2023 Ohio State University
Finally, the start of the 2023 College Football season has finally arrived and the Buckeyes will play in their first game of the season this coming Saturday. Their first matchup of the year will see them taking on a familiar opponent in the Indiana Hoosiers who finished last season in last place of the Big Ten East. This weekends game will take place in Bloomington, Indiana at 3:30 p.m. ET on CBS. Ohio State is currently favored by -30 points and the over/under is set at 59 total points. The Buckeyes have won 27 consecutive games against the Hoosiers and have not lost since 1988. Ohio State won last years matchup in Columbus 56-14.
Ryan Day announced earlier this week that Kyle McCord will be QB1 against Indiana this weekend, but that we will see Devin Brown later in the game. With the news that McCord is officially the starter we can begin to see how the Buckeyes will attack the Hoosiers early in this game. McCord is a talented quarterback and has had years to sit and learn the system in which Ohio State operates. He also has one dominant start under his belt when he defeated Akron in 2021. With the experience that he brings to the table Ohio State will look to get this offense into high gear quickly as opposed to having to ease in a new quarterback. As a result of the experience they won't need to be a run-heavy offense. Expect Brian Hartline and Ryan Day to get the ball outside to their highly talented wide receivers on a lot of short passes to compensate for the new pieces on the offensive line.
On defense the Buckeyes are going to be hunting the Hoosiers new quarterback who will be making their first start in Indiana. While the starter has been named, he has not been named publicly. However, we do know that it will either be Redshirt-Freshman Brendan Sorsby or Redshirt-Freshman Tayven Jackson. Indiana likely won't have much production early in this game if Jim Knowles is correct in his statements that the Buckeyes defense have improved tremendously since last season. With all of the early question marks in this game for both teams fans should expect a slow start to the scoring. After the first quarter, we should see the Buckeyes holding on to a 10-3 lead.
Going into the second quarter is where the game really starts to get interesting. If Ohio State is as good as we have been made to believe this season then their talent should really start to shine bright on the road after the first fifteen minutes. With McCord having gone through multiple series on offense and this offensive line having time to settle in and make some early adjustments the Buckeyes will be able to run a balanced offense. With the rebuilding going on with Indiana's roster this season they likely won't be able to keep the Buckeyes close and Ohio State will take a commanding 38-0 lead into the half.
Coming out of the second half with a hefty lead Kyle McCord likely only leads a few drives in the second half before fans get to see Devin Brown hit the field with most of the starters to finish out the third quarter. Ryan Day has shown a very passive approach when it comes to backup quarterbacks in past years, but with the QB battle being as intense as it was Brown should have multiple chances to show out once in the game. After the QB change the Buckeyes offense likely slows down and they will lead going into the final quarter of play 52-10, with each Ohio State QB leading a touchdown drive.
The fourth quarter is where the Buckeyes hit the breaks offensively and give the game to the running rest of the bench and the running game. I still see them finding the endzone in this final quarter a couple times with the insane depth that Ohio State has at running back. With starters out of the game many viewers will likely have changed the channels and moved on with their Saturday plans. But, the players we will see late in this game may become very important later in the season or perhaps into next year as the team looks to replace a bunch of players that will move on to the NFL.
Score Prediction: Ohio State wins 66-10
This seems like a massive scoreline for the Buckeyes going into their first game with Kyle McCord and perhaps this is me buying into the offseason hype this team has generated at nearly every position. This 2023 team may be the most complete team Ohio State has had under Ryan Day now that his recruits have fully worked their way into the system. If this team lives up to the hype that was created this offseason than this scoreline makes perfect sense. But, if McCord shows struggles early in the game Indiana could make things interesting.
Ohio State enters the first week of play as 30 point favorites to win this game. I do believe this is one of the easiest spreads to bet on in this opening week of games. Ohio State has won by 40 points or more in three of the last four meetings and Indiana is dealing with a new quarterback as well. This game being in Bloomington does make taking that spread a little more difficult since Indiana does tend to play better at home. The last four games in Bloomington have resulted in an average margin of victory of 28.25 points. Very close to the spread that was set going into this weeks matchup. I also see no reason not to take the over in this game which was set at 59 total points. Each of the last six matchups between these teams have featured final scores of over 60 points.
How to Watch and Listen:
TV: 3:30 p.m. ET, CBS
- Brad Nessler (play-by-play), Gary Danielson (analysis), Jenny Dell (sideline)
Radio: 97.1 (The Fan) FM/1460 AM
- Paul Keels (play-by-play), Jim Lachey (analysis), Matt Andrews (sideline)