How Indiana’s Defense Can Beat Ohio State (247sports.com)

The Indiana Hoosiers earned their top 10 ranking through the first four games. Now, they’ll be put to the ultimate test on Saturday when they take on No. 3 Ohio State.

If Indiana has any hope of knocking off the prohibitive Big Ten favorite, they’ll need top notch defense to shut down quarterback

. College football analyst Jesse Palmer believes it can be done.

Speaking on Thursday’s edition of College Football Countdown, Palmer outlined how Indiana’s defense could beat Ohio State.

“It’s an aggressive unit,” Palmer said. “They’ve got to somehow slow down

and that Ohio State offense. They’re not going to do it playing big zone coverages, they’re going to have to come after and they’ll do that. They are aggressive, it is a blitz-a-thon. They are blitzing every play, bringing guys from all over the field, sometimes unconventional, but one thing you know when you blitz – receivers are open. The key is going to be can at Ohio State find his open guy. Last week when they played Sparty, Michigan State’s quarterback couldn’t find the open guy against the blitz.

“I know this, if Indiana’s going to go down in this game, they’re going down swinging. They’re not playing zone coverage, they’re coming after

. Their hope is they can maybe create some negative plays, maybe create some takeaways, steal some possessions and give the ball back to Michael Penix Jr and that explosive offense, but this is not going to be easy.”

While Fields and the Ohio State offense remain prolific, the defense saw a lot of departures to the NFL via the draft last season. College football analyst Joel Klatt also believes the run game lacks in comparison after JK Dobbins left for the NFL.

He explained on Wednesday’s edition of “The Herd with Colin Cowherd.”

“Remains to be seen comparing them to the other teams,” Klatt said. “Let’s just compare them to last year’s Ohio State team. They are not as good as last year’s team. They are better at quarterback and wide receiver.

, his maturation the last few years, he is terrific and he’ll probably get selected No. 2 overall in the draft….I will tell you this though, JK Dobbins is a huge loss. He was a 2,000 yard rusher and he was a home run hitter at running back. They’re having to try and create things from a running perspective. Defensively, they’ve got great players on defense this year, but you do not play as potent of defense…when you have three top 16 picks (leaving that roster). When you look at the metrics, Ohio State is not as dominant as they were last year. This year, they’ll have to piece it together.

“There will be more pressure on Fields to be superhuman at times. I will tell you, they are in for a fist fight against Indiana. Indiana has gotten better and better and better. Their quarterback is good, their defense is salty…Fields is going to go under the pressure cooker this week.”

On the season, Fields is 72 of 83 passing (86.7% completion percentage) for 908 yards, 11 touchdowns, zero interceptions and has two rushing touchdowns.

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No. 3 Ohio State (3-0) hosts No. 9 Indiana (4-0) on Saturday at 12 p.m. ET.



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