Last time IU played a team in its first Division 1-A season: IU lost to UConn 34-10 in 2003. As fate would have it, UMASS played its first FBS game against UConn this year and lost 37-0.
And on to this week: As mentioned earlier UMASS is in its first season in FBS football. For football purposes, the Minutemen play in the Mid-American Conference. This means Saturday’s game will be game #5 in this year’s B1G Ten/MAC challenge. The B1G Ten posted a 3-1 record in week 1 of the challenge with only Penn State losing to Ohio University.
UMASS of Offense: It’s hard to take a lot from a game where UMass had as many first downs as rushing yards.(3) Coming off a week where Indiana State was built around its running game, IU’s defense will hopefully have a chance to assert its dominance over a smaller school the way we naturally assume they will when taking on an FCS school.
UMASS on Defense: Despite the lopsided score, the Minutemen acquitted themselves fairly well on defense. They held UConn to one offensive touchdown in the first half, and kept the team in the ball game until UConn interception return for a touchdown effectively ended it close to the end of the first half. The Minutemen forced 3 turnovers and were led by senior linebacker Perry McIntyre who had 12 tackles.
Statistic that Probably only I care about: Among the many positives buried beneath the rubble of a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad 7 point victory* was the fact that IU forced two turnovers and committed zero. Keeping that ratio positive is the only chance IU will have to stay in games with more talented opponents. On his radio show Monday night, Kevin Wilson said that only 4 teams who won the turnover battle on this past week lost the game. Since I don’t have the motivation to actually look it up, I’ll take his word for it.
*By the way, seriously Kravitz? That was the game you took to pee on IU’s Wheaties? Don’t you think there will be more fertile opportunities to point this out later in the year.
Scouting Future Opponents
Ball State(1-0) travels to death valley to face the 12th ranked Clemson Tigers
Northwestern(1-0) hosts Vanderbilt in a game of former major conference laughingstocks.
#11 The Michigan State University (1-0) travels to Central Michigan in game 6 of the B1G Ten/MAC challenge.
Prediction: No one will be nearly outraged enough that IU is not receiving votes in any poll next Monday. There are not many teams who I would pick IU to blow out, but this may be one. Aside from the danger of UMass playing its first home game as an FBS school, and all the pageantry they is likely to include with it. This is a school that frankly looks weaker than last week’s opponent. And that was a game IU probably should have won by more than the 7 points. My final pick: IU 31 UMass 10
IU Record: 1-0
Predicted Record: 1-0
Hooray for You! Making it through this excruciating blog post
Hooray for Me! 569 words before I put in a cheap remark about John Calipari’s vacated Final Four appearance at UMass.