Sep 1, 2023 - Sports

What to know about the Buckeyes' season opener

Kyle McCord prepares to throw a pass

Kyle McCord, the Buckeyes' starting quarterback for Saturday's game, warms up against the Georgia Bulldogs in the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl last season. Photo: Carmen Mandato/Getty Images

Third time's the charm, right?

What's happening: The Buckeyes kick off their season tomorrow at Indiana University with the number three looming large.

  • That's their preseason ranking, behind No. 1 Georgia and That Team Up North.
  • And if they don't beat said No. 2 team, that would be three straight losses to their maize and blue rivals — which hasn't happened since the mid-'90s.

State of play: Tomorrow's 3:30pm game against the unranked Hoosiers feels largely like a formality — OSU has a 27-game win streak against IU — so the focus is mostly on Ohio's starting quarterback battle, rather than the matchup itself.

  • Junior Kyle McCord will start the game, replacing NFL-bound C.J. Stroud.
  • But fifth-year coach Ryan Day says redshirt freshman Devin Brown will also get some play time, and his mind isn't made up for the entire season just yet.

The big picture: OSU's first big test will be the Sept. 23 game against No. 13 Notre Dame.

What we're watching: If those games go well, the Buckeyes could be competing once again for their first national title since 2015.

😬 Yes, but: A lot is riding on what happens in Ann Arbor on Nov. 25.

Of note: If you're feeling lucky, this is the first college football season with legalized sports betting in Ohio. Tyler has a few tips for beginners.

Pro tip: A road trip to Bloomington, Indiana, is just 3 1/2 hours, and StubHub tickets are a bargain, starting at $69.

  • Get there early if you're going to tailgate — the fields and parking lots fill up fast. Gates open at 9am.
  • Our editor Lindsey Erdody, an Indiana alum, says the best place to eat in town on game day is Nick's English Hut, but expect it to be busy. Get the Sink the Biz Fries.

What's next: The Buckeyes will be back next weekend for a noon home opener against Youngstown State.

Where to watch the game

If you're not road tripping to the Buckeyes' season opener, here are some other great places to visit on game day.

ğŸŽ“ The Varsity Club: Columbus' official alumni bar and a legendary tailgating spot near campus.

  • 11am, 278 W. Lane Ave.

📽️ New Albany Amphitheater: View the game on the big screen at a free, family-friendly watch party with kids' games, food trucks and drinks.

🍺 Bernard's Tavern: Beer bucket specials and group reservations available.

  • Noon, 630 N. High St.

🏠 Host your own watch party: Don't waste time fighting for a seat, and the drinks are free.

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