“In every battle there comes a time when both sides consider themselves beaten, then he who continues the attack wins…” ~ Ulysses S. Grant
A proud son of Ohio, hailing from Point Pleasant, former Civil War general and the 18th President of the United States, Ulysses S. Grant would be a strong advocate for as much advanced scouting of the enemy as possible before a battle was engaged. While I have the utmost confidence in Urban Meyer and his strong staff of assistants, below are three areas I will be keeping an eye on when the 2017 college football season begins with Ohio State traveling to Bloomington, Indiana, to take on the Indiana Hoosiers.
The last time Indiana defeated Ohio State in Bloomington was 1988, a 41-7 rout. To put that in perspective…
- John Cooper was in his first year as Ohio State’s head coach
- Urban Meyer was coaching outside linebackers as an assistant at Illinois State
- Some guy you may have heard about in history class named Ronald Reagan was finishing up his second term as President of the United States.
As Tony Gerdeman likes to remind me and our loyal followers here, yes, I am old. Now, back to our regularly scheduled program.
3 Things To Watch For From The Hoosiers
~ How Different Will Indiana’s Offense Be Under Mike DeBord? ~
Under Kevin Wilson, Ohio State fans grew accustomed to seeing an offense that could rapidly adjust, based upon the personnel at hand. For example, in 2015, Indiana lost its starting quarterback Nate Sudfeld, more of a traditional pocket passer, to injury early in the game. Wilson quickly turned to backup Zander Diamont, and was able to keep Ohio State off-balance the rest of the game, coming within a desperation pass of tying the Buckeyes on the last play of the game in a 34-27 OSU victory.
Mike DeBord has traditionally been much more conservative than Kevin Wilson as a play caller. Coming in as Indiana’s offensive coordinator, DeBord has previous experience against the Buckeyes as an assistant at Michigan, coaching traditional dropback passers such as Chad Henne, but that was over ten years ago. My prediction is for Indiana to rely upon its strong stable of wide receivers and quarterback Richard Lagow, with more of an emphasis upon the quick passing routes, because…
~ Indiana Will Test Ohio State’s Corners Early ~
Indiana returns Nick Westbrook, Luke Timian, Donavan Hale, and may possibly have Simmie Cobbs going up against a revamped Ohio State secondary that will unveil three new starters. At 6’3″, Nick Westbrook is a handful for any cornerback, let alone an inexperienced one. Donavan Hale is 6’4″, as is Simmie Cobbs. Quick slants will help negate the speed of the Ohio State pass rush and will help Indiana keep possession.
~ Indiana’s Secondary Will Press Ohio State’s Wide Receivers ~
The talent is there for Ohio State, but the wide receivers are inexperienced. Conversely, Indiana has a talented secondary, led by Rashard Fant. Keep an eye out for Fant playing in single coverage, which will put even more pressure on the wide receivers to step up their respective games.
~ Bonus: How Much Will The Home Crowd Be A Factor? ~
Indiana head coach Tom Allen is on record as saying this game against Ohio State is the biggest home opener ever. ESPN GameDay will be on hand. The longer Indiana stays within striking distance of Ohio State, the more the crowd will be a factor.