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mamasa

Game Thread: 11/21 @ OSU Noon ABC

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Setting The Scene
• No. 9/10 Indiana (4-0, 4-0 B1G East) closes out its two-game road trip at Ohio Stadium (Field Turf) when it faces No. 3/3 Ohio State (3-0, 3-0 B1G East) on Saturday, Nov. 21. Kickoff is set for noon EDT on FOX.
• IU sits in the Top 10 in both national polls for the second-straight week and is ranked for the fourth-consecutive week, coming in at No. 9 in the Associated Press Top 25 and at No. 10 in the Amway Coaches Poll presented by USA Today Sports.
• The Hoosiers earned their first Top-10 ranking in the AP Poll since Sept. 22, 1969 (No. 10), and their current ranking is their best in the AP Poll since Nov. 27, 1967 (No. 4).
• Indiana was last ranked in the Top 10 in back-to-back weeks in 1967 (Nov. 6, Nov. 13) and this is its 17th Top-10 rating.
• 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).
• The Hoosiers are 4-0 for the first time since 2015 (4-0) and the seventh time in school history (1990, 4-0; 1986, 4-0; 1985, 4-0; 1967, 8-0; 1910, 5-0). They are 4-0 to start Big Ten play for the third time overall (1987, 4-0; 1967, 5-0).
• IU is 12-5 overall and 9-4 in league play since the start of the 2019 campaign.
• Indiana has won a program-record-tying five-straight B1G games (1967) and nine of its last 11, its most successful stretch in conference games since a 9-2 mark from Oct. 3, 1987-Oct. 21, 1988.
• The Hoosiers have won three-straight Big Ten road games for the first time since 1982 and have earned victories in their first two league games away from home for the first time since 1993.
• IU has won five of its last six B1G road contests, its best run since 1967-68 (6-of-7).
• Indiana defeated Michigan State, 24-0, last weekend to reclaim the Old Brass Spittoon for the first time since 2016 and earn its first victory in East Lansing since 2001.
• The Hoosiers are in possession of both of their rivalry trophies, the Old Brass Spittoon and the Old Oaken Bucket (Purdue).
• IU's 38-21 victory over No. 23 Michigan was its first over the Wolverines since Oct. 24, 1987 (14-10).
• Indiana's 36-35, overtime win against No. 8 Penn State in the season opener was the sixth against a Top-10 opponent in school history, with the last coming at No. 9 Ohio State (31-10) on Oct. 10, 1987.
• It marked the Hoosiers first Top-10 victory at Memorial Stadium since Nov. 25, 1967 (No. 3 Purdue, 19-14).
• IU has defeated PSU, U-M and MSU in the same season for the first time in program history and beaten the Wolverines and Spartans in the same year for the first time since 1967.
• Indiana has defeated two ranked teams for the sixth time in school history and for the first time since 2004. The 1945 team holds the program record with three ranked wins in one year.
 
The Coaches
• One of 22 semifinalists for the 2019 George Munger College Coach of the Year Award, Tom Allen is 22-20 in his fourth season at Indiana. Allen became the fourth-fastest IU head coach to reach 20 wins (40 games), trailing only James Horne (32, 1898-1904), James Sheldon (34, 1905-13) and Ewald Stiehm (39, 1916-21). A 28-year coaching veteran, Allen was named the program's 29th head football coach on Dec. 1, 2016. He made his debut in the 2016 Foster Farms Bowl. (full bio on page 13)
• Ryan Day is in his second season as Ohio State head coach. He posted a 3-0 record as the Buckeyes acting head coach to open 2018 and owns a 19-1 overall mark. Day served as OSU's offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach in 2017 and 2018.

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DiPrimio Notes: Hoosiers Push Poise, Perspective and Passion Amid Ohio State Hype

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By Pete DiPrimio
IUHoosiers.com
 
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - Michael Penix Jr. pushes poise and perspective.
 
Saturday's clash between No. 9 Indiana (4-0) and No. 3 Ohio State (3-0) has national implications and potential program-defining ramifications.
 
Not for the Hoosiers, the redshirt sophomore quarterback says.
 
"To us, it is a 1-0 mindset. We have a chance to do special things each week. It is something we focus on. We just need to continue to play our game."
 
IU did against Penn State, Michigan and Michigan State to beat all three in the same season for the first time ever.
 
Now comes the Buckeyes, a traditional juggernaut that has dominated the Hoosiers by a 76-12-5 margin.
 
