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Both the Indiana Hoosiers and Ohio State Buckeyes will be trying to improve to 3-0 when they begin their 2019 Big Ten schedule at Indiana University Memorial Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
Fields of gold
Ohio State, which took care of Indiana 49-26 at home in 2018 en route to a 13-1 record and a Rose Bowl victory over Washington, is coming off victories at the expense of Florida Atlantic and Cincinnati. Indiana is the Buckeyes’ third of five straight unranked opponents before they face Michigan State on Oct. 5.
— Ohio State Football (@OhioStateFB) September 12, 2019
Justin Fields’ first season with his new team after transferring from Georgia is off to a strong start. The sophomore signal-caller passed for 234 yards against Florida Atlantic and for 224 against Cincinnati, pinning four touchdowns on the Owls in a 45-21 victory before adding two more during a 42-0 shutout of the Bearcats. He has not yet been picked off. Fields, one of the most dangerous dual-threat QBs in the nation, has rushed for a decent 103 yards and three scores on a 4.9 yards per keeper average.
“I expected him to be more of a dynamic runner early because he’s so gifted physically,” ESPN analyst Kirk Herbstreit said in an interview with Sporting News. “I still don’t know if people have seen or really appreciate how elite of an athlete he is running with the football. The command and having answers on every play is the thing I’ve been most impressed with.”
“We had to regroup at halftime and then come and win the third quarter,” head coach Ryan Day said of keeping their foot on the gas against Illinois following a 28-0 lead after failing to do a good job of that against Florida Atlantic. “We talked about doing a great job coming out at halftime. But that was something we were emphasizing really all week because it didn’t leave a great taste coming off the field last week. I thought we sustained it and finished it the right way this week.”
Offense on point so far
The Hoosiers also started strong last season, going 3-0 before limping to a 5-7 overall record as the schedule got tougher to miss a bowl game. They have kicked off this campaign with defeats of Ball State (34-24) and Eastern Illinois (52-0).
— Indiana Football (@IndianaFootball) September 10, 2019
Michael Penix Jr., a redshirt freshman, won the starting quarterback job over Peyton Ramsey to run the show under new offensive coordinator Kalen DeBoer–who spent last season in the same position at Fresno State. Penix completed 24 of 40 passes for 326 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions and also carried the ball seven times for 67 yards in the opener against Ball State. He went 14-of-20 for 197 yards and a touchdown early in the rout of Eastern Illinois. Running back Stevie Scott, 6’2” and 231 pounds, has come back for his sophomore year after rushing for 1,137 yards and 10 touchdowns last year. He has modest totals with 109 yards and three touchdowns through the first two games. The pass-catching corps is led by Whop Philyor, Hale, Nick Westbrook, and tight end Peyton Hendershot–a capable bunch, to be sure.
“After looking at the film of Indiana the first couple of days, their first couple games, they have a good team,” Ohio State head coach Ryan Day assured. “A couple years into the system on defense, guys on that side flying around. They’re doing a good job with the new coordinator there on offense. We know going on the road, first conference game in the Big Ten and every time we play Indiana, it’s a tough game. Those guys always come ready to play. So we [have] our hands full early on.”
The Indiana Hoosiers are:
- 7-15-1 ATS in their last 23 overall
- 5-13-1 ATS in their last 19 games against the Big Ten
- 1-9-1 ATS in their last 11 games following a win by more than 20 points
The Ohio State Buckeyes are:
- 4-1 ATS in their last five overall
- 5-0 ATS in their last five games against teams with winning records
- 4-0 ATS in their last four games after scoring more than 40 points in their previous game
Updated on Sep 14 at 7:55am EDT
Update prepared by our editoral staff
Public Money / Line Movements
Ohio State has gone from -14 up to -17.5 and that is consistent with the fact that they have grabbed 82% of the bets.
Injury / Weather Report
Ohio State’s Impact Injury Report
Questionable: DT Taron Vincent, TE Rashod Berry, DT Jaden McKenzie, DB Ronnie Hickman, and DL Noah Donald.
Out: DE Jonathon Cooper and LB Justin Hilliard
Indiana’s Impact Injury Report
Questionable: QB Michael Penix Jr.
Out: TE Gary Cooper
Gametime Weather: Mid-70’s and sunny
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
The Buckeyes blasted Cincinnati and learned their lesson on the heels of a lackluster second half against FAU. Fields has not done a whole lot with his feet–but he has been required to do so. He is more than capable of running circles around what is probably never going to develop into a great Indiana defense. Ohio State is 4-0 ATS in its last four following a win, 35-17-1 ATS in its last 53 on the road against opponents with winning home records, and 6-2 ATS in its last eight at Indiana. The Hoosiers are 5-13-1 ATS in their last 19 against the Big Ten.
Prediction: Ohio State Buckeyes
Full-Game Total Pick
This matchup produced 75 points last season. Ohio State’s offense may look a bit different, but Fields has it working like a well-oiled machine in the early stages of the 2019 campaign. As for Indiana, its offense–led by Penix–has been more impressive than the other side of the ball so far. The over is 8-3 in the Buckeyes’ last 11 on the road and 3-0-1 in their last four after gaining more than 450 total yards in their previous game. It is also 5-2 in the Hoosiers’ last seven against the Big Ten and 4-1 in their last five against opponents with winning records. Additionally, the over is 3-1-1 in Ohio State’s last five at Indiana. Look for this one to go over the total.