Buckeyes (0-0) vs. Hoosiers (0-0) Match-Up Preview | 9/2 3:30 PM EST

September 2, 2023

Andy Billman

Gameday Preview Ohio State Buckeyes vs. Indiana Hoosiers

3 Things Preview For Today’s Game:

1 – McCord Era Begins

After a long quarterback battle this summer, Kyle McCord has emerged as the starter, with Devin Brown appearing at some point during the game. McCord has attempted 58 passes, completing 41 for 601 yards and 3 TDs.  Brown has never made a throw in a college game.

2 – Heisman Hopeful

The Heisman candidate Marvin Harrison Jr. starts his campaign today in Bloomington.  Last season, Harrison had 1263 receiving yards and 14 TDs. 

His teammate and highly coveted 2024 NFL Draft prospect, Emeka Egbuka, is also looking to make a possible push to NYC.  Egbuka had 1151 yards and 11 TDs in 2022.

3 – Welcome Back

There is a lot of excitement this summer about the return of TreVeyon Henderson, as he was only able to play in eight games in 2022, battling a foot injury.  His last appearance was against Maryland, with 11 carries for 19 yards and one catch for a 31-yard TD.


The Buckeyes also play defense, and they have an experienced and talented defensive line led by DE J.T. Tuimoloau, and the linebackers are improved with LB Tommy Eichenberg leading the way.

There are a lot of questions in the secondary, but from reports, it sounds like the defense will be improved from last season.

Ohio State has far too much talent to be worried about an Indiana victory.  It will take mistakes from the Buckeyes to keep this game close.

Ohio State Buckeyes Notes

The Ohio State Buckeyes came tantalizingly close to securing a spot in last year’s National Championship game. They found themselves just one point away from victory against Georgia, which would have propelled them toward another shot at the national title. Unfortunately, the playoff loss to Georgia also marked the first instance during head coach Ryan Day’s four-year tenure where the Buckeyes suffered consecutive defeats. Now, Day is focused on reclaiming the Big Ten title and navigating his team to the playoffs once more, albeit with a new quarterback at the helm.

As the season approaches, the heir apparent to former quarterback CJ Stroud seemed to be Junior Kyle McCord. However, Day has remained non-committal regarding his starting quarterback for the upcoming Saturday’s game. Freshman Devin Brown has impressed during camp and has made significant strides in the competition for the starting role. Day has openly acknowledged that both quarterbacks will see action on Saturday. Regardless of who starts, both quarterbacks will have an abundance of skilled players to collaborate with, including standout Junior WR Marvin Harrison Jr. Harrison Jr. is part of a receiving corps that boasts three returning starters from the previous season. TreVeyon Henderson is back in the running back position, and two starting offensive linemen from last year’s team return as well. Last season, the Buckeyes ranked 27th in rushing offense and 12th in passing offense, and with this wealth of returning talent, achieving similar numbers this season is entirely feasible.

While the Buckeyes’ offense appears deep and talented, there are concerns surrounding the team’s defense. Their defense allowed an average of nearly 44 points in their two losses, which occurred against Michigan and Georgia in the playoffs. Ohio State returns five starters from the previous year, notably linebackers Tommy Eichenberg and Steele Chambers. In the cornerback position, only one player from last year’s group remains, but they have bolstered the secondary with additions from the transfer portal. In the 2022 season, the Buckeyes ranked 12th in total defense, 23rd against the run, and 26th against the pass.

Ohio State Buckeyes Stats and Insights

Ohio State Buckeyes Players to Watch (2022 Stats)

  • Last year TreVeyon Henderson ran for 571 yards on 107 carries (71.4 yards per game), with six rushing touchdowns.
  • Last season Marvin Harrison Jr. hauled in 77 passes for 1,263 yards (97.2 per game) with 14 touchdowns.
  • Emeka Egbuka tacked on 1,151 receiving yards on 74 grabs and 10 touchdowns. He was targeted zero times and put up 88.5 yards per game.
  • Julian Fleming caught 34 passes on zero targets for 533 yards and six touchdowns, averaging 48.5 yards per game.
  • Michael Hall Jr. boasted an impressive stat line of four sacks, seven TFL, and 19 tackles last year.
  • Tommy Eichenberg totaled 115 tackles, 11 TFL, two sacks, and one interception over the course of his last campaign.
  • Last season, Tanner McCalister hauled in three interceptions and added 25 tackles and three passes defended.

Indiana Hoosier Notes

Head Coach Tom Allen, much like Coach Day at Ohio State, has refrained from officially revealing his starting quarterback for the upcoming showdown against Ohio State. The Hoosiers are poised to showcase a freshman quarterback at the helm, regardless of his final decision. Throughout the summer, Tayven Jackson and Brendan Sorsby have fiercely competed for this pivotal role, leaving the possibility open for both to make appearances on the field come Saturday. Indiana brings back four offensive starters from last season’s 4-8 team, featuring a pair of returning offensive linemen, three wide receivers, and the dependable running back, Josh Henderson, to spearhead their offensive efforts. The linchpin of their performance, however, hinges on the offensive line, given that the Hoosiers finished last season with a less-than-impressive 112th national ranking for their offense, ranking 121st in rushing and 81st in passing.

On the defensive front, the Hoosiers have retained only two starters from last year’s roster. The most prominent returning figure is linebacker Aaron Casey, who led the team in tackles during the previous season. However, it’s expected that Casey will be surrounded by a considerable number of transfers in 2023. In the 2022 season, Indiana’s defensive unit struggled, ranking a lowly 121st in total defense, with a ranking of 98th against the run and a dismal 123rd against the pass. This performance marked a significant departure from the defense that propelled the Hoosiers to consecutive bowl games in 2019 and 2020.

Hoosier Stats and Insights

Indiana Hoosier Players to Watch (2022 Stats)

  • Last season Connor Bazelak put up 2,312 passing yards (231.2 per game) while going 234-for-425 (55.1%) and throwing for 13 touchdowns with 10 interceptions.
  • Shaun Shivers took 143 attempts for 592 rushing yards a season ago (49.3 per game) and scored six touchdowns.
  • Josh Henderson totaled 398 rushing yards on 90 carries (33.2 yards per game), with four touchdowns on the ground. He also caught 24 passes for 274 yards and four TDs.
  • Last year Cam Camper reeled in 46 passes for 569 yards (81.3 per game) and two touchdowns.
  • Emery Simmons also tacked on 408 yards on 37 grabs and one touchdown. He was targeted zero times and averaged 37.1 receiving yards last year.
  • Alfred Bryant put together an impressive stat line of four sacks, six TFL, and 49 tackles.
  • Over the course of his 2022 campaign, Aaron Casey totaled 89 tackles, six TFL, and one sack.
  • Last season Tiawan Mullen hauled in two interceptions and added 51 tackles, one TFL, and eight passes defended.

Recent Head-to-Head Matchups

In the last three matchups between these two squads, Ohio State holds a 3-0 advantage over Indiana. In those games against the Hoosiers, the Buckeyes have a 2-1 record against the spread with those games eclipsing the total each time. Ohio State outscored Indiana 152-56 in those three head-to-head matchups.

Our Pick: Prediction – Ohio State will win, but Indiana will cover the 31 points.  Final score 31-7.

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