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Indiana Football vs Ohio State: Key players, notes and opening spread



A look at the key players, notes and the opening spread for the season opener for Indiana football against Ohio State. (Brooke LaValley-The Columbus Dispatch)

College football is back and the Indiana football program is looking to bounce back from a 6-18 record over the past two seasons. It won’t be easy to start as Indiana welcomes in No. 3 Ohio State to Bloomington on Saturday.

The Buckeyes are coming off of an 11-2 record and College Football Playoff loss to Georgia in the semifinals.

Kick is set for 3:30 pm ET on Saturday on CBS.

Here is a look at some of the key players, notes and the opening spread.

Read: HoosierIllustrated Roundtable: Official game-by-game predictions for Indiana football in 2023

Key Players

QB Devin Brown: Brown is a redshirt freshman who was a former top-50 recruit out of the 2022 recruiting class. As a senior, he threw for 4,881 yards with 57 touchdowns while adding 430 yards on the ground and eight touchdowns. Brown is a 6-foot-3 and 215-pounder who has good athleticism and running ability. He has great arm strength and has the ability to roll out of the pocket and make down the field throws on the run. He’s in the middle of a quarterback battle and will likely split snaps on Saturday.

QB Kyle McCord: McCord is a junior who has playing experience with the Buckeyes previously. Like Brown, he’ll be splitting reps on Saturday. McCord is also 6-foot-3 and 215 pounds and has a similar frame to Brown. Last season, McCord was 16-of-20 for 190 yards and one touchdown. He appeared in seven games. In 2021, McCord made one start, throwing for 318 yards on 13-of-18 passing against Akron. He played in five games that season, throwing for 416 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions. The main difference between the two is running ability and mobility around the pocket. McCord will not look to run and if he does as a last resort, he doesn’t have the speed or athleticism that Brown does.

RB TreVeyon Henderson: Henderson is coming off of an injury-plagued season last year, rushing for just 571 yards in eight games. He did average 5.3 yards per carry and added six touchdowns. In 2021, Henderson was terrific, rushing for 1,248 yards and 15 touchdowns as a freshman. He ranked second nationally with a 6.8 yard per carry average. Henderson is a a versatile runner who uses his terrific combination of strength and agility to get through, and around, defenders. He’s 5-f00t-10 and 215 pounds. He has great footwork and is very elusive in the open field. Henderson can be used in the passing game as well — catching 27 passes for 312 yards two years ago.

RB Miyan Williams: Wiliams spent most of last season as the lead back for the Buckeyes. He had 128 carries for 825 yards and 14 touchdowns. Williams is much more of a power back, at 5-foot-9 and 225 pounds. He is a physical runner who will attack the line of scrimmage with great power. While he has good speed, he’s much more of a between the tackles runner and won’t necessarily burn you in the open field like Henderson. Williams is also not a big factor in the passing game.

WR Marvin Harrison Jr: One of the best players in all of college football is Marvin Harrison Jr, a name well known in the Indiana area. Harrison Jr caught 77 passes for 1,263 yards and 14 touchdowns a season ago. He has all of the tools as a pass catcher and is elite in numerous categories. He has a great frame at 6-foot-4 and 205 pounds, and coupled with great hands and feet, he is your ideal No. 1 wideout. Harrison has the body that makes any quarterback look elite with his ability to win any 50/50 ball. He had seven catches for 135 yards against Indiana football last year. He was Ohio State’s first unanimous All-American receiver in 2022.

WR Emeka Egbuka: Egbuka is your ideal 1B wide receiver and someone that is terrific alongside Harrison Jr. He broke out last season for 74 receptions for 1,154 yards and 10 touchdowns. At 6-foot-1 and 205 pounds, Egbuka still has a good frame and size. Last season he ranked ninth nationally with 46 receptions of 10+ yards. This is your ideal possession receiver as he has terrific hands and body control when slashing across the middle of the field. He’s also extremely difficult to slow down in the open field and a threat to break almost any tackle for a big gain.

DE / LB Jack Sawyer: At 6-foot-4 and 270-pounds, Sawyer is a lethal pass rusher and one of the top in the country. Not only is Sawyer extremely strong, his quickness creates numerous mismatches on every single play. Because of that, he forces double-teams that create open opportunities for his other lineman. In 2022, Sawyer totaled 24 tackles, 6.5 tackles for loss and 4.5 sacks.

DE JT Tuimoloau: Alongside Sawyer is JT Tuimoloau — another extremely talented and NFL first-round prospect. He had 28 tackles, 10.5 tackles for loss and 3.5 sacks. His ability to get into the backfield is tremendous.

LB Tommy Eichenberg: Eichenberg was the leading tackler on the Buckeyes a season ago with 120 tackles and 2.5 sacks. He is your ideal middle linebacker and is in the middle of every play, no matter where it’s at. Eichenberg has a tremendous motor and spearheads the Ohio State defense.

Other Notable Players: 

WR Julian Fleming

DL Michael Hall Jr

LB Steele Chambers 

CB Sonny Styles

CB Denzel Burke

Key Notes

  • Ohio State has won 27 games in a row in the series
  • The last win in the series for the Indiana football program was in 1988
  • Four of the last five matchups have been decided by at least four touchdowns


  • Indiana football opens as 29.5-pt underdogs and an O/U set at 60.5

SEE ALSO: Indiana Football Quick Hitters: Early breakdown and initial thoughts on Ohio State

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Alec Lasley is the owner of Hoosier Illustrated, a comprehensive site covering news, updates and recruiting for Indiana University athletics. Alec has covered Indiana for six years and is a credentialed media member. He has previously worked for both Rivals and 247Sports.