#2 Ohio State vs. Indiana
Thursday, August 31st, 2017, 8 p.m. ET
Memorial Stadium (52,929), Bloomington, Ind.
Dave Flemming (Play-By-Play)
Kirk Herbstreit (Analyst)
Laura Rutledge (Sideline)
The game will feature the traditional telecast on ESPN and six alternate MegaCast offerings for fans on ESPNU, ESPNEWS and ESPN3. All previous versions of ESPN’s MegaCast have been reserved for the College Football Playoff Semifinals and National Championship games.
Radio: WBNS (97.1 The Fan). The Urban Meyer pregame show airs 30 minutes prior to kickoff. Paul Keels will call the action with former Buckeye Jim Lachey and Matt Andrews on the sidelines.
COLUMBUS, Ohio – It’s go time! The 128th season of Ohio State football kicks off with a rarity: a primetime game on a Thursday night, away from home, against a conference opponent. The Buckeyes lift the curtain on 2017 against Indiana at IU’s Memorial Stadium. The game can also be seen live on ESPN with Dave Flemming and Kirk Herbstreit on the call and Laura Rutledge on the sidelines.
Ohio State’s roster has 48 lettermen on it and includes 16 seniors and 24 juniors. The Buckeyes also have seven fifth-year seniors, five of whom are captains. This is in stark contrast to a year ago when Ohio State had the youngest team in FBS with just six returning starters on both sides of the ball (the Buckeyes have 15 returning starters this year).
Head coach Urban Meyer begins his sixth year on the sidelines for Ohio State with a 61-6 overall record (.910), 39-2 mark in the Big Ten (.951) and a 5-0 ledger against Indiana. In their five wins over the Hoosiers, Meyer’s teams are averaging 41.6 points per game. IU, under former coach Kevin Wilson, averaged 24.5 points per game vs. Ohio State during that time, the second highest points per game average among Big Ten schools against Meyer’s Buckeyes.
FIRST AND 10
- Urban Meyer is unbeaten in season openers (15-0) with an average margin of victory of 31.1 points.
- Ohio State is beginning the season against a conference opponent on the road for the first time since 1975 (a 21-0 win at No. 11 Michigan State).
- Senior QB J.T. Barrett is six touchdowns shy of Drew Brees’ Big Ten record of 106 TDs responsible for.
- The Buckeyes are averaging 39.6 points per game in their last three trips to IU’s Memorial Stadium.
Setting the Stage: Buckeyes vs. Hoosiers
- There are four Hoosiers on the Buckeyes’ roster:
- WR Austin Mack - Fort Wayne and Bishop Luers H.S.
- WR Terry McLaurin - Indianapolis and Cathedral H.S.
- LB Pete Werner - Indianapolis and Cathedral H.S.
- WR Trevon Grimes lived in Indianapolis through the fifth grade before his family moved to Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
- Ohio State leads the all-time series with Indiana, 72-12-5, and has won 21 consecutive games dating to a 27-all tie in 1990.
- The Buckeyes are 26-2-1 against the Hoosiers in Bloomington, with the last loss - and the last loss to IU - coming in 1988, 41-7.
- Head coach Urban Meyer is 57-5 in his career in games played in August/September.
- Meyer enters the 2017 season with the highest winning percentage among active FBS coaches with at least 10 years of head coaching experience (.850).
- The Buckeyes have won 36 of their last 38 season openers.
- Ohio State is beginning the season on a Thursday night for just the third time in school history. The other two games were played at Ohio Stadium: vs. Wyoming in 1997 and vs. Marshall in 2010.
- The Buckeyes are opening their season with a true road game for the second time in the last three years, following a 42-24 win at Virginia Tech on Labor Day in 2015. Prior to the game at VT, Ohio State hadn’t opened with a true road game since 1998 (a 34-17 win at West Virginia).
- Ohio State has won 22 of its last 23 road games.
- The Buckeyes are No. 2 in the Associated Press preseason poll, marking 39 consecutive weeks that Ohio State has been ranked in the AP Top 10.
- Ohio State is 12-0 all-time against conference opponents in season openers. The last one was in 1976 (a 49-21 win vs. Michigan State).
Under new head coach Tom Allen, Indiana returns 18 total starters, seven on offense and nine of defense. The offense will be led by QB Richard Lagow, who threw for nearly 3,500 yards and 19 TDs last year, along with WR Nick Westbrook (54 receptions, 995 yards, six TD in ’16). The Hoosiers did lose their top rusher – Devine Redding – who piled up nearly 1,200 yards on the ground while also catching 27 passes for 146 yards and two TD.
Defensively, linebacker Tegray Scales leads the way in the middle. He totaled 126 tackles, 23.5 TFL and seven sacks on his way to earning All-Big Ten honors by both the coaches and media. He was the Defensive Most Valuable Player of the 2016 Foster Farms Bowl. Indiana’s defense will be an experienced unit, as eight of their nine top tacklers from 2016 return.
NINE WILL CAPTAIN OHIO STATE IN 2017
Ohio State will be led by a record number of captains in 2017 with nine players selected to lead the Scarlet and Gray on and off the gridiron. The corps of leaders features five on defense, including four defensive linemen, and four on offense, led by the first three-time captain in program history, J.T. Barrett.
Wilson comes to the Buckeyes after six seasons as Indiana’s head coach and led them to consecutive bowl games in 2015 and 2016 for the first time since the 1990 and 1991 seasons.
Day comes to Ohio State with 15 seasons of coaching experience, including two years as quarterbacks coach in the NFL (San Francisco 49ers and Philadelphia Eagles) and 10 seasons as a Division I assistant coach.
OHIO STATE AT NIGHT
Ohio State is officially 53-25 in night games (those starting after 5 p.m. local time), including records of 38-21 in road (26-11) or neutral field (12-10) night games. In 2014, Ohio State played in a school record eight night games.
MEYER IN FIRST-TIME COACHING MATCHUPS
The game Thursday will mark the first coaching matchup between teams coached by Urban Meyer and Tom Allen, who is in his fi rst full season at Indiana. So far, Meyer is 93-15 in first time coaching matchups.