Oof. That one hurt. A 51-10 demolition at the hands of the Ohio State Buckeyes is one of the biggest losses the Hoosiers have taken in recent memory. The Buckeyes dominated from the opening kick and kept backup quarterback Peyton Ramsey a step behind the defense all day while JK Dobbins ran all over a Hoosiers’ defense that looked overmatched and underprepared. However, all hope is not lost on this season. The Hoosiers are still well on their way to winning six games and making a bowl in spite of the loss Saturday.
It is important for the loss to Ohio State to be a learning opportunity for the Hoosiers. Losing any big game on a beautiful Saturday afternoon by that sort of margin is difficult to watch as a fan and even worse to experience as a player. Many Hoosier fans were hoping for a program changing win against Ohio State this weekend, but not all dreams can come true. It will be important for the Hoosiers to regain the form they showed in wins against Ball State and Eastern Illinois. The hopeful return of starting quarterback Michael Penix should bring back the spark the offense seemed to be missing this weekend and with UCONN coming to town this week, the Hoosiers will have an opportunity to rebound with a win over a struggling program.
On the other hand, the loss to the Buckeyes could begin to derail the season for the Hoosiers. Losing by 41 points can mentally drain a team and wreck their confidence. The attitude in practice this week is essential to keeping the season fully on track. Tom Allen has to make sure his players are focused and ready for not only this weekend’s matchup but the rest of the season.
How will the team rebound from the loss this weekend? Will the team lose focus and become discouraged? Or, will Tom Allen rally his team and refocus the squad on the ultimate goal of finally winning a bowl game? Don’t worry though, Hoosiers fans. There’s no reason to panic and no reason to feel like this team isn’t better than it was last year. Six or more wins are certainly still on the table.