The Ohio State football team takes on Indiana in the first game of the season on Saturday. They are heavy favorites to win the game, but that doesn’t mean they can just roll up and expect to win. They have to play well on both sides of the ball to secure a victory in Bloomington.
Kyle McCord will be leading the charge for the Buckeyes. He starts the game at quarterback but Devin Brown will also play in the game. How well the quarterbacks play in this game could give us insight as to who will be the starting quarterback for the rest of the season.
While IU may not be the best of opponents the Ohio State football team will face this season, they are still a Big Ten foe that won’t back down. They did almost come back to beat the Buckeyes back in 2019 after Ohio State jumped out to a huge lead. Ohio State can’t take them lightly.
There are three keys to an Ohio State victory in this game in my eyes. If they do these three things, there’s no reason they shouldn’t be walking out of Bloomington 1-0. The first thing they have to do is on the offensive side of the ball.
1. Ohio State football must establish the run early
There is no better way to make a new starting quarterback comfortable on the road than establishing the run early on. Getting TreVeyon Henderson and Miyan Williams going early will take some pressure off of McCord as he gets his feet wet.
Ohio State had some issues run-blocking a year ago. Even though they have three new starters on the offensive line, they should be better at moving guys off the line of scrimmage in the run game. That has been a point of emphasis for Justin Frye and his unit.
Establishing the run early also gives the Buckeyes the option for play-action passes later in the game. That could lead to some big plays for a receiving corp that is the best in the country. Those are the plays that can lead to touchdowns for Ohio State.
I expect both Henderson and Williams to have good days on the ground. I don’t think that IU has the defense to stop the running game for the whole game, especially once the threat of the play-action is there. They might stop it early, but they won’t late in the game.
The second key to victory for the Ohio State football team has to do with the defense.