IU(1-0) vs US Naval Academy (0-0)
Last Meeting: Navy 31 Indiana 30. Indiana did what Indiana do. Carrying on the momentum of staying within a touchdown versus THE Ohio State University, the Hoosier looked to the untrained eye to have turned a corner when Tevin Coleman’s touchdown put the Hoosiers up 30-21 early in the fourth quarter. The Hoosiers defense gave up a long drive, but held tough as Navy kicked a field goal to cut the lead to 6. Then with just over 2 minutes to go, Navy scored the touchdown we all knew was coming as the Hoosiers secured another in a long line of come from ahead defeats.
Last IU win: September 20, 1986. The 1986 season should have some resonance with Hoosier fans, as Bill Mallory, in his 3rd year at the helm, took the Hoosiers to the promised land of 6-5 and a bowl birth. Navy was one of the 6 as the high scoring IU offense ran circles around the midshipmen 52-29.
What we learned last week: It really may not matter who plays quarterback. The IU offense can light up the scoreboard. Granted, there’s an obligatory mention that Indiana State is an FCS school, and will be far and away the easiest test for IU this season. Next week there will be an obligatory mention that Navy is different than any of the teams IU will play in the B1G Ten. We can never outrun the killjoys for too long. But even with all the cautions and grains of salt, you have to admit IU’s offense was pretty eye poppuing. That they did it without much of a contribution from the leading rusher and wide receiver from last year says something more. Defensively, there were some struggles. And the last minute of the first half was about as IU football as it gets. But if IU scores 73 points per game, I’ll go out on the ledge and say they go to a bowl game.
What we’ll see this week: Triple Option running attack. It’s essentially gone out of vogue everywhere but the service academies, but Navy has found success running like it’s 1973.
Basically every play is a variation of this. The most important factor in defeating the option is to have two tacklers outside so that either option is covered. Easy for me to say. Published reports say that Navy will throw the ball more than they did in previous seasons, but I’d be willing to wager that at least two IU quarterbacks have more pass attempts than Navy’s total for the season.
Stat that’s probably only interesting to me: Last week, BTN’s Chris Denari said IU had broken the “modern” record for points scored, with the 73 it put up in 60 minutes of football. Is it just me, or are most school’s scoring records from the early 1900’s when a big state university beat a small local college by nearly 100 points. What was in the water back then that forced the coaches to be such unmitigated assholes? “Yes I know it’s 80-6, but I really think we could use another score.” Put another way, when did this country get soft and force football coaches to start playing backups against lesser manned teams when the score had gotten out of reach?
Scouting Future Opponents:
Bowling Green State University opens MAC play at Kent State.
Missouri which is in the SEC hosts Toledo which is not in the SEC.
Penn State carries on the MAC theme as they host Eastern Michigan.
Prediction: After last week’s prediction was so spot on accurate, I’m hesitant to put my perfect record on the line. Okay okay, twist my arm. IU’s able to put some points up early and often, and the improved depth on defense shows up as IU holds on to a comfortable, but not comfortable enough 45-31 victory.