Ohio State vs. Indiana: 10 things every fan needs to know about this rivalry
Ohio State and Indiana meet again Saturday in Columbus (FOX, Noon ET).
Ryan Day’s Buckeyes look to stay undefeated and add another victory to their undefeated mark in Big Ten play (6-0) and overall (9-0).
Saturday marks meeting No. 92 in a regular series that goes back to 1904 as teams in the Western Conference.
Here are 10 things fans should know about the Ohio State-Indiana series:
1. This series is all Buckeyes
Ohio State has a better than 85% winning percentage against Indiana (78 wins in 91 meetings). With 4 ties in the series, Indiana can’t quite claim 10%, having just won 9 times out of 91 meetings.
Adding insult to injury on the Hoosiers’ side, the Buckeyes are even better at blowouts. Ohio State has 10 wins in the series by 40 points or more. Indiana’s biggest win over OSU was by 34 points.
2. It has been a long time since Indiana beat Ohio State
On Oct. 8, 1988, the Hoosiers blew out the Buckeyes 41-7 in Bloomington. It is Indiana’s biggest win over Ohio State in the series. We’ve all heard of saving the best for last, but certainly, no Hoosiers fan would trade a 34-point victory for 27 consecutive losses.
The ’88 Hoosiers, coached by Bill Mallory, would go on to finish the season 8-3-1 overall, with a 5-3 mark in Big Ten play, capped by a Liberty Bowl win over South Carolina.
3. It was a different time when the Hoosiers last got a win over the Buckeyes
Obviously, 1988 was long before any of the players on either roster were born.
On Oct. 8, 1988, the late George H. W. Bush was on the way to defeating Michael Dukakis in the US presidential election. “Love Bites” by Def Leppard was the No. 1 song on the charts. The sci-film “Alien Nation” was No. 1 at the box office the weekend of the ’88 game.
In the world of college football, Barry Sanders was making the case to win the Heisman Trophy. Notre Dame would win the national championship.
4. The series had a much different feel in the late 80s/early 90s
Indiana’s 1988 victory actually gave the Hoosiers a winning streak against OSU. The year before, the Hoosiers knocked off a then-No. 9 OSU team 31-10.
The 1989 game was a 35-31 Ohio State win. The 1990 game ended in a 27-27 tie. OSU made its current run a true streak by winning another close one in 1991, 20-16.
5. The on-field streak differs from the record books
Like many long Ohio State streaks, the numbers depend on whether one is referring to results on the field or how things are kept in the official record books.
On Oct. 9, 2010, the Buckeyes defeated the Hoosiers 38-10 in Columbus. That Ohio State win, however, was later “vacated” due to the season’s ineligible players scandal.
OSU has won the last 27 meetings on the field. Formally, though, it’s a 26-game winning streak for the Buckeyes.
6. Heisman campaigning time
Sorry, Hoosiers (if you’re still reading at this point, though, you’re presumably a glutton for punishment), but the Indiana game is Heisman Trophy campaigning time for Buckeyes.
Troy Smith, Ohio State’s last Heisman winner, took home college football’s top individual honor in 2006. The AP game recap from that season’s OSU-Indiana game opens by referencing the Heisman campaign (via ESPN):
Troy Smith is getting lots of help in his bid for the Heisman Trophy.
Smith connected with four different receivers for first-half touchdown passes and a stingy defense powered top-ranked Ohio State to a 44-3 victory over Indiana on Saturday.
CJ Stroud would look to boost his Heisman resume Saturday. Speaking of Stroud …
Related: While sports betting is already live in Indiana, it’s coming soon to the states of Maryland and Ohio. More and more Big Ten football states will have legal online sports betting in a matter of weeks. Check out some of the Ohio promos as well as information around sports betting in Maryland.
7. Last time out: Blowout in Bloomington
CJ Stroud threw for 4 touchdowns and 266 yards in an abbreviated appearance last year on the road at Indiana. The Buckeyes played 3 quarterbacks on the day.
It was close for about a quarter, tied 7-7 at the 2:58 mark in the first period. The Buckeyes would get another 1st-quarter score before exploding for 30 points in the 2nd quarter on the way to a 54-7 win.
It fell just shy of altering the series’ record book, though …
8. Ohio State’s biggest romp vs. the Hoosiers came in 1957
Ohio State has been known for having some high-powered offenses, especially in recent years. While Buckeyes fans have seen some great quarterbacks sling it against the Hoosiers, OSU’s highest score in the series belongs to the 1957 team.
The 56-0 game is the series’ biggest blowout and Ohio State’s highest score in the series.
9. Indiana’s highest-scoring output against OSU came in a loss
The Hoosiers have only served “40-burgers” to the Buckeyes twice. The 41-7 win in ’88 and a 2012 shootout.
The 2012 Ohio State team, Urban Meyer’s first, went 12-0 (but wasn’t eligible for the postseason). One of the closer calls of the regular season came on the road at Indiana.
With a successful 2-point conversion, the Hoosiers got when 3 points of the Buckeyes with 1:05 to go. Ohio State ultimately held on 52-49 and stayed perfect on the year.
10. Last time in Columbus, Ohio State had a close call
Ohio State’s streak looked to be in jeopardy in the second half of the 2020 game.
OSU led 28-7 at halftime and extended the lead to 35-7 in the 3rd quarter before Tom Allen’s squad roared back. The Hoosiers cut into the deficit with 14 unanswered.
The Ohio State offense did not score again, but the defense was not done. Shaun Wade made a key 36-yard interception return to make it 42-21 after the extra point.
Indiana managed 2 more touchdowns early in the 4th quarter, but the Buckeyes held on against the then-No. 9 Hoosiers, 42-35.