Jack looks back | Buckeyes open Big Ten play at Indiana

Jack Park For The Columbus Dispatch
Indiana head coach Kevin Wilson walks on the sideline in the second half of an NCAA college football game against Maryland, Saturday, Nov. 21, 2015, in College Park, Md. Indiana won 47-28. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

Ohio State travels to Indiana this week. For the third time in the last five seasons, Ohio State’s first Big Ten game will be against the Hoosiers at Bloomington. The Buckeyes won league openers at IU in on Saturday, Oct. 3, 2015 (34-27), and on Thursday evening, Aug. 31, 2017 (49-21).

Kevin Wilson was in his first game as Ohio State’s offensive coordinator in the 2017 encounter. Wilson had been head coach at Indiana the previous season. The 2017 game was OSU’s first season-opener on the road against a conference opponent since defeating Michigan State 21-0 at Spartan Stadium 42 years earlier on Sept. 13, 1975.

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Ohio State holds a commanding lead in the series with the Hoosiers at 75-12-5. OSU’s 38-10 home victory in 2010 was later vacated as part of NCAA sanctions. The Buckeyes have won the last 24 meetings and are 55-2-2 over the last 59. Ohio State actually has a better winning percentage at Bloomington than in Columbus. Ohio State is 27-2-1 (91.7%) on the road and 48-10-4 (80.6%) at home.

During coach Urban Meyer’s first year at Ohio State in 2012, the Buckeyes were gravely challenged at Bloomington before winning 52-49. IU’s 49 points were the most surrendered by the Buckeyes while still winning the contest, until last season when Ohio State won at Maryland 52-51. The 49 points is also the seventh highest all-time score against Ohio State in a single game.

The combined total of 101 points in 2012 is the highest of any game in the OSU-IU series. It was just the second time Indiana scored more than 40 points against the Buckeyes. The first was a 41-7 IU triumph at Bloomington in 1988, the school’s last victory in the series.

Indiana has captured two Big Ten titles, outright in 1945 and a joint championship in 1967 with Minnesota and Purdue. OSU and IU did not meet either of those two seasons. Indiana’s 1967 squad made the school’s only trip in the Rose Bowl, losing 14-3 to Southern California. The 1967 Hoosiers were coached by John Pont, an outstanding halfback at Miami University under coach Woody Hayes in 1949-50.

Ohio State defeated a talented Indiana squad 27-17 at home on Saturday, Oct. 18, 1980. It was Coach Earle Bruce’s second season as OSU’s coach. That afternoon senior tailback Calvin Murray celebrated his 22nd birthday by rushing for 224 yards and two touchdowns to lead the Buckeyes offense. Murray’s outstanding effort stands today as the 13th highest total in the 129 years of Ohio State football.

Coach Jim Tressel’s first Big Ten game was a 27-14 victory at Indiana in 2001, with the Buckeyes scoring in each quarter. Freshman tailback Lydell Ross led the Ohio State offense, rushing for 124 yards and two of OSU’s three touchdowns. At age 17, Ross became the youngest Ohio State player to rush for more than 100 yards in a game.

Hayes’ final victory was a 21-18 win over Indiana at Bloomington on Nov. 18, 1978. The Hoosiers were coached that season by Lee Corso.

Indiana was one of three Big Ten teams not able to defeat Ohio State during Jim Tressel’s 10 seasons as coach from 2001 through 2010. The other two were Michigan State and Minnesota.