Ohio State (2-0) vs. Indiana (2-0)
  • What: Big Ten conference opener for both teams
  • When: Saturday, Noon ET
  • TV: FOX. Announcers: Gus Johnson, Joel Klatt, Jenny Taft (sidelines)
  • Radio: IU Radio Network, Sirius 99, XM 201. Announcers: Don Fischer, Buck Suhr, Joe Smith

3 things to know about the Buckeyes

  • New quarterback Justin Fields: The controversial transfer from Georgia has been very good in his first two starts. He ranked No. 3 overall in the Pro Football Focus ranking of quarterback performances (Indiana’s Michael Penix Jr. is No. 8) and has been dangerous with both his arm and his legs so far. He has accounted for nine touchdowns in two games, six passing and three on the ground. A former 5-star recruit who was the No. 1-ranked recruit on some services in the Class of 2018, Fields has a big arm and can make all the throws. He’s not afraid to take off running, either.
  • New title, same Ryan Day: The first year Ohio State head coach is off to a good start with the Buckeyes, and that’s no surprise because he coached the first three games last year as the interim head coach when Urban Meyer was suspended for his role — or lack thereof — with a domestic violence issue on his coaching staff. Some were wondering (hand raised) if Ohio State might take a step back with Meyer gone, but we’ve seen no drop-off so far. Both wins against Florida Atlantic and Cincinnati have been impressive.
  • Defense still dominates: Ohio State has been great at stopping the run the first two weeks, allowing only 64.5 yards per game, good for 11th-best in the country. They are allowing only 1.93 yards per carry, which is 10th-best nationwide. They can get after the passer too, and will be a best test for Indiana’s experienced offensive line. They are led by defensive end Chase Young, who has 17 career sacks, good for 16th-best all-time in Ohio State history. Ohio State has been great about eliminating explosive plays, allowing just one run of 20 yards or more so far this season, and only two passes of 30 or more.

Get more on the Buckeyes on our Maven/SI platform

Since you’ve been enjoying our Indiana site so much of the Maven/Sports Illustrated platform, I thought this would be a good time to introduce you to Bruce Hooley, my Ohio State counterpart here with Maven/SI. They're a great source for Ohio State news and information.

You can find all their stuff at

Here are the links to several of their best recent stories:

* Ohio State’s run defense is much improved:

*That was easy: Ohio State rolls over Cincinnati

* Ohio State serious about using tight end more