Indiana (4-6, 2-4) at No. 4 Ohio State (10-0, 6-0), 3:30 p.m. (ABC)Line: Ohio State by 32.Series Record: Ohio State leads, 68-12-5.WHAT’S AT STAKEIndiana must win its final two games to become bowl eligible. Ohio State has lots of streaks on the line: a nation’s best 22 games in a row, needing another to set a school record, plus a 17-game win streak against the Hoosiers. The Buckeyes can also clinch a spot in the Big Ten championship game with a win.KEY MATCHUPIndiana QBs Nate Sudfield and Tre Robinson vs. Ohio State’s defense. The Hoosiers had scored at least 28 points in a program-record 10 consecutive games before last week’s 51-3 beatdown against Wisconsin. In 2012, the Buckeyes had the game firmly in hand at Indiana before a late surge made things interesting in a 52-49 victory. Ohio State’s defense is up and down, surrendering big points a week ago at Illinois (in a 60-35 win) after shutting out Purdue the game before that.PLAYERS TO WATCHIndiana: LB David Cooper and S Greg Heban must have huge games since the Hoosiers were gashed for 554 yards rushing by Wisconsin – and Ohio State may be even better on the ground. RB Tevin Coleman has 958 yards rushing and 12 TDs.Ohio State: RB Carlos Hyde, the Big Ten’s rushing leader, is averaging 8.3 yards per carry the last five games and is coming off a career-best 246-yard day (with 5 TDs). QB Braxton Miller has also been on fire, rushing for 184 yards last week. LB Ryan Shazier has been a bulwark, while DL Joey Bosa (coming off a neck injury) is among the conference’s best freshmen.FACTS & FIGURESBoth schools have set records for touchdowns scored this season, Ohio State with 67 and the Hoosiers with 52. … Hyde, who has 947 yards in just seven games, can become the first running back to top 1,000 yards in Urban Meyer’s 12 years as a head coach. … Indiana hasn’t beaten the Buckeyes since back-to-back wins in 1987-88. … Before that, Ohio State won 23 in a row in the series (1960-86). … Both teams play their biggest rival a week later, the Buckeyes traveling to Michigan and Indiana hosting Purdue for the Old Oaken Bucket.Sports & RecreationAmerican FootballIndiana
In two weeks, the Big Ten will announce its all-conference teams and major award winners, including offensive player of the year. No award has had more twists and turns in recent weeks, and unlike in past seasons, there’s no clear frontrunner entering the final two weeks of regular-season play. So we’re here to debate it. We’re considering three candidates:
Nebraska RB Ameer Abdullah: 1,336 rush yards, 7 TDs, 133.6 rush yards per game, 10 games played
Ohio State QB Braxton Miller: 1,466 pass yards, 17 touchdowns, 3 interceptions, 68 percent completions; 594 rush yards, 3 TDs, eight games played
Ohio State RB Carlos Hyde: 947 rush yards, 11 TDs, 135.3 rush yards per game, seven games played
Where’s Melvin Gordon and James White? Both Wisconsin running backs have had terrific seasons, but the fact they play the same position and have such similar numbers suggests that the votes would cancel out one another. We’re not slighting them, just being realistic. Let’s get started …
How close is this race right now, or has one candidate separated himself in your mind?
Austin Ward: While all three of those finalists are deserving, there’s a clear winner this year — and he’s the same guy who won it last season. Abdullah has been fantastic and has done some seriously heavy lifting to keep the Nebraska offense humming along, but Hyde has actually been more productive since conference play started, which effectively cancels the running backs out for me. Miller is a uniquely talented performer who makes everything go for one of the nation’s most prolific offenses, both in the passing game and on the ground, and he has improved dramatically since claiming player of the year honors as a sophomore. While having a sidekick like Hyde helps, Miller is the key to the whole Ohio State operation.
Mitch Sherman: Much like Gordon and White, I think Hyde and Miller could actually hurt each other’s candidacies. Both are fantastic players and key cogs in the league’s best offense. Abdullah does everything for Nebraska in the absence of running mate Taylor Martinez at quarterback. …
Wisconsin’s Melvin Gordon, Washington’s Bishop Sankey and Baylor’s Lache Seastrunk—among a few select others—are routinely mentioned as the best running backs in college football. Over the last four games, Carlos Hyde is making his case to join the conversation. A three-game suspension kept Hyde from playing in a majority of Ohio State’s nonconference games. He returned against Florida A&M and played sparingly, registering 42 total yards and a touchdown on just six touches. A week later, against Wisconsin, Hyde took over as Ohio State’s primary running back. Since then, he has averaged 137 yards per game and 6.6 yards per carry. He has added seven rushing touchdowns in the Buckeyes’ last three games as well. The 6’0″, 235-pound running back isn’t just putting up big numbers against bad defenses. In fact, Hyde is bulldozing teams who excel at stopping the run. Three of Ohio State’s last four opponents (Wisconsin, Iowa and Penn State) boast Top 25 rushing defenses. Hyde saved Ohio State’s undefeated season against Northwestern. The Wildcats had the Buckeyes on the ropes, facing a 10-point, second-half deficit on the road. Urban Meyer adjusted the game plan away from Braxton Miller, who was suffering through his worst game of the year, and put the ball, and the game, in Hyde’s steady hands. He delivered. Hyde ran the ball 16 times in the second half for 112 yards, but more importantly, he scored each of the Buckeyes’…
COLUMBUS, Ohio — A look at the brightest stars in No. 2 Ohio State’s 40-20 win over Buffalo to open the season on Saturday. RB Jordan Hall: The Buckeyes were without their projected starter and the expected backup in the opener, but Hall made sure they weren’t missed with the finest rushing performance of his career. The senior officially put his injury-plagued, redshirt season from a year ago in the rearview, bursting through holes up the middle for a pair of long touchdown runs on the way to 159 yards on 21 carries.
