Opponent: Ball State
Series History: Indiana leads 4-1
Last Game: September 20, 2008 Ball State 42 Indiana 20
Select moments from recent history;
The last three meetings between these two teams have featured plenty of significant moments. The 42-20 loss may have been the low point of the Bill Lynch era. I mean aside from the 83-20 loss to Wisconsin. I’ve done my best to block that one out of my mind.
In 2007, IU beat the Cardinals 38-20 for its 6th win of the season, making the Hoosiers bowl eligible for the first time in 15 seasons.
In 2006, the Hoosiers came back from a 23-7 halftime deficit on a rainy night in Muncie. The game was Kellen Lewis’ first action as a Hoosier, and he showed flashes of the potential he would go on to eventually waste. Lewis threw for 228 yards and ran for 88 more.
A better slogan than Lose with Lynch.
The new T-shirts say “Win with Wilson,” and of course it remains to be seen whether or not Kevin Wilson can actually coach, but he’s hit all the right notes in his first off season. From attracting assistant coaches who were good enough to be lured away, to a solid recruiting class, to telling off a loud mouth radio host for making fun of the program, he’s done everything fans could ask for.
He has done it in a style which creates an us against the world mindset in both the team and the fan base.
Hey look, the opponent has a new coach too!
This week’s matchup is the debut for both Kevin Wilson and Ball State’s Pete Lembo. The Cardinals picked
Lembo up from Elon College where he compiled a 35-22 record and one NCAA playoff appearance. He previously coached at Lehigh College where he went 44-14 and went to the playoffs in two seasons.
This matchup highlights the different methods to hiring a new coach when you’re trying to take the program in a different direction. You can either hire a coordinator from a school above you on the totem pole, or hire a head coach from a school lower than you.
Obviously, there are examples of success and failure with each method, but I’m glad that in this situation, the Hoosiers hired a coordinator from a top program. What this program needed was an attitude shake up as much as anything. IU needed someone who has seen the peak of success to tell the players that it’s achievable. They needed someone who could come in, show them what the top of college football was, and then show them that the results were further away than the talent.
In other situations, I’d be for hiring a competent head coach from the MAC, or the Sun Belt, or from where ever you’d like. But for this particular situation, I think Kevin Wilson was the right man at the right place.
Now I hope he can coach.
Use this stat to impress the ladies. Because if there’s one thing ladies love more than cool James, it’s a man who knows his statistics.
200. That’s the number of combined receptions by the top 3 receivers and top TE listed on Monday’s depth chart.
Of course the vast majority of those belong to Demarlo Belcher, but it should be pointed out that IU has a lot of experience at the receiver position.
Even with sophomores Duwyce Wilson and Ted Bolser out with unspecified injuries, the receiving corp is deep with guys who have played a lot and have dealt with a number of different quarterbacks.
This should be a benefit to whichever quarterback takes the field against the Cardinals.
Ah the Quarterback battle
My guess is that both will play.
UPDATE: I’m a genius, Kevin Wilson said on his radio show Monday night that both will play and it’s possible that Tre Roberson sees action as well.
What’s interesting to me -and I haven’t quite decided whether it’s good news or bad news- is that all three quarterbacks are somewhat similar in terms of strengths and weaknesses. This isn’t as much of a challenge as say changing an offense from Kellen Lewis to Ben Chappell. While Edward Wright Baker and Tre Roberson are slightly more athletic, and Dustin Kiel is perhaps a slightly more accurate passer, they aren’t so dissimilar that going from one to the other is likely to require the rest of the offense to adjust.
The bad news is that the starting quarterback isn’t being decided because the offense is going in one direction or the other. Instead it is decided by who is performing the best. The fact that there’s still a quarterback battle shows that none of the candidates have overwhelmed the coaching staff. This to me is worrisome because it means the team hasn’t really rallied behind one guy.
Scouting future opponents;
Virginia plays host to both William & Mary
South Carolina State visits Central Michigan
North Texas visits conference foe Florida International
Gratuitous cheap shot directed at Jack Trudeau
Most Colts fans are familiar with Trudeau because he took over for Mike Pagel shortly after the Colts moved their Mayflower trucks from Baltimore. Of course what they also remember is that the Colts by and large sucked during that time period. In helping the team attain a collective 18-29 record in games which he started, Trudeau threw 1.48 interceptions for every touchdown pass. This ratio is the worse among Indianapolis era Colts QB who weren’t emergency replacements, potentially throwing the game to pay off gambling debts, or named Chris Chandler.
A little nervousness from both sides gives way to the better team moving out in front and IU eventually pulls away. More impressive than last season’s opener, IU win 38-17.