We’re less than 100 hours away from the beginning of the 2017 Ohio State Buckeyes Regular Season. Here are five things you should know before their matchup with the Hoosiers in Bloomington, Indiana on Thursday night:
1. Kevin Wilson finally gets to show America how he utilizes J.T. Barrett. Against his former team.
Kevin Wilson’s no longer the head coach of the Indiana Hoosiers, but it’s not due to wins and losses or lack of production on the offensive side of the football the past couple seasons.
In 2015 Wilson’s Hoosiers had the top-scoring offense in the Big Ten Conference. His quarterback (Nate Sudfeld) led the conference in passing yardage, touchdowns and rating while only throwing seven interceptions.
Last year, Wilson worked with Richard Lagow, who turned out to to have a productive junior season. Lagow passed for 258 yards per game (second in the Big Ten) while averaging 7.7 yards per attempt (tied for 2nd in the Big Ten).
Now Wilson gets to work with J.T. Barrett & Co and look to do some damage against his former squad in the process.
2. Austin Mack might just be the guy everybody’s talking about on offense after week one.
Sophomore Austin Mack will be starting for the Ohio State Buckeyes in their season opener at wide receiver.
A year ago I was mesmerized after watching a highlight reel from Mack’s high-school days and saw some huge upside due to his footwork, hands and pure athleticism.
After a year of learning the offense and getting a little experience on the field, it looks like the Bucks are taking off the training wheels and ready to unleash the second-year wideout in 2017.
3. In case you forgot, J.T. Barrett threw for less than 100 yards the last time these two teams met.
J.T. Barrett completed only 9 of 21 passing attempts for 93 yards against the University of Indiana in Columbus, Ohio last October.
However, Barrett did rush for over 100 yards in the same game and the Buckeyes won by a final score of 38-17.
There’s no doubt that Barrett would like to not only leave Memorial Stadium with a victory, but some confidence as well with Ohio State hosting the Oklahoma Sooners the following week.
4. The Ohio State defense will likely steal the show on Thursday night.
Add a defensive line with “best ever” hype, a secondary that’s ready to prove itself once again, some returning linebackers and a debut on national television in primetime.
What you have is a Buckeyes defense that’s going to be on full display for the first time and we can’t wait to see what’s up their sleeve for 2017.
Indiana quarterback Robert Lagow will have the performance of his lifetime if the Hoosiers hope to keep this one close.
5. The previous matchup between Ohio State and Indiana at Memorial Stadium was a barnburner.
The Buckeye defense held up and sealed the victory, but it was a drama-filled game till the final seconds.
Can the Hoosiers hang with the Scarlet and Gray once again? We’ll just have to wait until Thursday evening to find out…