Indiana entered the season with hopes of improving on last season’s 8-5 finish and has exceeded them so far.
The ninth-ranked Hoosiers are 4-0 in the Big Ten for the first time since 1988 and seeking their first 5-0 start in the league since 1967.
“We came up with goals and one of the major things the guys wanted was win our trophy games,” fourth-year head coach Tom Allen said after the Hoosiers beat Michigan State 24-0 to win the Old Brass Spitoon. "And so that is what we did, we won our first trophy game.
“We have not beaten them since I have been the head coach here, and you know the history. We have not beaten them very often recently. First time winning here in East Lansing in 19 years, so continuing a whole long list of things they gave me of firsts, or tied this, or tied that, or firsts time since this, you know just continuing to make history here and it is a big win.”
Here are five more things to know about the 2020 Hoosiers and the school’s series with Ohio State:
1. Indiana is ranked in the top 10 for the first time since early 1969.
After beating Kentucky to start the ’69 campaign, the Hoosiers were ranked No. 10 the week of Sept. 22. They lost to California and Colorado the following two weeks and dropped out of the rankings.
This time they responded to entering the top 10 by soundly beating Michigan State and moved up to No. 9 in the Associated Press poll.
The last time Indiana was ranked in the top 10 in back to back weeks was the first two weeks of November in 1967. That is also the last time the Hoosiers won a share of the Big Ten title and went to the Rose Bowl.
2. Allen’s team has done good things on both sides of the ball this season.
The Hoosiers are third in the Big Ten in scoring (33.8 points per game) and fourth in points allowed (19.3).
They have been pedestrian offensively (ninth in total offense at 362.8 yards per game) but strong defensively (fourth in total defense at 320.8 yards per game).
Indiana has not run the ball well (12th in the Big Ten) but stopped the run (third) and excelled on both sides of the ball as far as the passing game is concerned.
While Michael Penix Jr. is fourth in the Big Ten in passing efficiency and third in yards per game, the defense is fourth in passing yards allowed per game and opposing passer efficiency.
Penix has a pair of receivers in the top 11 in the conference: Ty Fryfogle has 24 catches for 424 yards and Whop Philyor has 24 catches for 287 yards.
3. Indiana is the Big Ten’s least successful long-time member.
The Hoosiers shared their last conference title with Minnesota and Purdue in 1967. Every other long-time league member (so excluding Nebraska, Maryland and Rutgers) has won at least a share of one title since then except for the Hoosiers and Golden Gophers.
Indiana’s only other Big Ten championship came in 1945, and every other program to join the Big Ten in the 19th or 20th Century has at least four titles. That includes Penn State (four), who joined the league in 1993, and the University of Chicago (seven), who last appeared in the league standings in 1939.
The Hoosiers' .305 winning percentage in conference games is lowest among all teams to have played in the league excluding Maryland and Rutgers, and Indiana has the fewest bowl appearances (12) and wins (three).
Last year was the first time Indiana won more than seven games since an 8-4 mark under former Ohio State assistant Bill Mallory in 1993.
The Hoosiers have had six winning seasons since 1989.
4. Ohio State has more wins against Indiana than any other school.
Although the Hoosiers dominated the early years of the series, Ohio State leads 76-12-5 including a 38-10 win in 2010 that was vacated due to NCAA infractions. (Illinois is second at 69).
Indiana won five of the first six games against the Buckeyes, and the other was a tie in 1902.
The Buckeyes finally got their first win in the series in 1914, and Indiana has only seven wins against Ohio State in the 105 years since.
Ohio State has won 25 in a row against Indiana since tying the Hoosiers 27-27 in 1990. The Buckeyes last lost to Indiana in 1988, the second of consecutive setbacks against the Hoosiers that ended a 30-0-1 streak for Ohio State that had begun in 1952.
5. There are a few connections between the programs.
Redshirt freshman offensive lineman Luke Lane of Lebanon is one of four Hoosiers from Ohio. He is joined by freshman tight end Sam Daugstrup and sophomore long snapper Sean Wracher of Cleveland St. Ignatius and freshman tight end AJ Barner of Aurora.
Ohio State has two players from Indiana, and they are both offensive linemen — sophomore Dawand Jones of Indianapolis Ben Davis and freshman Josh Fryar of Beech Grove.
Ohio State offensive coordinator Kevin Wilson was head coach of the Hoosiers from 2011-15.
Indiana at Ohio State, Noon, 1410