In the midst of an intermittent snow fall, the Ohio State Buckeyes took on the Indiana Hoosiers in Columbus, Ohio. After last season’s close battle, people expected something similar this season. The results on the field turned out to be very different with the Bucks securing a 42-14 win over the (surprising!) scoring challenged Hoosiers. With the win, the Buckeyes advanced their win streak to a school record 23 victories. They also claimed at least a share of the Leaders Division, and a spot in the Big Ten Championship Game, possessing the tie-breaker over Wisconsin.
Braxton Miller did not throw much considering the weather, but hit better than last week with 11/17 for 160 yards, 2 touchdowns and an interception. He added 144 yards and 2 touchdowns on 13 carries for the day. Joining him on the ground was Carlos Hyde, who picked up 117 yards and 2 touchdowns on 18 carries, and surpassed 1000 yards rushing for the season for the first time in his career on his senior day. Jeff Heuerman led all receivers with 59 yards on 2 receptions, while Dontre Wilson caught 3 passes for 32 yards and a touchdown. For Indiana, Nate Sudfeld connected on 25 of 41 passes for 224 yards and two touchdowns. Tre Roberson led all rushers with 12 carries for 79 yards, while Kofi Hughes picked up 9 receptions for 120 yards.
With the potential for snowy, windy conditions the Buckeyes planned in advance to bank on the rushing game. They started with a little toss to Dontre Wilson, getting away from the wide receiver screen they had run the last few games. A huge breakout run from Miller for 41 yards put the Buckeyes in great scoring position, which Carlos Hyde was able to take advantage of. Two carries gave Hyde his 14th touchdown of the season, this one from 16 yards out.
Lots of love needs to be given to this very veteren offensive line. They open holes in the running game better than many lines I’ve seen in a long time, which is a huge help to Hyde, Miller and Wilson. Even better is the wide receiver blocking, which I lambasted 2 years ago when the Buckeyes played Colorado and got no blocking from the skill players. That has improved immensely, and takes just a few more defenders out of the play.
Not surprisingly, Indiana was prepared for this game. Possessing the second best offense in the Big Ten (which, honestly, isn’t saying a lot), they blocked well and moved the ball smartly on the ground from the get-go. They earned the first opportunity to move the chains on second down, but were forced into a three and out on their next chance. On third down and one, the Buckeye D-line swallowed up a run up the middle to end the drive.
It’s the last time we’ll get to see a few of the key members of this team wearing Scarlet in Columbus. Let’s make sure to remind them how much we appreciate all the work they’ve put in these last four seasons.
The game is scheduled to tip at 3:30 PM eastern on ABC (for the East/Central, roughly) and ESPN2 (for the Mountain/Pacific, roughly). Make sure to stop by and chat with all of your favorite Buckeye friends and bloggers!
#1 Indiana versus #4 Wisconsin
The first ten minutes of the first half has been back and forth with neither team wanting to pull ahead. However, back to back three pointers by Indiana’s Watford and Abell helped pushed the Hoosiers to a 5 point at the under 8 media timeout. But the Badgers refused to back down thanks to the efforts of Ryan Evans on the offensive boards and key three point shots by Ben Brust and Mike Bruesewitz that put them ahead 26-22 at the final media timeout of the first half. Wisconsin was able to sustain a late flurry by Indiana to hold a 34-31 lead at halftime. Evans leads all scores at the half with 10 while Indiana’s Watord and Oladipo both have 8.
The first ten minutes of the second half were nothing but a game of runs. Wisconsin opened the half with a 6-0 run to open a nine point. Indiana immediately answered with a 9-0 run of their own. The Badgers’ Evans then took the team on his shoulders leading them on a 10-3 run and a 50-43 lead at the mid-way point of the second half. The Hoosiers tried and tried down the stretch to take the game over but Evans refused to let it happen as his 16 points paved the way to Wisconsin’s 68-56 victory over Indiana.
Tom Crean will now have to “Deal with It” as he awaits his tournament seeding while the Badgers await the winner of the second game between Michigan State and Ohio State. Be sure to check out our live blog during that game and check out our review of the game afterwards!
