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With the Big 10 schedule set to begin in a couple of weeks, the top two teams in the conference, Indiana and Ohio State, kicked off the 2016 fall season with impressive wins. The Hoosiers blanked IUPUI, 87-0, and Ohio State blasted Cincinnati, 59-5. A total of 24 tries were scored in the two games and served as a good starter for the season. Both squads will now examine the game film and prepare for the upcoming Big 10 Conference matchups.
In the 87-0 blowout, almost the entire lineup scored for Indiana in the win over IUPUI. Playing at Evan Williams Field in Bloomington, Ind., the Hoosiers racked up a 35-0 lead at halftime and scored another 52 points in the second half.
Bryce Campbell (2), Dacoda Allan (2), Reese Oberlin, Jacob Garwood, Jake Hidalgo, Alex Dorrier, Lucas Akers, Teddy Terezis, Noah Shraeder, Tyler Graham, and Casey Smith scored tries for Indiana. Additionally, the top conference point scorer, Terezis, was 10 for 13 on conversions.
A challenging schedule awaits the defending conference champions and Indiana will look to further improve before its first Big 10 match against Michigan State on September 17th. Captain Bryce Campbell leads the club from the center position and Dacoda Allan is poised for a breakout year.
In the 59-5 home win over Cincinnati, four players accounted for 11 tries for Ohio State on Friday night. The Buckeyes led 34-0 at halftime and were minutes away from a shutout before Cincinnati scored in the corner late.
JoJo Erceno had a banner day with five tries, including three in the first half, and captain Aaron Thomas completed the game with a hat trick. Flyhalf Jack Walsh added a try in each half and forward Matt Stauder had the honor of scoring the first try of the season. Taylor Huff was busy with his boot, but only connected on two conversions.
When asked how his team played, OSU head coach Tom Rooney said, "It was our first competition. It's a new team with some good strength in the our backs and six out of 8 forwards are new. Our forwards did enough that the backs got the ball in space."
With a date against Purdue on September 24th, Ohio State will test its mettle against the likes of Bowling Green and Pitt in the weeks ahead. 'We did some good things [against Cincinnati], but we did a lot that needs improvement. Our basic pattern isn't there yet. We only have two weeks of practive in so far." As a work in progress, the Buckeyes hope to challenge for the top spot once again this season.