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Indiana football 2023 opponent preview: Indiana State

The Hoosiers’ FCS opponent this year is led by a familiar face.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: SEP 01 North Alabama at Indiana State Photo by Jeffrey Brown/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

After whatever happens against Ohio State in week one, Indiana will have an easier time in week two with FCS Indiana State in-town.

The FCS game has been a staple of the Hoosiers’ schedule for reasons that should be obvious. Idaho served as that cannon fodder these past two seasons despite a weird first half in 2022. Indiana State should be much of the same.

Here’s what you need to know:

Names To Know

  • HC Curt Mallory
  • RB Justin Dinka
  • RB Tee Hodge
  • WR Dakota Caton
  • QB Cade Chambers
  • DB Rylan Cole
  • DL Belizaire Gianini

If you know anything about Indiana football you should know the name “Mallory”.

Bill Mallory is the winningest head coach in program history, leading the Hoosiers from 1984-1996. He was the first back-to-back Big Ten Coach of the Year and coached Indiana to two bowl victories.

Curt is Bill’s son. The younger Mallory played his high school ball at Bloomington South High School. He and his two brothers ended up playing their college football at Michigan rather than Indiana.

Mallory’s coaching career started at Indiana as a graduate assistant, though he eventually returned to Bloomington full-time as the Hoosiers’ defensive backs coach from 2002-04. He was named the head coach at Indiana State, his first head coaching job, in 2017.

Cade Chambers will almost certainly start at quarterback for the Sycamores in 2023. He was named 2022 MVFC Freshman of the Year and ranked 10th in FCS in passing yards per completion with 14.43.

The Sycamores return their leading rushers from 2022, Justin Dinka and Tee Hodge. Dinka was named Second Team All-MVC after rushing for 895 yards and six touchdowns.

Dante Hendrix was all but the Sycamores’ entire receiving corps last year, leading the team with 719 yards and four touchdowns. However, he exhausted his eligibility, and Indiana State’s second leading receiver, Dakota Caton, is back after 291 yards and two touchdowns in 2022.

On the defense, Belizaire Gianini returns after leading the team in sacks in 2022 with five. However, DB Rylan Cole is the Sycamores’ most valuable player on that side of the ball after leading the team in tackles and interceptions, all three of which he caught in a single game.


Indiana State was decidedly Not Good last year.

The Sycamores followed up a 5-6 record in 2021 with a 2-9 showing last year, going 1-7 in the MVC. They were stomped 56-0 by Purdue in West Lafayette and scored just 21 combined points across their final four games.

Indiana should win this one handily, giving whoever ends up starting at quarterback some breathing room after whatever happens against Ohio State.