Coming off a 4-8 season in 2022, Indiana football is looking to rebound and become bowl-eligible for the first time in three years. A combined record of 6-18 in the past two seasons has halted any momentum the program had gained after being ranked in the Top 10 in 2020.
The Hoosiers opened Big Ten play Sept. 2 with a 23-3 loss to Ohio State. While starting off the conference slate with a 0-1 record, Indiana doesn’t play another conference opponent until traveling to College Park, Maryland, to take on the Terrapins at the end of the month.
With 2023 marking the final season prior to the Big Ten adding four current PAC 12 schools to expand to 18 schools, let's look at what the Hoosiers are up against this season.
Maryland, Sept. 30
Coming off an 8-5 season a year ago, redshirt senior quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa returns for another season. Although Maryland defeated Indiana 38-33 in Bloomington last season, the Hoosiers led midway through the fourth quarter before a pair of touchdown runs sealed the loss.
The matchup result could be a sign of what’s to come for Indiana this season. Not only will it be their first conference game since the beginning of September, but it will also be the Hoosiers’ first true road game of the season.
Michigan, Oct. 14
Jim Harbaugh’s team made the College Football Playoff for a second consecutive season in 2022 but lost to Texas Christian University in the semifinal. The Hoosiers played the Wolverines closely in the first half in Bloomington a year ago until Michigan cruised to a 31-10 victory in the second half.
A pair of former Hoosiers, Jack Tuttle and AJ Barner, transferred to Ann Arbor in the offseason and will play against their former team at Michigan Stadium on Oct. 14.
Rutgers, Oct. 21
While Indiana had its fair share of struggles in 2022, Rutgers was the only school below the Hoosiers in the Big Ten East standings with a conference record of 1-8.
Although the Scarlet Knights struggled a season ago, junior quarterback Gavin Wimsatt returns for another season under head coach Greg Schiano. While a large-scale improvement is still in question for Rutgers after signing the conference’s 11th best recruiting class, Indiana has struggled recently against the Scarlet Knights with two consecutive losses in 2021 and 2022.
Penn State, Oct. 28
The Hoosiers will travel to Happy Valley to take on Penn State after a rough matchup in 2022. The Nittany Lions delivered a beatdown in Bloomington, emerging victorious 45-14. With Sean Clifford now graduated, sophomore Drew Allar has taken over the reins at the quarterback position.
In 26 total matchups, Indiana has defeated Penn State just twice, with its most recent win coming in 2020.
Wisconsin, Nov. 4
After firing head coach Paul Chryst midway through last season, Wisconsin hired former University of Cincinnati head coach Luke Fickell. Although 2022 was a down year historically for the Badgers with a 7-5 record, a rebound is possible in 2023.
Indiana was victorious in the last matchup between the schools with a 14-6 win at Camp Randall Stadium in 2020.
Illinois, Nov. 11
Indiana opened the season against Illinois in 2022 with a heroic victory in the game's final seconds. The loss ended up costing the Fighting Illini a trip to the Big Ten Championship. While 2023 first-round draft pick Devon Witherspoon has since moved on to the NFL, Illinois will look to top last season — its best since 2007.
The Hoosiers will travel to Champaign for the first time since 2017 when they face off Nov. 11.
Michigan State, Nov. 18
A season ago, Indiana traveled to East Lansing, Michigan, and pulled off an improbable comeback against Michigan State to win the Old Brass Spittoon. Quarterback Dexter Williams II brought the Hoosiers back alongside a breakout performance from running back Jaylin Lucas.
Indiana will be looking to defeat the Spartans in Bloomington for the first time since an overtime win in 2016.
Purdue, Nov. 25
Indiana last traveled to West Lafayette two seasons ago in a game that turned into a brutal 44-7 beatdown. While Purdue defeated the Hoosiers 30-16 in Bloomington last season, an injury to Williams hampered Indiana’s ability to hang with the Boilermakers.
The Hoosiers will look to regain the Old Oaken Bucket for the first time since a double overtime win at Ross-Ade Stadium in 2019.