The Buckeyes entered Bloomington on a bit of a hot streak and proved that it was more than just a fluke, up-ending the #2 Indiana Hoosiers 67-58. The game was an epic battle of two great teams and just goes to prove the quality of this conference in no uncertain terms. As has been typical the last few games, the Bucks were lead by DeShaun Thomas (18) and Aaron Craft (15) in scoring. Indiana was lead by Cody Zeller (17) and Christian Watford (12), with Oladipo surprisingly not breaking double digits.
It was clear in the first half that the Buckeyes came into this one prepared. OSU began attacking outright and seemed to take Indiana by surprise. Most critically, the Bucks managed to stick Oladipo with two fouls fairly early, which helped to minimize the impact of the Hoosier offense. Not surprisingly, Indiana did manage to get things moving and forced the Bucks to make adjustments to maintain their three point lead going into the half.
The intensity did not dial itself down in the second half. Both teams fought hard, trading baskets through the majority of the half, and generally taking it to the opposing defense. Neither team allowed the other to build too much of an advantage, but the Buckeyes clearly carried the momentum advantage in the middle of the half. Leading into the final TV timeout, the Bucks took control with several straight baskets including a huge DeShaun Thomas three pointer. The run did eventually end on a Hulls three pointer, but the damage was mostly done.
There is no question that this team has gelled after the crushing loss to Wisconsin. I hate to give the Badgers credit for anything, but this team has really come together to be a solid all-around basketball team in a tough conference. A big win in Bloomington is a huge step for the NCAA tournament resume, since it gives the team a big away victory late in the season when it matters most. Ultimately, this team is peaking at exactly the right time, and hopefully they can carry the momentum through the Big Ten Tournament and beyond.
The Buckeyes escaped their tough test in Evanston, but now get a much more stiff examination. Ohio State will be in Bloomington tonight to take on the top team in the Big Ten – the Indiana Hoosiers.
Today’s game is scheduled for 9 PM EST on the Big Ten Network. The LiveBlog is scheduled to start 15 minutes before tip.
After a two and a half month hiatus, I triumphantly return to the ranks of the Basketball previewers! Of course, my return is timed to coincide with the toughest game on the schedule this year. Let’s take a look.
|Division:||NCAA Division 1|
|Stadium:||Assembly Hall…no, the other one.|
|Head Coach:||Tom Crean|
Indiana marched into Columbus coming off a tough loss to Illinois and made the Buckeyes pay for it 81-68. The Hoosiers dug a deep hole for the Buckeyes before having to hold on in the last two minutes of the game to keep the Bucks from making good on their comeback attempt. Indiana saw three players break double digits in scoring, and in fact score all but 11 of the team’s scoring, with Cody Zeller’s 24, Victor Oladipo with 25, and Christian Watford picked up 18. The Buckeyes responded with three of their own with DeShaun Thomas (26), Aaron Craft (16), and LaQuinton Ross (11).
The first half was a picture of exciting offense – mostly for Indiana. While Indiana started out of the gate quickly, a 9-0 run allowed the Buckeyes to sneak back into the game. Outside of that excellent run, where solid defense helped keep the Hoosiers from finding easy looks, the Buckeyes looked simply outgunned on both sides of the court. Indiana needed only four players to score, and the Bucks simply couldn’t play enough defense to stop them. Adding to their problems was the foul difficulties that allowed Indiana to get to the line repeatedly over the last 5 minutes. It all added up to an 8 point Hoosier lead going into the half.
The second half was not much of an improvement for the Buckeyes. The Hoosiers came out of the gate and quickly regained their momentum to blitz out to a double digit lead. OSU had very little answer for the surging Hoosiers, finding themselves completely unable to consistently make things happen on offense. To make matters worse, they also couldn’t pick up a string of stops on defense to try to help close the gap. By the eight minute mark, the Hoosiers were in a clock-eating mode, satisfied to cling to their double digit lead.
This is yet another learning-lesson game for the Buckeyes today. They still need to figure out the offense, and they’ve discovered that their defense is not yet up to par against the top competition in the nation. However, the team showed heart at the end in trying to fight back even when the game seemed hopeless. If they could learn to capture that passion more easily earlier in ball-games, they could turn into something special down the stretch this season.
It’s a “gray out” for the Buckeyes, as they seek to continue their nation leading streak without two consecutive losses.
Today’s game is scheduled for 1 PM EST on the CBS. The LiveBlog is scheduled to start 15 minutes before tip.