Whole Nine Sports

#9 Indiana @ #3 Ohio State Preview

Ohio State Indiana
(Photo by Adam Lacy/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Melissa Wamp
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Who will take control of the Big Ten East Division?

You know what they say, “There are firsts for everything.” Last week, games were canceled due to Covid outbreaks, Michigan State and Michigan are 1-3 while Penn State is trailing at 0-4 and this weekend marks the first time in the nearly 120-year history that Ohio State and Indiana will face each other as top-10 opponents.

Tom Allen Indiana

Ohio State is staying comfortable at 3-0 due to the cancelation of their matchup against Maryland last weekend while Tom Allen’s squad looks like a powerhouse at 4-0 and for the first time since 1987 after securing its 24-0 win at Michigan State.

The Hoosiers have only won 9 out of 89 contests against the Buckeyes and have not knocked off Ohio State since 1988. But, it is 2020 and we all know that anything can happen.

What to Know

Ty Fryfogle

Ty Fryfogle. That is all that needs to be said. The veteram receiver leads the Hoosiers in catches, yards, and touchdowns. Fryfogle in the last two games has caught 18 passes for 342 yards. Redshirt sophomore QB Michael Penix Jr. was battling for time with Peyton Ramsey last season and now is showing the CFB world why he has won the starting spot this season. Penix Jr. has shown confidence; we can’t forget the overtime diving 2- point conversion from Penix that gave the Hoosiers a 36-35 win over Penn State in their season opener. He is quick in the pocket, consistently executes, and his footwork has improved dramatically since last season.

Currently, Penix Jr. is trialing his Saturday counterpart, Justin Fields in touchdown passes with nine, compared to Fields’ 11 and is leading the conference with 267 in passing yards-per-game. Ohio State did not face Penix Jr. in last year’s game at Indiana due to a shoulder injury that ended his season.

Michael Penix Jr. Indiana

Ohio State has a significant talent advantage, especially with Justin Fields; they have had an extra weekend to prepare for this battle due to a COVID outbreak canceling their matchup against Maryland last weekend; and we all know that Ryan Day will have the Buckeyes prepped during this time. While sitting comfortably, the Buckeyes need to watch the turnover game – Indiana are three forced interceptions away from tying their last season total.

Like I said before, it is 2020 and anything can happen. I did not think I would see that the control of the Big Ten Eastern Division would come down to the 12 pm ET kickoff at Saturday’s top-10 match-up in Columbus as Ohio State hosts Indiana.