Ohio State-Indiana position by position match-ups


OSU #37 Joshua Perry gets to the Western Michigan QB #11 Zach Terrell in the second quarter at Ohio Stadium on the campus of The Ohio State University September 26,2015


QUARTERBACKS

Cardale Jones’ status as Ohio State’s starter appears more permanent after he threw for a career-best 288 yards and two touchdowns against Western Michigan.

Indiana is 7-2 in the last nine games in which Nate Sudfeld has been healthy. He has completed 61 percent of his passes for 1,143 yards with seven touchdowns and one interception this season for the 4-0 Hoosiers.

Advantage: Ohio State

RUNNING BACKS

Ezekiel Elliott’s consistency is taken for granted. Going back to last season, OSU’s junior running back has gained more than 100 yards in eight straight games. Curtis Samuel could be becoming a big-play guy. He had a 40-yard run and a 40-yard catch last week.

Indiana’s Jordan Howard leads the country in rushing with 675 yards. The Alabama-Birmingham transfer is on pace to nearly equal the production of Tevin Coleman, who ran for 2,036 yards last season before being drafted in the third round by the Atlanta Falcons.

Advantage: Ohio State

RECEIVERS

Michael Thomas (16 catches) needs a No. 2 receiver to be his wing man. It could be Jalin Marshall. Braxton Miller has been mostly quiet since a a big game against Virginia Tech as OSU searches for ways to use him.

Ricky Jones (18 catches, 411 yards, 3 TDs) and Simmie Cobbs (17 catches, 244 yards, 2 TDs) are Sudfeld’s top targets.

Advantage: Ohio State

OFFENSIVE LINE

Ohio State’s offensive line improved against Western Michigan but is still not playing at the level it was the second half of last season. But a lot of teams would be happy with the 511 yards OSU gained last Saturday.

For Indiana, left tackle Jason Spriggs is a four-year starter, right guard Dan Feeney has started three years and center Jake Reed is in his second season as a starter. Feeney was honorable mention All-Big Ten in 2014.

Advantage: Ohio State

DEFENSIVE LINE

The ability of Ohio State’s defensive line to affect quarterbacks shows up in two statistics — the Buckeyes have 14 sacks and a Big Ten-leading six interceptions.

Defensive end Nick Mangieri (3 sacks) has been Indiana’s most productive defensive lineman. Defensive tackle Adarius Rayner and Mangieri are the Hoosiers’ most experienced defenders up front.

Advantage: Ohio State

LINEBACKERS

After giving up a surprising 169 yards on the ground last week, Ohio State’s defense, especially the linebackers, will need to improve this week against a team averaging 236 yards a game rushing and a Big Ten-best 522 yards overall.

For Indiana, Marcus Oliver (28 tackles) and T.J. Simmons (26 tackles) are the standouts at linebacker. Tegray Scales has two sacks.

Advantage: Ohio State

DEFENSIVE BACKS

Ohio State’s six interceptions are tied for the Big Ten lead. OSU allowed a touchdown on a 55-yard pass last week, but that came at the expense of a back-up defensive back, Marshon Lattimore.

Freshman Jonathan Crawford’s two interceptions have sent him to the top of the class in Indiana’s defensive backfield, but that class, which has allowed a Big Ten-worst 11 passing TDs, might need some remedial work.

Advantage: Ohio State

SPECIAL TEAMS

Cameron Johnston (47.4 yards per kick) and Ohio State’s kickoff return defense both lead the Big Ten.

Indiana field goal kicker Griffin Oakes is 7 of 8, with a long kick of 45 yards. Punter Erich Toth averages 40.5 yards per kick.

Advantage: Ohio State

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OSU #37 Joshua Perry gets to the Western Michigan QB #11 Zach Terrell in the second quarter at Ohio Stadium on the campus of The Ohio State University September 26,2015
http://galioninquirer.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/web1_PJosh.jpgOSU #37 Joshua Perry gets to the Western Michigan QB #11 Zach Terrell in the second quarter at Ohio Stadium on the campus of The Ohio State University September 26,2015
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