"I'm itching. I've got to get one. This is ridiculous. Everyone else is a part of Zone 6."
- Tyvis Powell on defensive touchdowns, via David Jablonski, MyDaytonDailyNews.com
Though Ohio State's defense was held scoreless against Virginia Tech, they have recorded at least one touchdown in every game since. Vonn Bell, Darron Lee, and Adolphus Washington have all rumbled their way in for six this year, and Tyvis Powell hopes to be the next on that list. "I'm like, 'Why can't I do this?'," Powell joked. There's no reason to think he can't, but Ohio State will face what some are calling their toughest test on defense in Bloomington this weekend.
You heard that right -- Indiana's offense looks pretty, pretty good. While the quality of their schedule has so far been less than inspiring, the skill-position players for the Hoosiers have been excellent. Perhaps the biggest weapon on Indiana's side of the ball is UAB RB transfer Jordan Howard. Howard so far has more rushing yards this year than Leonard Fournette, Nick Chubb, and yes, Ezekiel Elliott. The Buckeyes were uncharacteristically generous on the ground last week against Western Michigan, allowing 169 yards to the Broncos, so perhaps the front seven will be more important than Zone 6 in this matchup.
Still, Nate Sudfeld is no slouch, and he has a slate of talented pass-catchers at his disposal. Powell and co. will be facing the Big Ten's highest-scoring offense, as well as the one that has gained the most yards in the conference. Again, take that with a grain of salt given who the Hoosiers have played, but you don't fall into those numbers by accident.
"While he crafted his own attack in Lincoln, [Beck] has been asked to assimilate his ideas into the ones Meyer has developed."
- Marcus Hartman, FOXSports.com
Looking for a reason why Ohio State's offense finally started to get back on track last weekend? Don't ignore the machinations of the coaching staff. Urban Meyer, Ed Warinner, and Tim Beck -- what FOXSports' Marcus Hartman calls "the triumvirate" (and really, has there been a better collection of three masterminds since Caesar/Pompey/Crassus? No disrespect to Octavius/Antony/Lepidus) -- are starting to click in Beck's first season on the job.
There have been some obvious growing pains along the way, of course. The Buckeyes mustered just one offensive touchdown against Northern Illinois a few short weeks ago, and everyone from Cardale Jones to Ezekiel Elliott has looked hamstrung and out of sorts at times. A 31-point offensive outburst against Western Michigan was a welcome change of pace for an offense that had already hit a 50 points per game stride by this time last season.
Beck, who sits up in the box as opposed to patrolling the sidelines, can offer a unique view on the passing game and the offensive line, his two areas of expertise. Warinner said that having Beck's perspective on quarterback play was one of the reasons why the offense looked back on track against WMU. Meyer said that the coaching staff is still working to establish consistency. They'll have ample opportunity to work on it tomorrow against a below-average Indiana defense.
"The tweet tabbed Ohio State as 'THE Lebron School,' as if anyone needed a reminder."
- Bill Landis, Northeast Ohio Media Group
Ohio State Basketball. LeBron James. Lots and lots of shoes. It's a marriage that makes perfect sense, and one the Buckeyes are doing everything they can to put in the spotlight. This week, the team posted a photo showing a new display of every LeBron shoe that the Buckeyes have worn since they teamed up with his brand. That was all the way back in 2007.
The display, outside the locker room, pays homage to James, who also has an honorary locker inside. The NBA superstar has made it known that Ohio State would have been his college choice, had he not gone straight to the league out of high school.
Bill Landis of the NEOHMG points out that, given James' penchant for appearing on the Ohio State football sidelines, he might just show up to a big game this year (Landis thinks it might be the October 17 showdown against Penn State, a game featuring some smoke about Ohio State possibly debuting black jerseys). Whatever the case, James and the Buckeyes are inextricably linked for the foreseeable future.
"I still think about that moment...it became a feeding frenzy because they all love each other so much."
- Urban Meyer, via David Briggs, the Toledo Blade
This week, the Toledo Blade's David Briggs dropped an interesting anecdote about Urban Meyer's coaching methods that provided a good deal of insight into how he got his players ready for last season's Sugar Bowl against Alabama. Meyer, a student of history, provided his players with clickers -- replicas of the tools that the U.S. military gave every soldier for the D-Day landing in 1944. Two clicks was the call, and two clicks in response showed that a solider was a fellow Ally.
The players leapt at the chance to make use of them. They strolled through the French Quarter of New Orleans, clicking away at each other, bonding all the way. Their infatuation with the clickers wasn't lost on Meyer. Before Alabama's onside kick attempt in the final minute of the Sugar Bowl, in the Buckeye huddle, Meyer took out his own and clicked it twice. "The guys went nuts," said Kerry Coombs, according to Briggs.
Meyer has been very clear that he doesn't want to draw parallels to what his players do and what the military does. Still, he was infatuated with the lesson of the clickers and the others provided by the D-Day invasion, including the massive postcard-sending effort of the soldiers prior to the invasion. He had all of his players write postcards to someone close to them, collected them, and sent them out before the game.