Sure, in less than two weeks the Ohio State Buckeyes will meet their biggest rivals, the Michigan Wolverines, in Ann Arbor. It’s easy to get distracted thinking about the game that players and fans look forward to all year.
The Buckeyes cannot allow themselves to get distracted. They need to focus on their game this week against the Indiana Hoosiers and not look ahead to Michigan until the Indiana game is in the books. Overlooking Indiana could spell disaster for the Buckeyes in their pursuit of the Big Ten title and BCS National Championship.
Now, don’t get me wrong, Indiana is not one of the better teams in the Big Ten, but they do have an explosive offense that could hurt the Buckeyes if they are distracted and not playing up to their potential. The Hoosiers have scored 28 points or more in eight games this season, including 40-plus point performances against fellow Big Ten teams like the Penn State Nittany Lions, Michigan and Illinois Fighting Illini. They even put up 28 points against a very good Michigan State Spartans defense. Indiana’s lowest scoring affair came last week in Madison in a loss to the Wisconsin Badgers.
The Buckeyes especially cannot overlook Indiana because of the scare the Hoosiers put into them last season. Ohio State almost blew it in Bloomington in last year’s game, and ended up coming out with a win, but only by a score of 52-49. The Buckeyes need a big win over the Hoosiers and that means not allowing the Indiana offense to run all over them. The fact that the Ohio State defense gave up 35 points to an inferior offense like Illinois last week is just a little scary. Indiana’s offense is much better than that of the Illini. Ohio State’s offense may need to bail out their defense once again.
The Buckeyes need to continue to win and win big if they want to keep their national championship hopes alive. It is easy to overlook Indiana as they look toward Michigan the following week, but the Buckeyes need to make sure they concentrate on the task at hand and not get distracted, for the sake of their Big Ten title and BCS hopes.