Series History: 42-27-4
Last Meeting: Just days after Gunner Kiel’s “crushing de-committment“, the Hoosiers responded by letting true freshman Tre Roberson start his first game at QB. For about a quarter and a half, Roberson kept Hoosier hopes high, but two touchdowns in the final two minutes of the first half put the game away for Iowa as the Hawkeyes walked away with a 45-24 triumph. Roberson finished the day 16-24 for 197 yards and a touchdown to go along with 84 yards rushing. At the end of the day, IU still was without a B1G Ten win, but at least they knew they had a quarterback.
Last IU Win: The Hoosiers badly needed a win to get themselves back on track to “Play 13” after a dispiriting loss at home to Illinois. Indiana jumped out to a 21-0 punctuated by Kellen Lewis who upon recovering Josiah Sears’ fumble and racing 71 yards to the end zone did a forward flip to cross the line. The fumble recovery led to this strange box score entry:
|IN||TD||8:34||LEWIS, KELLEN 71 yard pass from LEWIS, KELLEN (STARR, AUSTIN kick)||21||0|
The Hoosiers made things interesting(of course they did) but eventually walked off with a convincing 38-20 win.
The Line: Indiana is favored by 1 1/2 points. I don’t usually mention the betting lines when discussing the Hoosiers, but as John M. at Crimson Quarry pointed out; 2007 was the last time IU was actually favored to beat a conference opponent.
What to take away from last week: For the last time,(in this internet space anyway) Suck it Trudeau. Thus ends the gratuitous Jack Trudeau cheap shot, long live the gratuitous Jack Trudeau cheap shot. Kevin Wilson has been all too happy to point out all the flaws in his team’s win. It was important, it at least proved to the players that they could in fact win, but I like the fact that the team is treating it as if it was exactly what they expected to happen.
And what does this week bring us? This Hawkeye team which came into the season with fairly middling aspirations has been equal parts inconsistent and uninspiring. Iowa opened with a1 point win over Northern Illinois, lost a 9-6 shootout to in-state rival Iowa State and lost 32-31 to Central Michigan in the pre-conference schedule. The high point so far was a 19-16 two overtime victory over Michigan State. But the Hawkeyes come to Bloomington on a 2 game losing streak and desperately needing a win if they plan on a post season appearance. Much like Illinois, Iowa has a pretty inept offensive attack, ranking 102nd out of 120 FBS schools at only 326 yards per game. Like the Illini, the defense ranks much higher, coming in at 39th in FBS at 355 yards per game. Of course both of these stats are heavily influenced by Iowa’s preferred pace which will seem glacial compared to IU’s “hurry up except when it’s not” offense.
QB Battle: While the Pre-Game Meal has generally stayed out of the polite discussions about the starting quarterback, last week added more gasoline to the fire that won’t go out any time soon. Ever since Tre Roberson went down with a broken leg in week 2, Wilson and the coaching staff have insisted that Cam Coffman and Nate Sudfeld were “basically even” but Coffman has seen the lion’s share of the snaps. On one hand, I can see the argument that so long as Coffman didn’t do anything to “lose” the starting job, change for changes sake wouldn’t have necessarily led to better results. However, according to that logic, he did “lose” the starting spot when Wilson pulled him and there’s no reason the same standard shouldn’t apply to Sudfeld.
Statistic that only I care about: As I mentioned earlier, the Hoosiers play at a much faster pace than Iowa as the Hoosiers run 21 more plays per game than the Hawkeyes. If IU can play from ahead like last week, Iowa will struggle to keep up.
Scouting Future Opponents:
Wisconsin continues the fine tradition of taking the week off before facing the Hoosiers.
Indiana’s last two regular season opponents, Penn State and Purdue exchange pleasantries in West Lafayette.
Prediction- It won’t be another 6 seasons before IU is favored to beat a B1G Ten opponent again: While I am forever weary of IU laying an egg as they are wont to do after a big win, there is a good feeling surrounding this program rooted in continued improvement. I think this script follows like last week; IU trades punches for about a quarter, then goes ahead to stay with a touchdown just before halftime and wins its second B1G Ten game in a row with a 34-24 win.