Happy Tuesday everyone. We are in the middle of the best time of the year in sports. Basketball has finally returned, the NFL and college football are in full swing, and the fall classic is a classic again. For those of you who think the series is over, I will borrow a line for Lee Corso "Not so fast my friend". While the Cards are not in the spot most hoped and dreamed about, they are not out of it, and with the 2 Wunderkind's throwing the next 2 games (potentially) anything can happen.
Much like last year, I will be writing a short series on a few of the Indiana college football teams. The schedule will be as follows:
10/29 - IU
11/5 - Notre Dame
11/12 - Ball State
11/19 - UIndy
11/26 - Purdue
Each week, I will focus on the teams season and key upcoming games and predictions.
This Week: IU
Rarely does the most important game on your schedule come in the 8th game of your season, but that is where IU is at right now. IU let a couple of close games get away early in the season, and coming into their game against Minnesota on Saturday, the Hoosiers need 3 wins in their last 5 games to be bowl eligible. 2 of the games remaining are all but sure losses. Ohio State looks near unbeatable right now, and, the IU never does well against, Wisconsin. The other 2 games after this week are against Illinois and Purdue which are both very winnable games for the Hoosier, which means that this weeks game at Memorial Stadium is the key one. Minnesota has been hot of late getting big wins against Northwestern and Nebraska in consecutive weeks. IU on the other hand dropped back to back games against the Michigan schools, both by 14 points. What this week's game, and all the corresponding games this season, will come down to how IU's defense performs. IU has been one of the most dynamic offense this season in all of college football. The IU receivers have been full of big plays and the running game has been better than years past. The problem IU keeps running into is that their defense can't seem to get off the field against good teams. Michigan proved this by hanging 63 points on the Hoosiers defense. IU is allowing over 37 points a game right now (ranking 113 in the NCAA), and, at least in the games against Minnesota, Purdue, and Illinois, IU has to get this number down, because regardless of how many points you score week in and week out, you can't count on scoring 50-60 points each week. Minnesota runs the ball really well, which is of course a big area of concern for the Hoosiers. The Indiana Defense may need to try some new things to contain the Gophers running game. Hope is not lost for IU though, there are a couple of things that the Hoosiers have going for them. First of all, IU is coming off a bye week, the last time the Hoosiers came off a bye week, they beat up on Penn State. If the IU coaching staff can make the same great decisions they made after the last bye, IU's D might have more of a shot. The other thing the Hoosiers have going for them is the fact that Minnesota is coming off of back to back big conference wins against top Big Ten teams, and with perenial powers Penn State, Wisconsin, and Michigan State coming up after IU, it would be really easy for the Gophers to come out a little flat in Bloomington this week.
I'm not sure how this game turns out when the final whistle blows, but it will come down to IU's D and wether or not it can give the offense a chance to win.
Thanks for reading folks, tune in next week for the Notre Dame break down
-T.O. signing out!
P.S. Go Cardinals!