Buckeyes begin Big Ten play against improved Indiana

No. 1 Ohio State begins Big Ten play Saturday at Indiana. The Hoosiers have lost 19 straight games to the Buckeyes, but the Buckeyes won a close game the last time they played in Bloomington, 52-49 in 2012.

“That was one of the few times I’ve ever seen our defense quit playing hard,” said Ohio State coach Urban Meyer on Monday in his weekly press conference. “Mistakes are one thing. That was not a good moment. I remember it very well. That was a game-changer as far as how we approach things. If you don’t play well, you’re not going to play.”

The Hoosiers and Buckeyes are both 4-0. This is the first time they have met with unbeaten records since 1942 when they were both 1-0.

Here are some other highlights from Monday’s press conference.

Champions named: Nine offensive players earned champion grades for their performances Saturday: offensive linemen Pat Elflein, Jacoby Boren, Billy Price and Taylor Decker; H-back Curtis Samuel; wide receivers Michael Thomas and Corey Smith; tight end Marcus Baugh; and running back Ezekiel Elliott.

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Elflein and Samuel were named co-players of the game.

Defensive end Joey Bosa was the only defensive player honored. Smith and punter Cameron Johnson were named special teams players of the week. Jared Drake was named scout team player of the week.

Elliott’s streak: Elliott has rushed for 100 or more yards nine games in a row but hasn’t broken a big run since he rushed for 80 yards in the first game against Virginia Tech.

Meyer is disappointed in the lack of big runs, but said Elliott is playing at a very high level.

“A lot of his big hits last year,” Meyer said, “the perimeter blocking was a little better.”

High praise: Meyer called backup offensive lineman Joel Hale one of his favorite players and said he has a spot on the coaching staff waiting for him if he wants to coach when his playing career ends.

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