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Bold predictions: Ohio State rush defense continues domination of Indiana

The last time the Buckeyes allowed more than 100 yards on the ground or a rushing touchdown to the Hoosiers was back in 2015.

Syndication: The Columbus Dispatch Adam Cairns/Columbus Dispatch / USA TODAY NETWORK

Before each Ohio State game this year, LGHL is going to bring you some “bold predictions”. This will include somewhere a few hot takes for the game, whether it be passing yards, points scored, sacks, or some other things that we could see happening during the game.

We’d love to hear your bold predictions. Either respond to us on Twitter at @Landgrant33 or leave your bold predictions in the comments.

Ohio State doesn’t allow 100 yards rushing or a rushing touchdown against Indiana for a seventh straight meeting

The Buckeyes have dominated Indiana on both sides of the football for much of the series, as evidenced by a 26-game winning streak against the Hoosiers, which is the second longest active streak. An area where Ohio State has been especially good at shutting down Indiana is on the ground.

The last time the Hoosiers totaled at least 100 yards on the ground, or scored a rushing touchdown against the Buckeyes was back in 2015 when they were able to rack up 176 yards rushing. Indiana came really close to hitting the 100-yard mark next year, falling just a yard short of triple digits on the ground. It has been downhill from there, with the highest mark since 2016 coming in 2018 when they scraped together 84 yards. In 2020, Indiana finished the game with -1 yard rushing.

Ohio State has been really good at defending the run this year. Even though Northwestern did rush for 206 yards last week, the Wildcats only averaged 3.5 yards per carry. Indiana doesn’t have a running back as talented as Evan Hull, and are averaging less than 80 yards per game on the ground. If the Hoosiers do happen to somehow break 100 yards on the ground or score a rushing touchdown, it will only be because it happened late in the game against the Buckeye backups.

Ohio State scores at least 20 points in the first quarter

After struggling to reach 21 points last week in some awful weather against Northwestern, Ohio State shouldn’t have nearly as much trouble putting points on the scoreboard today. By scoring 21 points last week, the Buckeyes set an NCAA record with 70 straight games in which they have scored at least 20 points in a game, breaking a tie with Oklahoma, who had scored 20 points in 69 straight games.

After a couple slow starts lately, we see an Ohio State team that is a lot crisper in their preparation and execution this week. The Buckeyes know a showdown with Michigan is looming, and they can’t let these slow starts become habit. While the Buckeyes have been able to get away with the slow starts against their recent opponents, they won’t be able to do the same against the Wolverines. Ryan Day has his team ready to play, and while Ohio State has to deal with some unfavorable weather, they extend their record streak of scoring at least 20 points to 71 consecutive games.

Ohio State scores at least 50 points for the third time in four years against Indiana

Even though the weather forecast has gotten worse in the last 24 hours, anything is going to be better than what the Buckeyes saw last week in Evanston. Ohio State was only able to put 21 points on the scoreboard, as the passing game was pretty much unusable with the high winds that the teams had to deal with. While there is some rain and possibly snow forecasted tomorrow, there isn’t a whole lot to be worried about when it comes to projected winds.

Indiana hasn’t allowed more than 45 points in a game this season, but their defense is trending in the wrong direction. The Hoosiers gave up 38 to Maryland and 45 last week to Penn State, with both of those contests taking place in Bloomington. Now Indiana has to hit the road and take on an Ohio State team that is coming off a dreadful performance.

There’s no reason the Buckeyes shouldn’t be able to do to Indiana, what they did to Toledo, Wisconsin, and Iowa earlier this year in Columbus. Miyan Williams, TreVeyon Henderson, and the Buckeye offensive line have to be angry after hearing lately how bad the running game is, and C.J. Stroud is looking to rebound after his worst performance as a starting quarterback. We see a great mixture of running and passing the football as the Buckeyes could top the 54 points they put on the scoreboard last year against the Hoosiers in Bloomington.

Ohio State intercepts at least three passes today

Prior to last week’s game against Northwestern that made passing the football impossible, Ohio State had been creating a ton of turnovers in the previous two games, intercepting three passes against Iowa and Penn State. The Buckeye secondary should be able to pick off at least three passes today against the Hoosiers.

Since Indiana can’t run the football, they are going to be forced to put the football in the air early and often. Hoosier quarterback Connor Bazelak, who is back as the starter after Jack Tuttle was injured last week, has thrown at least one interception in seven of the eight games he has played in this year. Bazelak has attempted at least 29 passes in each game he has played in this year, which should give the Buckeyes plenty of opportunities to pick off some passes today.

Indiana linebacker Dasan McCullough records a sack

One Hoosier that will be looking to make some plays today is linebacker Dasan McCullough, who originally committed to play at Ohio State. McCullough announced in May 2021 that he was flipping to Indiana to join his father, who was hired by the school as the running backs coach. After coaching at Indiana last year, the elder McCullough has moved on to become the running backs coach at Notre Dame.

Indiana doesn’t create a ton of pressure, only recording 17 sacks through nine games. When the Hoosiers do get to the quarterback, McCullough is likely in the mix for the sack. The linebacker currently leads Indiana with four sacks this year. Even though much of the day likely won’t go right for the Hoosiers, McCullough should at least have a moment where he gets to C.J. Stroud.