Michael Penix Jr. has been the catalyst for the Indiana offense so far this year. As such, Ohio State knows that they need to focus in on the star quarterback if they want to contain what has been a potent Hoosiers offense.

No. 3 Ohio State hosts No. 9 Indiana on Saturday and Penix, who has been off to a tremendous start this season, is likely to be the proverbial ‘X factor‘ if the Hoosiers are able to hang tight and perhaps pull off a statement upset on the road. Ohio State knows the importance of Penix in this game and that corralling the quarterback is vital if they are to get their first win of the season against a ranked opponent.

“We’ve just got to make sure he’s uncomfortable,” said Ohio State defensive end Tyler Friday per Eleven Warriors.

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“I think he’s at his best when he’s comfortable, he has his feet under him. He’s also a bigger quarterback, so when he drops back and his ability to see over the line, we can’t let him be comfortable back there. I think our whole goal is to just get him off his spot and get the ball out of his hands.”

Penix is incredibly talented and possesses a big arm. He also can be maddening at times.

Last week in a 24-0 win at Michigan State, Penix had his first significant struggles of the season. Despite completing 25-of-38 passes for 320 yards with two touchdowns, he threw two interceptions.

It was the first multi-interception game he’s had this season.

So far this year, Penix has completed 60.7 percent of his passes for 1,070 yards with nine touchdown passes and three interceptions.

“He’s really playing mistake-free,” said Ohio State head coach Ryan Day. “He’s making a lot of plays. He keeps them on schedule. He’s made some really big-time throws to tight spots. He’s fearless.”