IU has had just two wins in the series since 1952, the last coming in 1988.
 
But the Hoosiers' fast start -- the last time they opened 4-0 was in 1987 -- has generated buzz.
 
Such buzz won't distract the Hoosiers, Penix says.
 
"Coach (Tom) Allen says every week that it is the biggest game. It is the biggest game on the schedule simply because it is the next game on the schedule.
 
"We do not look too far ahead. As long as we prepare and execute at a high level, we have the talent, we have the team that can go out and show the skills that we have."
 
Indiana has talent, tenacity and experience that it hasn't had since those late 1980 glory days. Allen has built a feisty, focused team in his image, one that believes it can succeed when no one else does.
 
So if some experts see the Hoosiers as three touchdown underdogs, the players pay them no mind.
"We have a lot of confidence," Penix says. "We need to play our game."
 
They need, Allen adds, to "not blink." Don't let potential distractions become actual ones.
 
"They just need to be a little bit thicker. As that noise grows louder, you have to continue to stay focused on what got us here and the process of improving."
 
Then the coach kicks in.
 
"We are still not where we need to be, in all three areas, so any level of complacency that settles in or anything that prevents you from continuing to improve and prevents you from staying locked in and focused is detrimental to what we are trying to accomplish."
 
Allen is building IU to where national-implication games are the norm and not the exception, where Top-10 status is as much a part of the program as Cream & Crimson colors.
 
"It's everybody understanding the maturity that it takes to stay locked in and focused," Allen says. "The attention to detail has to be at a high level. You have to continue to improve and play well against better and better teams."
 
Penix talks about "preparing to the extreme," "playing our game" and having "great practices."
 
"That is all it will take this week. We are not focused on the hype or rankings. We are trying to control what we can control. Play Indiana Football. Play tough, physical football."
 
Because of previous injuries, this will be Penix's first shot at Ohio State.
 
"When you come to Indiana and you play in this conference," Allen says, "you want to be a program that has the chance to win championships. It has gone to Columbus for a long, long time. He has a chance to play against some of the best players in America."
 
 
*****
 
Allen's passion was on full display during Monday's Zoom press conference.
 
He announced that his son, Thomas, a redshirt junior linebacker, will undergo season-ending surgery for a hip injury suffered at Michigan State. That follows last year's season-ending shoulder injury at Nebraska.
 
Allen reflected on the 11 coaching stops that led to this IU opportunity, the sacrifices wife Tracy and their children made so he could follow his coaching dream from Florida to Indiana to Iowa to Arkansas to Mississippi to Florida again and finally back to Indiana.
 
"My kids have sacrificed, my wife. It hurts so much for Thomas because I know what he's been through to be here. He's a tough sucker."
 
The more Allen talked, the more emotional he became.
 
"I love this place, I love these kids. We're going to fight, man. I don't care what anybody says about this stinkin' game. We're going to compete, we're going to fight, and good Lord willing, we're going to find a way, keep proving everybody wrong. That's all I got to say."
 
 
*****
 
 
Ohio State began the season with Big Ten and national title aspirations, and has played to the hype.
 
Quarterback Justin Fields leads the way. The Heisman Trophy contender completes 86.7 percent of his passes -- that is not a typo -- for 908 yards, 11 touchdowns and no interceptions.
 
Receiver Garrett Wilson averages a Big Ten-best 114.7 receiving yards per game. He has 24 catches for 344 yards and two touchdowns. Chris Olave has 18 catches for 288 yards and four touchdowns.
 
The Buckeyes lead the Big Ten in total offense (511.3 yards), are second in scoring (46.3 points) and passing (302.7 yards), and third in rushing (208.7 yards)
 
"It's an excellent football team with arguably the best quarterback in the country in Justin Fields," Allen says. "The receiver core is good as anybody in the country, and excellent running backs, very physical offensive line and defensively they are just as usual, playing really, really hard.
 
"The defensive line is extremely dominant, very physical. They have an athletic linebacker core with a lot of experience. They continue to play at a high level in their secondary.
 
"Just elite players that are well coached and extremely talented.
 
"This is a great opportunity for our program. We have worked really hard to get to this point. We have to play our best football."
 
 
*****
 
Is there a better receiver in the Big Ten than Ty Fryfogle?
 
Not lately, there isn't.
 
The IU senior's 11-catch, 200-yard, two-touchdown effort at Michigan State on Saturday earned him conference Offensive-Player-of-the-Week honors.
 
