Hoosiers Days From What Tom Allen Calls "Biggest Home-Opener Ever"
BLOOMINGTON, IN -- New Indiana University football coach Tom Allen described it as the biggest home and season opener in the school's history at Big Ten Media Days in Chicago a couple months ago. Now it's just days away.
"There's a ton of excitement. The energy level is very, very high," Allen says ahead of Tuesday's match-up with #2 Ohio State at Memorial Stadium in Bloomington. "The situation has been created just because of the schedule. We haven't opened the season against a conference opponent since 1982."
This rare occurrence in scheduling for the season will indeed be one of the biggest games in recent memory to come to Bloomington with ESPN's College GameDay covering the pre-game festivities and the large number of fans expected to travel there to see it all happen.
Hotel rooms in Bloomington are said to be all booked up and going for nearly four-times their regular rates.
One of the most interesting story lines of the coincidental meeting between the Buckeyes and the Hoosiers is the hiring of former head coach Kevin Wilson by Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer.
"They have very good players," Coach Meyer says of Indiana. "We obviously know because their former head coach (Wilson) is with us and gone through it. He has a lot of respected for their guys, and so do our players."
Indiana has not beaten Ohio State since Ronald Reagan was President back in the 1988 season. The last time the two met in Bloomington was late in the 2015 season when the Buckeyes upended the Hoosiers 34-27 in a highly contested battle.
With likely Heisman candidate J.T. Barrett back to lead the Buckeye offense, Tom Allen says that his Hoosiers will have to rely on their experience on defense in spite of uncertainty along his defensive line.
"You watch him and he just has some much toughness and grit to him," Allen says of Barrett. "He's a kid that you have to have so much respect for. He just makes plays when they need him to, both with his arms and his feet and finds a way to make things happen."
Kickoff for the much anticipated meeting at Memorial Stadium is 8:00 p.m. ET. You can listen to all the action live on 93 WIBC.
(PHOTO: Icon Sportswire/Getty Images)