Saturday, November 23, 2013

Ohio State-Indiana postgame analysis

COLUMBUS -- Some observations following Ohio State's 42-14 victory over Indiana at Ohio Stadium:

-- Let's get this out of the way.

Ohio State won, extended its winning streak to a school-record 23 games and clinched a spot in the Big Ten title game. But the Buckeyes did little to impress the voters and computers determining the BCS title game matchup.

Ohio State didn't cover the 34 1/2-point spread, mainly because it grounded its offense and allowed 442 yards to an Indiana team that was crushed by Wisconsin, 51-3, last week. Focusing on the 3-hour, 7-minute game proved difficult, whether you were sitting in frigid Ohio Stadium or watching on a 72-inch television.

Winning football? Yes. Move-up-the-polls football? No.

-- Indiana showed no reluctance to attack junior cornerback Bradley Roby, who will skip next season to enter the NFL Draft. According to our eyes, the Hoosiers threw at Roby 12 times. They completed seven of those passes.

The weather didn't prevent the Hoosiers from attacking Roby and the Ohio State secondary. Indiana quarterbacks Nate Sudfeld and Tre Roberson completed 32 of 53 passes for 320 yards and two touchdowns. The Buckeyes played without cornerback Doran Grant in the second half. Grant left the game with an injury.

-- I covered multiple high school games involving sophomore defensive end Noah Spence. During his freshman year at Bishop McDevitt (Pa.) High School, many people already had him pegged as an NFL prospect. I thought NFL talk involving high school freshmen was ludicrous -- until I watched Spence play.

Nothing has altered opinions of Spence. He even dropped into pass coverage multiple times Saturday.

"I did it a good amount today," he said. "It was fine. I'm just happy the coaches coached me up on that and helped me be able to do it."

-- The announced crowd was 104,990. The stadium was half-filled when the fourth quarter started.

Meyer, unlike Alabama's Nick Saban, hasn't made late-arriving or early-leaving crowds a topic.

"I'm very much appreciative of the skull session and our student body and the fans and those nut jobs who stayed until the end," Meyer said.

-- Guy Cipriano | @newsheraldguy


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