- Austin Ward, ESPN Staff Writer
COLUMBUS, Ohio -- A few collective breakdowns hadn't cost the Ohio State much individually on defense throughout the first half of the season in the power rankings.
To start the second half, the Buckeyes on that side of the ball all took a hit -- aside from the newest member of that unit.
The unexpectedly close 52-49 win over Indiana didn't seem to produce much of a celebration from the unbeaten Buckeyes after it was over, with another mountain of yardage allowed and way too many points on the scoreboard for their liking. The Hoosiers gave Ohio State problems by airing it out in the spread offense, an issue that has certainly popped up more than once this season even if it hasn't done any damage in the standings yet.
Of course, it doesn't hurt to have a run-heavy version of the spread to counter a team with, particularly when the Buckeyes are asserting themselves on the ground the way they have been for the last couple weeks. Those efforts are starting to be reflected more in the weekly rundown of the most important contributors on the roster -- which, of course, still has a clear leader at the top.
No. 1: QB Braxton Miller
Last week: No. 1
Against Indiana: The Hoosiers had a solid plan to try to contain the sophomore as a rusher on the perimeter, but that didn't stop him from scooting up the middle for 67 yards for a touchdown and it didn't allow for much help in the passing game when Miller eyed Devin Smith for a 60-yard strike through the air. In all, Miller accounted for three more touchdowns and 360 yards of offense in another impressive outing.