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Desperate Indiana Hoosiers Must Play the Game of Their Lives on Saturday

Pat Lovell-USA TODAY Sports

The story of the 2013 Indiana Hoosiers is likely going to be that the team was a victim of its own defense. The lack of execution on the defensive side of the ball has made having a top ten offense irrelevant for Indiana, dooming them to a 5-7 record and again missing out on postseason play. That is, unless the Hoosiers can somehow find a way to pull off what would be the upset of the year in the Big Ten and perhaps the nation.

In order to do this, Indiana must not only do what it has done well so far this year but execute in ways that it hasn’t yet as well. The Hoosiers must score every bit of their 39.1 points per game average and possibly even more. Ohio State‘s pass defense is ranked 64th in the nation allowing just under 230 yards per game. Indiana quarterback Nate Sudfield must sling the ball to Cody Latimer and the rest of the Hoosier receiving corps early and often on Saturday.

In order to make the aerial assault effective, however, Indiana must do something it has been unable to do all season. Containing running back Carlos Hyde and quarterback Braxton Miller, the Buckeye ground attack, will be paramount for the Hoosiers on defense today. Defensive tackles Bobby Richardson and Ralphael Green must occupy blockers, allowing linebackers David Cooper, T.J. Simmons and Clyde Newton the freedom to move and make tackles.

Ohio State’s explosiveness on offense is entirely predicated on success in the running game. Limiting its effectiveness and putting the Buckeyes under pressure through getting big pass plays and touchdowns through the air will force the Buckeyes out of their game plan and into a mode of trying to react and keep up with the Hoosiers.

If Indiana can get Sudfield a 400-yard, five touchdown day and hold the Buckeyes under 150 yards rushing, they have a great chance to make the biggest headline of the day. We’ve yet to see the Hoosier run defense put a game together, and today would be the perfect time to start.

Derek Helling is a writer for Rantsports.com. Follow him on Twitter, “like” him on Facebook and add him on Google+. Read more here