Opponent: Penn State (3-1)
Series History: Penn State Leads 14-0
Yeah But We’ve Come Close Right?: Correct, in 2004, IU trailed PSU 22-16 and had 1st and goal at the 1 yard line. IU didn’t get into the endzone despite running directly into a much more stout line 4 consecutive times. As a consolation the Hoosiers did score on a safety as time expired.
In 2000, the Hoosiers only lost 27-24 in a game which was somewhat controversial because it had been moved to the RCA Dome. This was before the controversial move was to move a home game to your opponent’s back yard.
And in 1994, when the Nittany Lions were the rightful national champions, Bill Mallory’s squad kept the game within a touchdown losing 35-29.
That ’94 Nittany Lion team was quarterbacked by Kerry Collins. Collins of course was last seen sucking it up in the Colts new stadium, so it all comes full circle.
This is why conference expansion sucks
There are two things going against IU when and if the B1G Ten decides to go from 12 to 14 or 16; 1) The #1 criterion conferences are looking for is a good football program. 2) The B1G Ten will have access to the best pick of teams.
On the plus side, IU will always have a rivalry with Purdue and Illinois. Each of whom probably has a ceiling at just inside the top 25. On the negative side, I’m not sure IU will ever see the top 25.
Indiana Football failing to live up to even the lowest of expectations
I think in the most optimistic of years, most IU fans will hope to “play 13.” There’s not a hope to go to the Rose Bowl, but rather any bowl.
In less optimistic years, IU fans wish for the gridiron version of IU to keep things interesting at least until the basketball team starts practice. However by starting out 1-3, and losing to North Texas and Ball State, the Hoosiers have erased essentially any chance of being even remotely interesting from a wins and losses standpoint.
So what do we look for?
Like a baseball team hopelessly out of the pennant race in September, this version of IU can only look for progress and growth from the guys who will be returning next year.
Kevin Wilson’s challenge to the veteran players will provide some cover as more and more young players see playing time. Particularly interesting are players changing positions like Nick Turner. IU is deep at a number of positions like wide receiver where it can be difficult to get everyone who deserves playing time on the field. However, moving a wide receiver to a similar defensive position like corner back doesn’t always turn out well. Just ask Matt Ernest.
Stat to ponder as you try to decide how best to prepare yourself for Gary Harris’ visit to Hoosier Hysteria.
1539. That’ s the number of yards that Nittany Lions running back Ki-Jana Carter rushed for in 1994. It’s also 395 more yards than he rushed for in 7 total season in the NFL after he was drafted first by the Cincinnati Bengals in the 1995 draft. And people wonder why I get a nervous tick whenever I see leaves beginning to change colors and fall.
Scouting Future Opponents:
#24 Illinois hosts Northwestern
#7 Wisconsin hosts #8 Nebraska
Iowa is off for the week
Prediction: Going Pink will not catch on as a lucky charm that IU decides to use every game
IU hasn’t had a dispiriting ass kicking yet this season. And I don’t think this will be the team to give them one. Penn State just doesn’t have enough offense to thoroughly beat the hell out the Hoosiers. Yet, the Nittany Lions are certainly far more talented and the talent will show up slowly but surely throughout the game. PSU 34 IU 16
*The Gratuitous Cheap Shot Directed at Jack Trudeau is on a one week hiatus, gathering steam waiting for next week’s game against Illinois. Feel free to submit your own cheap shot. The best one wins a prize to be determined.