Tuesday, October 6

Buckeyes Continue Roll, Pound Indiana

Ohio St picked up right where they left off the past two weeks with a 33-14 defeat of Indiana in Bloomington. This game was dominated from start to finish by OSU, and I have some stats to prove it. The Bucks picked up 29 first downs, while Indiana could only muster 11. They held the ball for over 34 minutes, compared to Indiana's 25. On their six first half possessions, Ohio St was in position to score all six times, converting on four. Since the heartbreaker to SC, the Buckeyes have outscored their last three opponents 111-14.

Game Recap

Brandon Saine, who got his first start in place of the injured Dan Herron, had a big run on the game's first possession which led to an Aaron Pettrey 46 yard field goal. The defense forced a three-and-out and Saine had a couple more big runs on the next drive. This time Ohio St was able to get into the end zone when Terrelle Pryor hit Duron Carter for the TD. Judging by the excellent control and concentration Carter showed to make that catch (pictured above), that will certainly be the first of very many touchdowns by the true freshman. Another good drive for OSU followed another three-and-out for the Hoosiers. This time, however, Pettrey was no good from 35 yards.

Working with a short field, Indiana had their first good drive of the game to start the second quarter and capped it off with a touchdown pass to cut the lead to 10-7. After a good kick return on a reverse, Ohio St answered quickly with a Pryor to DeVier Posey TD toss. Pryor led two more good drives to close out the half but one was stalled after another Pettrey miss, this one from 29. I don't understand how he can be so money from 40-60 but can't make a chip shot. TP wasn't about to let Pettrey try again and hooked up with freshman backup fullback Zach Boren for a score late in the half. Ohio St's D did the rest, not allowing Indiana to go anywhere, and went into the break up 24-7.

With the game already out of reach, the second half was pretty boring. The only scoring in the third quarter came when OSU blocked a punt and Robert Rose tackled the punter in the end zone for a safety. Pryor decided his legs weren't getting enough work and ran one in for a score to begin the final frame, putting OSU up 33-7. Even with a big lead, Tressel continued to put the ball in the air, and Terrelle finally made a mistake in the final minutes by forcing a pass into the end zone, which was picked off. Indiana scored a garbage touchdown on the game's last play to make the final 33-14, Bucks.

Game Notes

Game Ball
Although Pryor's numbers (16/27, 159 yards, 3 TDs, 1 INT, 63 rushing yards and another touchdown) may have been good enough for this week's honor, I gotta give it to my boy Brandon Saine. I've been screaming for this guy to get the ball for the past two years, and it only took a sprained ankle from Herron for it to happen. Saine got the ball 19 times and picked up a career-high 132 yards, good enough for seven yards per touch. I still like Boom, and he is a good change of pace from Saine, but even if Herron returns next week (as expected) I think Saine should get the bulk of the carries.
Game Balls to date: Pryor (2), Defense (1), Saine (1)

On the Road Again
With this victory over Indiana, Ohio St has won a school record 16 straight conference road games. They will look to tie michigan's Big Ten record of 17 in two weeks when they travel to West Lafayette to take on a bad Purdue club.

The Option's Back!
Ohio St decided to run the option several times in this game, and as it has been all year, was very successful. When the Buckeyes ran this at the beginning of the year, it was Saine doing most of the work. Indiana seemed to be going more after him and letting Pryor do what he wanted. Not a good decision. TP took several option keepers and just ran all over the Hoosiers. He has the best stiff-arm I have ever seen from a QB, maybe anyone at this level. He simply pushes defenders down with his one free arm then continues to run. Let's hope this play sticks around this time!

Take It Away Now
With Anderson Russell's fumble recovery and interceptions by Russell and Todd Dennlinger, Ohio St now has 13 takeaways in their first five games. Eight different players have an interception. These guys on D just always seem to be where the ball is. Speaking of Russell, he's seen a decrease in playing time since his opening day woes against Navy, but filled in for suspended Kurt Coleman last week and responded in a big way. Sophomore Jermale Hines has looked very good with his increase in playing time, giving this team lots of depth at safety.

Up Next: vs. Wisconsin, 3:30, ABC
Wisconsin enters the Horseshoe with a 5-0 record, but still remains unranked due to a weak schedule. Badger RB John Clay is a beast (582 yards and 7 touchdowns thus far in '09) and will certainly be the focus of the Ohio St defense. This will be the toughest test for OSU since the Trojans, but I'm not completely sold on Wisconsin. Plus, I'll be in attendance and I'll be bringing my 5-0 record against the Big Ten with me.
Prediction: Ohio St 29 Wisconsin 6


(AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

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