The Ohio State Buckeyes finished a perfect 12-0 last season and Urban Meyer needs his X-factors to shine through for his team to finish with a perfect record yet again this season. Last season, quarterback Braxton Miller led an explosive offense to new heights. While he was a difference-maker in 2012 and is still immensely important this season, he won’t be an X-factor. He’s expected to build off his great showing and lead the Buckeyes in their hunt for a national title. Meyer has turned the Buckeyes into one of the scariest teams in the nation. His offense is potent and his defense is tough. Meyer has young players playing big-time roles and veteran players acting as the perfect mentors. He’s built a stellar program at Ohio State, and now it’s time to add some hardware to show off the hard work. If the Buckeyes want to take down perennial powerhouse Alabama this season and compete for a national title, then they’ll need everybody to perform at their best. With their X-factors firing on all cylinders, the Buckeyes are difficult for any team in the nation to beat. These X-factors will decide the fate of Ohio State’s upcoming season. Veteran Secondary Ohio State is lucky enough to be bringing back much of its secondary for this upcoming season. The team released an initial depth chart on Tuesday, and it’s no surprise to see the likely starters. At cornerback, Doran Grant and Armani Reeves will start opposite each other. Grant played in all 25 of the team’s games over the past two seasons, while Reeves played in six games as a true freshman last season. Their knowledge of the defensive schemes and expectations will help ease their transition into starting roles. At the safety positions, Christian Bryant and C.J. Barnett return to reprise their roles on the team. Bryant, the free safety, is a senior who started all 12 games for the Buckeyes last season. Barnett is a fifth-year senior that has started 24 of the 32 games he has played for Ohio State. This type of veteran presence on defense will be huge for the Buckeyes. They will be able to capitalize on errant passes that are forced by the strong defensive line. With a line headlined by Noah Spence and Adolphus Washington, having a steady secondary is key. If the secondary can secure some takeaways and deflect passes, then there will be no stopping the Buckeyes. With such a potent defensive scheme up front, all the secondary needs to do is play good coverage and get its hands on the football. The H-Back Position Meyer’s hybrid running back/wide receiver position has been a key to his offensive game plans ever since his time at the University of Florida. Percy Harvin made the position famous and he can still be seen filling the same role in the NFL. Last season, the Buckeyes were overpowered at times at the line of scrimmage by defenses putting several men in the box. Meyer lacked a guy with the abilities to fill the H-back position, so the team was susceptible to these defensive setups. Not having a Harvin-like player prevented Ohio State from being even more explosive. …
Urban Meyer got an unexpected pre-National Signing Day present when he landed big-time playmaker Dontre Wilson out of Desoto, Tex., who had long been committed to Oregon before Chip Kelly went to the Philadelphia Eagles. As soon as Wilson’s highlight film from his senior season dropped, Buckeye fans had every reason to get excited. But OSU fans should have learned all they needed to know about this young freshman when Meyer gave him the No. 1 jersey—something he didn’t do with Percy Harvin at Florida until his sophomore season. Meyer liked something about Wilson, and it didn’t take long for Wilson’s future teammates to find out either. Wilson has been one of the stars of Ohio State’s fall camp and has shown game-changing speed that just wasn’t on the team a year ago. Last season, even though OSU had the country’s No. 10 rushing offense, the Buckeyes only had one home run hitter on offense in Braxton Miller. That dimension was
Back by semi-popular demand (my editor and a guy down the street said they liked it), we have the second annual Most Intriguing Series previewing the 2013 college football season. This week the series wraps up with the 25 most intriguing non-quarterbacks.
Year two of Camp Meyer is in full swing at Ohio State as the Buckeyes are after a Big Ten championship and possibly a national title this fall. The Buckeyes have yet to lose under Urban Meyer, but that doesn’t mean he and his staff won’t be turning up the heat in camp. There’s a lot to fight for as far as positions go on the depth chart as new faces work to make a name for themselves. With a few practices under the team’s belt, here’s the first week’s stock report. Begin Slideshow
Ohio State running back, Carlos Hyde, has seen his status in limbo following an incident at a night club in Columbus. The story grew legs of its own as it progressed from Hyde being a person of interest in an assault on a woman, to him allegedly punching the victim. As the facts cleared up, a video was revealed that showed Hyde and the woman talking, the woman swinging at Hyde and Hyde swiping back at her; whether either swipe connects is tough to tell while watching the surveillance video from Columbus’ NBC4 station, via Denise Yost. Upon news that the victim would not be pressing charges, from a statement made to NBC4, Urban Meyer acted swiftly. The coach suspended Hyde for the first three games of the 2013 season, despite no criminal charges being brought against him, via Ben Kercheval of College Football Talk: Carlos Hyde will be suspended
Urban Meyer isn’t letting Ohio State’s past disciplinary issues resurface ahead of the 2013 season. In the case of starting running back Carlos Hyde, that means a short suspension following allegations that he assaulted a woman in a bar on July 20. Per Tom Dienhart of the Big Ten Network, the head coach has suspended Hyde for at least the first three games of the season: Austin Ward of ESPN added Meyer’s reasoning for the suspension and noted that Hyde will have some requirements to meet before rejoining the team: Hyde was listed as a person of interest following an alleged assault on a female victim at a downtown bar on July 20. Following news of the incident, Hyde was reportedly dismissed from the team, though it was later revealed that Ohio State would be holding off on its decision pending further investigation. Per ESPN, the case against Hyde was dismissed as the victim “did not wish to pursue charges.” Hyde enters the 2013…