On Saturday, the eighth-ranked Ohio State Buckeyes squared off against the Indiana Hoosiers. Favored to win by 17 points, Ohio State came in as a 6-0 (and 2-0 against Big Ten opponents) road favorite, needing a blowout win to get a boost in the rankings.
Unfortunately for their sake, they allowed a 2-3 Hoosiers team to take it down to the wire. The Buckeyes narrowly scraped by with a 52-49 win and did not even come close to covering the near 20-point spread.
Buckeyes quarterback Braxton Miller had a solid outing, throwing for over 200 yards with two touchdowns and a pick. And he also did damage on the ground, running for almost 150 yards with a rushing TD.
Miller's efforts were excellent, but his defense struggled to halt a Hoosiers passing attack that eviscerated Ohio State for over 352 yards, out-passing Ohio State by almost 130 yards.
Although they're still undefeated in the Big Ten, the Buckeyes could see a decline in their ranking after nearly choking away a 10-point lead at halftime. Indiana erupted in the fourth quarter, scoring over 22 points compared to Ohio State's 14.
After the win, even Buckeyes head coach Urban Meyer admitted that his team's flaws were certainly capitalized upon (via ESPN). "We are not good in certain areas, and we were exposed." Meyer said. "Spread offenses right now are really exposing us. We need to get something fixed."
Ohio State desperately needs a big bounce-back win this Saturday against the Purdue Boilermakers at home.
Early lines already have Purdue as 17-point road dogs against Ohio State. If the Buckeyes want any chance of improving their ranking and staying undefeated, they cannot allow a near disaster like Saturday's game in Memorial Stadium against an unranked Indiana team, and they have to try and cover the spread.