Hoping To Avoid Hoosier Hubris

Tonight the Buckeyes take on Indiana at Memorial Stadium in a rare Saturday night matchup.  It’s one of those games where Ohio State fans will hold their breath and hope to avoid the dreaded letdown after a big game.

Last weekend it rained touchdowns for the Buckeyes, who hung an amazing 63 points on Nebraska.  After a poor first quarter the Buckeyes suddenly turned into an awesome offensive juggernaut as they gashed the Cornhuskers through the air and on the ground.  Braxton Miller had a career-best day for rushing the ball, Carlos Hyde scored multiple touchdowns, and Nebraska had no answer.  How do you follow up a performance like that?  More importantly, how do you keep the Buckeye offense from getting swelled heads and thinking they are the Greatest Show on Turf?

Indiana, on the other hand, has had its traditional bad luck in the Big Ten.  The Hoosiers were well ahead of the Michigan State Spartans last week but let the Spartans score 17 unanswered points in the second half to win a squeaker, 31-27.  That’s par for the course for the Hoosiers, who rarely are competitive in the Big Ten and who have a terrible head-to-head record versus Ohio State.  It’s exactly the kind of game that the Buckeyes could overlook.

Here’s where Urban Meyer earns his salary.  Excellent coaches — and no one disputes that Meyer falls easily into that category — find a way to keep their teams focused on the next opponent and on constant improvement.  The Buckeyes can, and should, get better.  Tonight, versus the Hoosiers, we’ll see whether they can ignore their press clippings and come out to play some good, tough football.

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