Opponent: Illinois 5-0(1-0)
Series History: Illinois leads overall series 44-22-2
Notable Recent Meetings: Since Ron Zook took over as coach of the Illini, and even before, the Indiana vs Illinois matchup has been a battle of the bottom. Only once since 2005 has there been a year where neither the Hoosiers nor Illini finished last in the conference. In that span, twice the Hoosiers have beaten Illinois for their only B1G Ten win. However, that’s not to say there haven’t been some interesting and close matchups.
In 2006, Terry Hoeppner’s squad went down 25-7 early in the 2nd quarter. But IU rallied and Austin Starr’s field goal put the score to 31-25. Of course the Hoosiers gave up a touchdown with 46 seconds remaining. But unlike so many comeback efforts that fall just an inch too short, the Hoosiers put this one away on as Starr booted through the game winning field goal as time expired.
Going back a little bit further, we come to perhaps my favorite college football game to see in person. As an aspiring announcer working for WIUS radio, I witnessed the Hoosiers fall behind 28-7 with fewer than 20 minutes remaining. But the Hoosiers(well Antwaan Randle-El) stormed back and forced overtime. After forcing Illinois to kick a field goal, the Hoosiers needed only one play to win the game. Though the tape has been lost for years, I still remember my radio call, “Antwaan rolls out left, looks downfield, has Levron WIDE OPEN in the corner, and… TOUCHDOWN! INDIANA WINS! TOUCHDOWN! INDIANA WINS!”
Forgetting for a moment that Indiana would again be a disappointing 4-7, my radio partner Ryan Wilensky and I pretty much looked like Harry Doyle and Monte when the Indians finally win the pennant in Major League.
Why the Illinois rivalry is important: No matter what, when Nebraska entered the league and guaranteed divisions, you knew that it was going to make things tougher on IU. The way they split up IU now faces Ohio State, Penn State, and Wisconsin every year. As an added bonus, IU faces Michigan State as the guaranteed rivalry every year.(Why couldn’t the Old Brass Spittoon have been for the Minnesota game?) There may yet come a day when IU is on equal footing with the Badgers and Buckeyes. At some point the odds say IU has to beat Penn State once. But right now, the goal must be for the Hoosiers to assert themselves as “King of the Dorks.” IU, Illinois, Purdue. There is no reason IU can’t be the best of these three teams. If IU gets to the step where it is consistently fourth in the division, every once in a while fates will conspire and they can beat one of the top teams and start to move into the upper echolon. But fourth place will probably be enough to get to a bowl game most years. That’s step one in rebuilding the program.
Speaking of King of the Dorks: Jack Trudeau has gone from being
a crappy NFL quarterback to playing 2nd fiddle to someone who graduated from Indiana of Pennsylvania. I think that’s a branch campus of a branch campus.
For anyone who doesn’t remember the genesis of the Weekly Jack Trudeau cheap shot, feel free to relive it here. Here’s the transcript of the interview that will live in infamy. The fact that we get to hate on Trudeau is just an added bonus to the fact we need to hate on Illinois.
Stat to ponder while thinking up better ways to insult Jack Trudeau: 19. That’s the most rushes a single IU running back has attempted in any game this season. D’Angelo Roberts 19 rushes for 102 yards against South Carolina State represented the only time the Hoosiers have been able to remain committed to the running game. IU has had 4 different rushers lead the team in attempts(Roberts, Matt Perez, Stephen Houston, and Edward Wright-Baker are the other three.) If IU can stay committed to not only more rushing attempts as a team, but getting one back enough carries to get into a rhythm, it will point to success.
Prediction: Ron Zook won’t even bother taking Jack Trudeau’s calls this week.
I think Illinois is due for a loss. They’ve pulled a magic act the last three weeks, escaping with three point wins against Arizona State, Western Michigan, and Northwestern. It’s a bitter pill to admit that IU will likely need it’s best game, and Illinois will need to not be at its best for the Hoosiers to win. However, I think this is the spot for IU to make its mark. TOUCHDOWN! INDIANA WINS! TOUCHDOWN! INDIANA WINS! 34-28.
One Last Jack Trudeau Cheapshot: Taken from Trudeau’s wikipedia page.
|Stats at NFL.com|
|Career highlights and awards|
Seriously? His career highlights and awards are N/A. Couldn’t he have at least put in an award “Loves his mother.” That pretty much sums up Jack Trudeau.
Shameless appeal for readers to pile on
Now that Crimsoncast has its own clothing line, I’m offering a free T-shirt to the best Jack Trudeau cheap shot in the comments.