The 11 catches were a career-high and the second-most in the Big Ten this season. His 200 receiving yards also were a career-high and the most in the conference.
 
Fryfogle has caught at least one touchdown in three-straight games. He has two straight 100-yard receiving games (he had 7 catches for 142 yards against Michigan the previous week) and three for his career.
 
His 24 catches this season lead IU (tied) and are third in the Big Ten. His 424 receiving yards lead the conference. He has a 17.7-yard-per-catch average.
 
 
*****
 
 
How do you stop Fields?
 
The answer is easy -- pressure him and his receivers.
 
The execution -- not so much.
 
"He is extremely poised," Allen says. "He has tremendous arm talent. That is step number one. Guys that have such a quick release allow him to be able to throw the ball where he wants to throw it in a very quick manner. The arm strength, you do not have much time to react to that. That is a big variable."
 
There are others.
 
"He has a really good offensive line to get him out in space," Allen says. "He moves around. He makes people miss. He is hard to get on the ground even if a guy comes clean.
 
"When you have time and you've got excellent receivers that have pretty big catch radius, great athletes that can jump, they get a lot of separation naturally, it makes those windows a lot wider. You want those windows to be tight. You want to get hands on balls. You want to pressure the quarterback and make him feel flustered and make bad decisions."
 
Every defense tries to do that. Few succeed.
 
"It is hard," Allen says. "He is a special talent. There is a reason why he is, arguably, the best quarterback in the country.
 
"It will be a tremendous challenge for our defense. Definitely the biggest test we have had this year."

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Penix has a great off-field talent for answering media questions in coach-speak. I still think he’ll come out confident and firing against the Buckeyes and it will be fun to see the results of his immense talent versus a stout Buckeye secondary.


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Thought I hadn’t really had yet: Saturday’s game is almost an equivalent of an elite 8 game in basketball. Obviously we’ve got a lot more games on the schedule, but if we win Saturday, we’ve got a legitimate, and as good a case as any, to make the playoff.

Obviously the Hoosiers are the David against Goliath still, but I don’t think many of us have put into perspective how close we really are from the College Football Playoff. Scoff all you want, but in my opinion that’s the truth.


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I watched them against Nebraska and thought that they were really good. National contender good. I don't want to diminish in any way what we have done to this point, but objectively, I don't see a way that we win this one. They have a talent advantage all over the field. I love our over achievers, and I hope we find a way, but I just don't think it happens. If I am wrong, I'll be here asking for second helpings of crow.

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I watched them against Nebraska and thought that they were really good. National contender good. I don't want to diminish in any way what we have done to this point, but objectively, I don't see a way that we win this one. They have a talent advantage all over the field. I love our over achievers, and I hope we find a way, but I just don't think it happens. If I am wrong, I'll be here asking for second helpings of crow.

Completely agree, but that has been the case nearly every year in the history of the sport. IU teams have played the Buckeyes close with Zander Diamont playing QB and a gimmick offense with an absolutely atrocious defense. This is the best Hoosier team Ohio State has seen in years and there’s no reason why IU shouldn’t play them more competitive than we have in years past.
It will be a game in the fourth.


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1. This IU Football squad has yet to play its best game. 

          ->This would be an excellent time for that to happen

2. Justin Fields is currently completing 86% of his passes. He is really good, but he is a 22 year old college kid and is not superior to Tom Brady at his best.

          ->This would be an excellent time for Fields to make inevitable mistakes.

 

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Stick around long enough to make them nervous and rush.  That’s my hope.  From there let the chips fall as they may.  The only way we win is not going to be a beautiful display of football.  It’s going to be winning special teams. Then we have to win one side of the ball.  We aren’t winning all 3 levels against this team.  Let’s make it dirty, run the ball, win turnover battle, limit penalties, and limit missed tackles.  We do that we have a chance to make this interesting.  

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Rain is gonna cause issues on both sides. We don’t run the ball well and OSU doesn’t either but our run D has been stout this year. Expecting a low scoring first half. Gonna need a MONSTER game from David Ellis IMO and run some Rondale Moore type plays all game for him.

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5 minutes ago, jbell833 said:

Rain is gonna cause issues on both sides. We don’t run the ball well and OSU doesn’t either but our run D has been stout this year. Expecting a low scoring first half. Gonna need a MONSTER game from David Ellis IMO and run some Rondale Moore type plays all game for him.

Penix could have a big day running if he drops back but defenders lose their balance or slip.  

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