From now until preseason camp starts in August, Land-Grant Holy Land will be writing articles around a different theme every week. This week is all about checking in on Ohio State’s opponents. You can catch up on all of the Theme Week content here and all of our ”Behind Enemy Line” articles here.
In less than two months, Ohio State will kick off its season at Indiana. It should be a nice way to ease into the season for the Bucks, as, how do I put this delicately, Indiana is not good. The past two years the Hoosiers have suffered losing seasons, and this year could be their third-straight. Let’s dig into the downfall of this program.
Indiana started the 2022 season on a high note, winning its first three games. No one expected much out of the Hoosiers, so it was a nice surprise. But then, reality kicked in and the rain began to fall on their parade. They went on to lose their next seven-straight games, including a 56-14 heart-crusher against Ohio State.
However, they rose from the ashes after switching quarterbacks for the Michigan State game, and actually won the Brass Spittoon in overtime. Alas, it was a one-game-wonder and they looked like their regular selves for the final game of the year against Purdue, which they lost 30-16, finishing the year 4-8.
After the season, the Hoosiers lost about 20 players to the transfer portal. So what should we expect from them in 2023?
1. ??? at the QB position
The quarterback that I mentioned who played hero against Sparty, Dexter Williams, ended up severely injuring his knee against Purdue. He is a big rushing quarterback, and it resulted in a big injury, as he suffered a dislocated knee along with structural damage. At first, he was told he would be out for an entire year, but he has been running in spring practice. Still, it’s looking like he won’t be able to start the season.
Therefore, the QB race is a tight one between Brendan Sorsby and redshirt freshmen Tennessee transfer Tayven Jackson. Jackson is actually former IU basketball star’s Trayce Jackson-Davis’ younger brother. Two other QBs on the roster transferred, leaving Williams, Jackson, Sorsby and true freshman Broc Lowry — a three-star recruit that was ranked the No. 25 pocket passer in the country by ESPN, and he was the top quarterback in Ohio in the class of 2023.
Jackson and Sorsby played no meaningful time last year, so it’s truly a mystery what either of them will bring. Whoever it is will have little to no collegiate experience, so that is certainly something to keep an eye on.
2. Tough schedule
It’s unfortunate for the Hoosiers they have to open their season against the Buckeyes, but I don’t see Ohio State fans complaining! Between that game, Louisville, Michigan, Penn State and Michigan State, it is not an easy path for Indiana. Some sites predict it will finish with as little as three wins. Yikes.
3. Defense literally CANNOT be any worse than last year
Indiana was the worst team in the Big Ten when it came to total defense and pass defense (among other things). There was a big influx of transfers, so while there may be a large amount of newbie starts on D, it could be a much-needed fresh start. Western Michigan transfer Andre Carter, a sixth-year defensive end, will provide a leadership role while being a big-time playmaker, the spark that Indiana desperately needs.
Overall, what shall we make of their season? It really is a big question mark. It could be a mediocre season or just really terrible. Personally, I think these new players from the portal and a brand-new QB could be the clean slate this team needs, and I think they finish with five wins. Truly, only time will tell, but the Buckeyes’ should have fun beating the Hoosiers on both sides of the ball.