Finally, game week has arrived for Ohio State.

Almost eight months after their 2016 season ended in disappointment in Phoenix, and after an intense offseason and training camp, the Buckeyes are just days from their opener Thursday at Indiana.

“We’re just ready to go out there,” senior linebacker Chris Worley said. “It’s been a long camp — a super-long camp — and we’re one step closer to game time. We’re very excited to get it started.”

Because college football, unlike the NFL, has no preseason, the start of each season always carries mystery. Although the Buckeyes are a more experienced, deeper team than a year ago, questions abound. Most involve the offense.

Coach Urban Meyer vowed change after suffering the only shutout loss of his head coaching career in a 31-0 College Football Playoff blowout by Clemson. After the additions of offensive coordinator Kevin Wilson and quarterbacks coach Ryan Day, Meyer is optimistic.

"I feel very comfortable with the progress made,” Meyer said.

What matters, of course, is what happens on the field. Opening on the road against a Big Ten rival and then facing a showdown against Oklahoma will provide proof, one way or another.

“We get evaluated and tested here in a few days,” Meyer said.

Meyer said that his team’s strong senior leadership gives him confidence.

“This year is a little more comfort because guys have been in the environment before,” Meyer said. “This is a whole different set of circumstances because it's on the road in a Big Ten game. But we've practiced as such, and Billy Price is snapping a ball to J.T. (Barrett) every play — as long as they stay healthy — and that's a little more comforting.”

A few position competitions remain unsettled, at least based on the depth chart unveiled Monday.

Six receivers are listed as co-starters. At safety, no winner has been declared between Jordan Fuller and Erick Smith. The depth chart lists Damon Arnette or Kendall Sheffield as the cornerback opposite Denzel Ward. In all, there are 14 “ors” in the two-deep.

One position that is settled is right guard, where Meyer confirmed that Branden Bowen has prevailed.

“Branden Bowen is one of the most improved players on our team,” Meyer said. “Something clicked with him in early summer.”

Meyer said his team is healthy. Running back Mike Weber was slowed in training camp because of a hamstring issue. Asked if Weber is 100 percent, Meyer said: “He’s very close.”

The Buckeyes are ranked No. 2, and anything less than a return to the College Football Playoff — and a better showing there — would be a disappointment.

“I believe we have the best talent in the country all around,” Worley said. “But as we saw (in 2015) after we won the national championship when we were even more stacked than the year before, just because you have the most talent doesn’t mean that you’re going to win it all.

“We have all the talent in the world, but we still have to grow as a team each and every week. This first game will be the first step.”