Game Preview: Ohio State vs Indiana

Game week. The long offseason is over, and it is finally time to start shaking off the bad memories of the Peach Bowl loss to Georgia as the New Years Ball dropped. New Year, New Buckeyes. Lets get juiced.

After eight months of preparation that culminated with 25 preseason practices over the month, the Buckeyes are hungry to play football against someone other than themselves and begin showing the world what they are capable of this season.
Itโ€™s a season opener that carries more weight than some years, as the Buckeyes will begin the season by playing a Big Ten opponent on the road, but theyโ€™d be excited for Saturday no matter who they were playing.

Know the Opponent:

Head Coach: Tom Allen (8th season)
2022 Record: 4-8
Location: Bloomington, IN
Conference: Big Ten

Ohio State Preview

The Buckeyes have a quarterback battle ongoing still, and Kyle McCord will get the start against Indiana, replacing two-time Heisman Finalist CJ Stroud, who was selected second overall to the Houston Texans. Devin Brown will get to play too according to Ryan Day, and it will be interesting to see how he will approach how plays when and for how long. Another wrinkle will be Ryan Day taking a step back as play caller for the first time as Brian Hartline was promoted to offensive coordinator after Kevin Wilson left to be the head coach at Tulsa.ย 

At running back though, they have too much talent, and might be the most relied upon group while the quarterback battle is being sorted. The running back room had so many injury issues with their veteran group, but they had a healthy offeseason, and we should see a return of Evan Pryor. TreVeyon Henderson leads the group, and based on reports from fall camp, he is poised for a break out year like JK Dobbins junior year. He might not break the 2000 yard mark, but if he gets close to his freshman year production, the offense will be in a really good spot. We should see a nice rotation of Henderson, Miyan Williams, Pryor, Chip Traynum, and breakout star last year Dallan Hayden.ย 

The best position group in the country is the wide receivers, and I feel sorry for the Hoosier defensive backs trying to keep them contained. Marvin Harrison Jr is arguably not just the best wide receiver in the country, but the best player in the country.ย  Emeka Egbuka should get some good looks and is ine of the best receivers in his own right, and would be WR1 on most teams. The Buckeyes will have a nice arsenal of Julian Fleming, Jayden Ballard, and new additions of Carnell Tate and Noah Rodgers who have been with the team since winter workouts. We might not see Brandon Innis until later this year, but we hope to see the depth of the room play this year.ย 

The biggest question mark outside of the quartebacks and offensive line is how the second year of Jim Knowles’ defense will looks. The defense had a lot of transfers this offseason and should have the depth they need at defensive line and secondary. Sonny Styles has established a whole new role for the scheme and we should see him play a lot this year.ย 

Indiana Preview

The Hoosiers return only eight starters from last season, which is the fourth-fewest among FBS schools, and their roster for the 2023 season includes 48 new players, 32 of whom were added via the transfer portal.
The changes on the defensive side of the ball are particularly stark, where the Hoosiers lost nine of their top 10 tacklers from last season. There are a few more familiar faces on the offensive side of the ball, including 2022 leading receiver Cam Camper and running backs Josh Henderson and Jaylin Lucas. The Hoosiers will also be having a quarterback battle of their own between Tennessee transfer Tayven Jackson and redshirt freshman Brendan Sorsby.
The bigger-picture question for the Hoosiers is whether their transfer additions will make them more competitive after back-to-back losing seasons in which they won just six combined games. While Indiana was one of the feel-good stories of the 2020 season when it went 6-2 and Tom Allen was named the AFCA Coach of the Year, that momentum has been drained out of the program over the past two years, putting Allen on the hot seat entering 2023.
Opening against Ohio State wonโ€™t make it easy for Indiana to start the year with a win. But Allen says he and his players are embracing the challenge of going up against the nationโ€™s third-ranked team.
โ€œThere’s nothing like being tested by the best. Those that are elite competitors, they thrive in that. They want that,โ€ Allen said this week. โ€œEven though it isn’t the easiest way to start something out, I think it also can be the best way for you to become who I believe you can become.โ€

Buckeye Spotlight

Kyle McCord and Devin Brown. As annoyed as the fanbase might be with the ongoing quarterback battle, the need to pick one is a must for this Buckeye team as they have National Championship aspirations, and a divided quarterback room could lead to a divided team. Each player will be scrutinized about how well they play with their time in for however Day decides to split their action.ย 

Hoosier Spotlight

Aaron Casey. The leader at linebacker will be a key for the Hoosiers in trying to slow down a potentially explosive Buckeye offense, and his experience could help the Indiana defense get some stops.

Water Cooler Stat of the Game

27. Ohio State is on a 27 game win streak against the Hoosiers, and have an overall record of 79-12-5 in the series. There is a good chance the Bloomington is going to have a majority of Buckeye fans cheering on for the visiting team.ย 


he Buckeyes will roll out a two quarterback system to start the season, which brings back memories (some good, and some painful) of the 2004, 2008, 2011, and 2015 season where the Buckeyes last had true quarterback battles. This time however, and the fact that makes this process a little easier to swallow is the ridiculous talent around the signal caller. Kyle McCord will get his first start, but Devin Brown should play some snaps as well. How that will look will be determined, but it makes me feel like the offense will be a little more conservative on their offensive approach. What should be exciting is how Jim Knowles’ second year defense should look, and based on reports from practice, players like Jack Sawyer, Sonny Styles and JTT would have an explosive first game as they are playing in their positions of strength. Indiana had a lot of turnover this offseason, and will look different than they have the last two years. What can be expected is for Tom Allen, who might be coaching for his job this season, to not be afraid to blitz and confuse a Buckeye offensive line who replaced 3 starts from last year. I feel like this one isn’t close, and each quarterback will have something to prove as they are jockeying for the final starter, especially with Notre Dame 3 weeks away.

Ohio State 45 – Indiana 10

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