The Ohio State football team begins their 2023 season in just a week when they travel to Bloomington, Indiana to take on the Indiana Hoosiers. With the countdown officially winding down, the excitement in and around Buckeye Nation for the start of this season is getting palpable. Although Ohio State doesn’t play this weekend, which has been coined Week Zero, there is still some action for Buckeye fans to sink their teeth into.
Notre Dame vs. Navy
Although there are no Big Ten teams playing in week zero this year, like we had last year when Northwestern and Nebraska traveled overseas to play a season opener, one of Ohio State’s opponents this year has decided to board a plane and fly over the Pacific Ocean to begin their season.
The Ohio State football team will travel to South Bend, Indiana in week four of the season to fulfill the second part of a two-year contract against the Fighting Irish. Ohio State fans can begin scouting that week four opponent this weekend as the Fighting Irish and the Navy Midshipman will kick off their 2023 seasons in Dublin, Ireland at Aviva Stadium. The game is scheduled to air on NBC with a start time of 2:30 EST.
Notre Dame and Navy have played one another 93 times with the Irish holding the advantage with a 79-13-1 record. Notre Dame has won the last five meetings between the two schools with last year’s game being a close 35-32 Notre Dame win on the road in Baltimore, Maryland.
Notre Dame begins their second season under the guidance of former Buckeye Marcus Freeman, who has a record of 9-5 overall. The Irish welcomed in one of the nation’s most coveted transfer portal quarterbacks as former Wake Forest gunslinger Sam Hartman looks to cap off a very good collegiate career with one final hooray with one of college football’s most iconic programs.
Ohio State football fans will be watching this game with great anticipation as the Week 4 matchup in South Bend could determine whether or not one or both of these programs is College Football Playoff material in 2023.
San Jose State vs. USC
Later in the evening, future Big Ten member USC will begin their season as they play host to San Jose State at the Coliseum. USC head coach Lincoln Riley returns Heisman-winning quarterback Caleb Williams who begins his campaign to do something that only one other player in college football history has done, and that is win a second Heisman Trophy.
Of course, that man is Archie Griffin, and Ohio State fans will be hoping that Williams will be like all the other Heisman Trophy-winning players who have returned to college for an encore season and fail in their attempt to be the second playing behind Griffin to win a second Heisman.
Unlike the Notre Dame game, which will be aired on National television, this game will be harder to find as it is scheduled to kick off at 8 pm EST. on the Pac-12 Network. For those who will get to watch this game, the idea behind viewing a USC game this season is two-fold.
First, they begin the season ranked sixth in the AP Poll, meaning the national writers believe USC has a pretty good chance of winning the Pac-12 in their final season in the conference and vying for a sport in the CFP at the end of the year. Second, they will be joining the Big 10 next season, and it’s never too early to get a read on a team’s future outlooks.
There is also a chance, albeit slim, that the Ohio State football team could find themselves matched up against the Trojans in the postseason, whether that be in the CFP or in a Bowl Game. If that scenario is the case, the Buckeyes and Trojans have an extensive history with one another, and would be an opportunity for both teams to renew that rivalry before becoming conference foes in 2024.
Other Week Zero Games
These are just a few of the options Buckeye fans have when it comes to checking out the action in week zero. Here are the other games being played on Saturday, August 26.
UTEP at Jacksonville State 5:30 pm on CBSSN
UMass at New Mexico State 7:00 pm on ESPN
Ohio at San Diego State 7:00 pm on FS1
Hawaii at Vanderbilt 7:30 pm on SECN
FIU at Louisiana Tech 9:00 pm on CBSSN