IU(1-1) vs THE Bowling Green State University Falcons(2-0)
Series History: First Meeting
What did we learn last week: There are a number of people IU fans can blame for last week’s dispiriting loss to Navy. We could blame the defense, for not forcing a punt, a turnover on downs, or anything aside from a very temporary impediment to a long drive to the end zone. Hoosier fans could also blame Kevin Wilson. One could argue had he started Nate Sudfeld instead of Tre Roberson, IU very well may have won despite the defensive failure. But one person who I haven’t heard blamed nearly enough is You. Yes You IU fan. Still high on the 73 points the Hoosiers put up on Indiana State and giddy watching Purdue struggle to score against the same Sycamore squad. You forgot the second most important rule of watching IU football;
Rule #1: Always have plenty of alcohol on hand, in case blacking out is preferable to watching the 4th quarter.
Rule # 2: No matter how tempting it may be, do not text, tweet or otherwise contact a Purdue fan to taunt them about the Boilermakers pending result when the Hoosiers do not play until later that night.
No matter how bad it is for Purdue, or really any other rival, it can always get worse for Indiana, and probably will.
So what’s on tap this week: It’s surprising to me that IU has yet to face The Bowling Green State University on the football field. The Falcons pretty much fit the generic definition of a MAC school, they could easily be swapped with other Ohio based MAC schools, Miami(OH), Ohio University, The Kent State University, Toledo, or Akron.
tBGSU was a defensive force last season, when they went 8-4 before losing to San Jose in the Military Bowl. The Falcons were 10th in the nation in points allowed, but struggled to score as the points scored was good for only 94th. This year, offense doesn’t seem to be a problem as THE Bowling Green State University has outscored opponents 75-29 in the two games thus far.
Sophomore quarterback Matt Johnson has been fairly effective passing the ball so far this year; completing 62.5% of his passes for just over 500 yards. But Sophomore running back Travis Greene has been the true star, rushing 46 times for 233 yards to lead a ground attack that has averaged 226 yards per game this season.
Also, the Falcon defense has a safety named BooBoo Gates. No word on whether Yogi Farrell and BooBoo Gates will fetch a picinic basket before the game.
And for the Home Team: Well hopefully the Hoosiers remember the rushing defense this week. Perhaps the most disturbing aspect of Navy’s ridiculously good night running the ball was that it had almost nothing to do with the option. Usually, what makes the option so dangerous is that when a quarterback is pressured, he has the option to pitch the ball further outside so if a defense doesn’t allocate enough players to tackle both potential options, the offense can gain big yards. But that wasn’t really the problem last week as Navy’s quarterback wasn’t being pressured at all. It wasn’t as if the Hoosiers had one of the two option paths taken away and the Navy quarterback just happened to keep making the right choice. More often than not, the IU defense didn’t have either choice well covered. In my mind, this points to defensive players being overmatched physically, or simply thinking too much instead of reacting to where the ball was going.
Hopefully, it was the latter, and IU’s defense can recover some of its dignity when it’s not playing against an opponent like the Midshipmen.
Oh and put me solidly in the #TeamSudfeld camp until he comes back to earth. While I was solidly in favor of Tre Roberson starting at quarterback and all three QB’s seeing action, that was predicated on the reports that all three were performing at roughly the same level. I’m not a fan of a player “never” losing his starting position because of injury, but it seems to be a reasonable tie breaker given all else being equal. Now however, it’s not all equal. At the very least Sudfeld has moved ahead and should have the benefit of the doubt as the starter until he proves otherwise.
Scouting Future Opponents:
Missouri, which is in the SEC, has a bye.
Penn State takes on Central Florida of the Definitely Not CUSA conference
Michigan State hosts THE Youngstown State University
Prediction: Given Bowling Green’s ability to ground out opponents in the first two games, it’s hard to not be at least a little bit scared of the Falcons. But I think IU’s dignity answers the white courtesy phone this week and the Hoosiers go on to win 41-28.