Cody Cousino / Photo editor
After a victory against the then-No. 12 Wisconsin Badgers Saturday, this weekend’s opponent, Indiana, might appear on the surface to be a no-doubt victory for Ohio State.
But no-doubters sometimes turn into infamous “trap” games.
The Hoosiers are 1-8 on the year and 0-5 in the Big Ten. Their senior wide receiver who led the Big Ten in receptions last year, Damarlo Belcher, was dismissed from the program Monday for “violating team rules.”
OSU head coach Luke Fickell said Tuesday that there will be no complacency for his team this week in facing the down-and-out Hoosiers.
“We’re going to make sure (our players) understand that our preparation will match up with our performance,” Fickell said. “There will be no let down.”
Despite being tied for second in the Leaders division and having a legitimate shot at making a trip to the inaugural Big Ten championship game in Indianapolis, Fickell said his team isn’t taking the opponent for granted.
“We are in no place to look past anything,” Fickell said. “We take care of our own business, the things we have control of, and good things will happen.”
Fickell then said the players and coaches are aware of the opportunity to win the division.
“We always have a goal here to win the Big Ten every year,” he said. “To have that still in front of us I think is something that probably the guys are more aware of than us as coaches.”
Senior running back Daniel “Boom” Herron said he watches the results of other Big Ten games.
“I honestly do kind of watch other teams just to see how they’re doing,” Herron said. “I see how they’re playing.”
Fickell talked about the importance of coaches and players focusing on things they can control.
“Ultimately, it comes down to controlling your mind,” Fickell said. “If you let your mind wander and worry about other things, you can become complacent.”
Indiana scored a season-high 38 points last week in a loss against Northwestern and has averaged a little more than 23 points a contest.
Fickell called Indiana a dangerous opponent because of their never-say-die mentality and aggressive style of play.
“They are a young group that really just has nowhere but up to go,” Fickell said. “You didn’t see those guys hanging their heads (during their loss last week), they just continue to fight and battle.”
With Indiana averaging more than 36 points allowed this season and 51 points allowed in the past four weeks, Herron said he thought OSU’s offense could score big against Indiana too.
“It’s definitely possible,” he said. “Whatever we can do to put points on the board.”
Indiana coach Kevin Wilson said he’s very aware of the improving OSU offense and freshman quarterback Braxton Miller.
“Ohio State is coming in with a definite commitment to run the ball with a young quarterback and probably the most athletic quarterback we’ve seen,” Wilson said during a Tuesday press conference. “He is as good of a guy that can make some plays.”
Fickell said the team will enjoy another home game as well.
“You can feed off the crowd,” he said. “Hopefully, we can have an atmosphere that’s somewhat close to what it was Saturday. You can’t imagine how much that helps.”
Fickell then looked around the room at the media and smiled.
“I’ll work on the team and you work on the crowd,” he said.