Hoosiers ready for 'biggest home opener' in school history vs. Buckeyes

Loaded Buckeyes expect return to playoff

Ohio State kicks off their season on August 31 against the Indiana Hoosiers.

Bottom line: Does he expect Wilson to run Urban Meyer's Ohio State offense or Wilson's IN offense when the two teams tangle Thursday night? The Buckeyes and Tide will play for the national championship at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta on January 8, and Meyer will earn his fourth national title with a 24-20 victory. The Hoosiers run a 4-2-5 scheme on defense, an unusual set up with an extra player in the secondary that Ohio State will have to game plan for. Granted, the 2012 team would have won the Big Ten had it been eligible, but losing to Michigan State in 2013 and not making it in 2015 and 2016 are the two black eyes on the stellar five years of coach Meyer's tenure.

College football point spread: The Buckeyes opened as 20-point favorites, according to sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.

If Indiana has a chance, it's because this is the first game - and anything can happen.

The game will mark the return of Kevin Wilson to Bloomington.

With likely Heisman candidate J.T. Barrett back to lead the Buckeye offense, Tom Allen says that his Hoosiers will have to rely on their experience on defense in spite of uncertainty along his defensive line. "You couldn't script it any better than that for an opportunity for us to step up and do something special". Former IU head coach Lee Corso is one of the show's personalities and will be honored during the game, as well. The offense returns seven starters.

Meyer sidestepped a question about whether Ohio State has found a No. 1, go-to receiver by praising the depth of the receiver group.

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IN is playing its first game under a new head coach, with new coordinators on both sides of the ball. The Buckeyes have four players from Indiana. "That thought was exactly what I was thinking and (about) what I had to do as the head coach to make sure we head in that direction", he said. No matter how good Ohio State may have it with facilities and training, the Browns will still have the edge overall.

"Every year, when you get somebody on the staff that's new, and even if they're not, you're still trying to figure out, OK, this is what he did last year, what are they going to do different?" I heard it from Coach Mick (strength and conditioning coordinator Mickey Marotti). Six starters are back on offense, led by senior QB Richard Lagow (3,362 passing yards last year) and three along the offensive line. He threw 19 touchdown passes and 17 interceptions last season, ranking second in the Big Ten in passing yards per game (258.6).

IN has an experienced team.

J.T. Barrett being J.T. Barrett - J.T. Barrett has had a productive, if up and down college career since taking over at quarterback from Braxton Miller in 2014.

Luckily for Allen and the Hoosiers, most of last season's starters are returning, so the new head coach will have established players to work with.

"I feel very comfortable with the progress", Meyer said. "I don't think we have a great team yet, but I like where we're at", he said last week. Austin Mack or Benjimen Victor could be the starter at one wide receiver position and Johnnie Dixon and Terry McLaurin are both listed as starters at the other wideout. "And it doesn't surprise me at all that they were in contention here".

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