No. 9 Indiana vs. No. 3 Ohio State

No. 9 Indiana vs. No. 3 Ohio State | 2020 NCAAF Expert Analysis

Written by on November 19, 2020

Who would have thought that the Big Ten Game of the Year in the East Division would be between Indiana and Ohio State? The third-ranked Buckeyes host the No. 9 Hoosiers on Saturday with the winner holding the inside track to the division title.

How to Bet Indiana at Ohio State NCAA Football Odds & TV Info

  • When: Saturday, noon ET
  • Where: Ohio Stadium
  • TV: Fox
  • Stream: Fox Sports Go
  • Radio:com
  • Opening NCAAF Lines: Ohio State -20.5 (total 66)

Last Meeting

The Buckeyes annually crush Indiana and that was the case last year, 51-10. JK Dobbins ran for 193 yards and one touchdown, and he caught one of Justin Fields’ three touchdown passes. Dobbins is now in the NFL with the Ravens but Fields is still at OSU. The Buckeyes’ 41-point victory margin was the largest in the series since 2006, and it was the most lopsided road win for the Buckeyes in a series that dates to 1901. Indiana ran 31 times for 42 yards, the offensive line allowed five sacks, Damon Arnette Jr. ran back an IU interception back 96 yards for a touchdown, and the Hoosiers’ defense gave up 528 yards.

Saturday’s game will be the first time that Ohio State and Indiana have played when both teams are ranked in the top 10 of the Associated Press poll.

Why Bet on Indiana? | 2020 NCAAF Expert Analysis

Indiana brings its highest-ever AP ranking into a game vs. Ohio State. In 1944, it was ranked No. 15 entering its contest at Ohio Stadium, a 21-7 Ohio State victory. The other time times it was ranked was 1990 (No. 22) and 1993 (No. 19).

The Hoosiers (4-0) easily won at Michigan State 24-0 last Saturday for the program’s first 4-0 start since 1987, and its first win as a Top-10 team since 1967. The 24-point victory was the largest margin of victory for Indiana at Michigan State in the history of the rivalry, besting the previous mark of 16 (16-0) set in 1969. For the first time in program history, IU has defeated Penn State, Michigan and Michigan State in the same season.

QB Michael Penix Jr. completed 25-of-38 passes for 320 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions. He averaged 8.4 yards per pass attempt. For the second straight week, Indiana suffocated their opponent by controlling the clock for 39:14, with Michigan State only gaining 191 yards of total offense.

vTy Fryfogle caught 11 passes for 200 yards and two touchdowns in the win. That’s two games in a row where he recorded at least 140 yards and a touchdown. The senior wideout’s first touchdown came on a quick hitch where he appeared to be wrapped up by three Spartan defenders, only to wiggle free and bound his way into the end zone for a 16-yard score. His next touchdown was the result of a perfectly timed throw from Penix Jr. on a 25-yard out that Fryfogle turned up the right sideline for a 65-yard strike.

Tiawan Mullen, who led the Big Ten last year with 13 pass breakups (but no interceptions), recorded two interceptions, plus three tackles.

Indiana has won five-straight Big Ten conference games, tied for the longest streak in program history (1967), and 9-of-11 dating back to the 2019 season. This marks the most successful stretch of conference games since a 9-2 conference record from Oct. 3, 1987-Oct. 21, 1988.

Saturday marks IU’s first regular-season Top-10 showdown in program history and just the second overall (1968 Rose Bowl, No. 4 Indiana vs. No. 1 Southern Cal).

Why Bet on Ohio State? | 2020 NCAAF Expert Analysis

Ohio State (3-0) had last week’s game at Maryland canceled due to COVID-19 issues on the Terps. There will be no fans in attendance for this game or perhaps the rest of the season at Ohio Stadium. Family members of coaches and athletes are no longer permitted to attend sporting events for teams playing this fall due to a stay-at-home order in Columbus, Ohio.

The school had allowed a few hundred people at the first two home football games. The decision not allowing family members at football games will be reevaluated prior to Ohio State’s game against Michigan on Dec. 12.

Through three games, Justin Fields has thrown as many incompletions as he has touchdown passes and is a Heisman favorite. Coupled with his two rushing TDs, Fields has accounted for more touchdowns (13) than he has incompletions (11). He’s 72 of 83 on the year with 908 yards, 11 touchdowns and zero interceptions. Fields’ 86.7 percent completion percentage is the best three-game start to a season (min. 50 attempts) by anyone in college football since at least 2000.

Last year’s Heisman Trophy winner, Joe Burrow, has an 83.3 percent completion percentage in his first three games. The only other player to complete 85 percent or more of their passes was 2011 Heisman Trophy winner Robert Griffin of Baylor (85.2).

Through three games, WRs Chris Olave and Garrett Wilson have combined for 42 receptions for 632 yards and six touchdowns. They’ve accounted for 58.3 percent of the Buckeyes’ total completions, 69.6 percent of their receiving yards and 54.5 percent of their touchdown receptions.

As for Saturday, the Buckeyes have won 24 consecutive games over Indiana since a 27-all tie in 1990. Indiana last defeated Ohio State consecutively in 1987 and 1988. Since 1952, Ohio State owns a 55-2-2 record in the series. The Buckeyes have averaged 42.4 points per game in the last 10 games against Indiana.

Ohio State offensive coordinator Kevin Wilson served as Indiana’s head coach from 2011-16.

Game Trends

  • Hoosiers are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 road games.
  • Hoosiers are 5-0 ATS in their last 5 games overall.
  • Buckeyes are 11-4 ATS in their last 15 conference games.
  • Buckeyes are 13-5 ATS in their last 18 games following a straight up win.
  • Buckeyes are 14-6 ATS in their last 20 games overall.
  • Road team is 4-0 ATS in their last 4 meetings.

Expert Prediction

  • Ohio State 38, Indiana 23

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