COLUMBUS – Next up for the Buckeyes is a top-10 matchup with the Indiana Hoosiers. Ryan Day says to forget the history, this year’s Indiana team is for real, and may have an advantage next weekend when the two teams meet simply in that the Hoosiers played last weekend and the Buckeyes didn’t.
“In a season when there was really no preseason game snaps are very valuable. Indiana got to play and got game snaps and we didn’t,” said Day.
Day said that was a big advantage for the Hoosiers heading into this week’s game. Not playing has it advantages too, but according to Day those edges are not as important as the game reps at this point in the season.
“You don’t get as many injuries from practice than you do in a game,” said Day. “You also have less chance for exposure to the virus.
Quarterback Comparison – Justin Fields is off to a sensational start this season for the Buckeyes, but the Hoosiers have an impressive player manning the quarterback position as well. Redshirt sophomore Michael Penix (6-3, 218) from Tampa, Florida, is a big reason why the Hoosiers are undefeated and have achieved a top-10 ranking at No. 9 in the polls. Penix has completed 91 of 150 pass attempts for a 60.67 completion rate. He has thrown for nine touchdowns in four games and has thrown only three interceptions.
“He’s playing mistake-free football,” said Day. “He’s playing almost perfectly. He’s very competitive and has a lot of weapons around him.”
Not your daddy’s Hoosiers: Lets face it. Indiana has not exactly been of football juggernaut in recent memory, but the Hoosiers are legit this year. Day says the Buckeyes are not underestimating them.
“Indiana deserves a lot of credit for playing so well,” said Day. “They have improved their personnel and have great schemes on both sides of the ball. They are well-coached and pose a major challenge. They play with a lot of energy. We have a small margin of error in this game with them because they are playing well.”
Day had praise for Hoosier Head Coach Tom Allen.
“He does a good job of recruiting and evaluating,” said Day. “He develops players once they get there. Their schemes are excellent as is their coaching and game planning.”
Getting Over Maryland: The cancelled game with Maryland last weekend was a tough pill for the Buckeyes to swallow after having fought so hard to have a season.
“The players handled it well,” said Day. “At first there was disappointment and anger, but then we went back to work. They handled it maturely and we had a good week of practice.