Five things to watch for:
1. OSU leads the series 66-12-5 with 15 straight wins against Indiana.
2. OSU leads the Big Ten is scoring offense at 44.2 points per game, while Indiana is third at 39.8.
3. The Buckeyes are second in scoring defense at 14.2 points per game; the Hoosiers ninth 25.0 (they are ranked 108th nationally against the run).
4. Indiana tops the conference in passing offense at 348.2 yards per game. OSU leads the Big Ten in turnover margin at +1.80 (fifth nationally).
5. The Hoosiers are third in the Big Ten in punt returns with an 11.7 average, while the Buckeyes are last in puting at 28.8 net (117th in the nation)
OSU wins 38-10
The best word to describe The Ohio State’s 24-13 win over Illinois Saturday was survival.
The Buckeyes, in their first road test of the season, rode early passing and running in the second half to down the Fighting Illini.
The optimist will say that OSU didn’t play its best, but still won.
The pessimist will say that the Buckeyes should have beaten an average at-best Illinois team by more than 11 points.
Apparently, the close win didn’t effect the voters, as OSU still remains ranked No. 2 in the nation.
For whatever reason, the Buckeyes have had close games in Champaign, winning 23-16 in overtime in 2002, 17-10 2006, 30-20 2008 and 24-13 this season.
Close games are going to happen. The Buckeyes may even lose one this season.
There are significantly greater challenges down-the-road.
But OSU move on and are getting ready for Indiana at home at noon Saturday against at Ohio Stadium.
Of more concern for the Buckeyes and their fans is the health of quarterback Terrelle Pryor. He left the game in the third game with a quad-muscle strain above the knee, but returned after a series.
Joe Bauserman came in and completed one pass and was intercepted once.
But it does bring up a legitimate concern for the Buckeyes. If Pryor does goes down for an injury, what does coach Tressel do? Bring in Bauserman or Kenny Guiton. Both have limited game experience.
The Hoosiers are 3-1 on the season with wins over Towson 51-17, Western Kentucky 38-21 and Akron and a 42-35 loss to Michigan in their Big Ten opener.
Indiana can throw the ball.
Senior quarterback Ben Chappell set school records with 45 completions, 64 attempts and 480 yards to go with three touchdowns against the Wolverines.
Statistically, Chappell leads the Big Ten with 342.5 passing yards per game, while junior Tandon Doss paces the conference with 107.7 receiving yards and 211.0 all-purpose yards per contest.
The Buckeyes are being tested in the secondary. They have lost safety Tyler Moeller for the rest of the season with a torn pectoral muscle. He missed all of 2009 with a serious head injury.
Moeller is the second safety to be lost to an injury. Earlier this season, C.J. Barnett injured his knee against Miami and is likely lost for the season.
The depth chart lists true safety Christian Bryant as Saturday’s starting nickel back with junior Nate Oliver at the backup.