WKU: Five Days and Counting

Hoosier Nation begins its day-by-day preview of the Hoosiers' Saturday match-up with Western Kentucky. Today, we look at five numbers to note about the match-up with the Hilltoppers...

112 – points surrendered by Western Kentucky while getting off to an 0-2 start this season. After opening the year with a 49-10 loss at No. 8 Nebraska, the Hilltoppers were embarrassed by Kentucky on Saturday, 63-28. WKU's two foes combined for 1,018 yards of total offense in the two games and converted 13-of-21 third-downs. Western Kentucky enters the IU game ranked 119th out of 120 Division I-A programs in scoring defense (56.0/game) and 116th in total defense (509.0/game). As bad as this year's numbers are, they're not any worse than last season. During an 0-12 campaign, the Hilltoppers ranked 119th in scoring defense (39.6 points/game) and 118th in total defense (478.3).

22 – consecutive losses for the Hilltopper football program. In addition to the 0-2 start this fall and last season's 0-12 campaign, Western Kentucky also lost its final eight games during an 2-10 season in 2008. It's all been part of the growing pains for a WKU program that made the transition to the Division I Bowl Subdivision (formerly called I-A) in 2009 while joining the Sun Belt Conference. Before that move WKU had a great deal of success at the I-AA level, advancing to the I-AA playoffs from 2000-04, posting winning records in 2005-07 as well, and winning the 2002 I-AA national title.

4 – national rushing ranking for WKU tailback Bobby Rainey. Neither Nebraska nor Kentucky has had any luck in slowing down Rainey, who is averaging 169.5 yards per game. Rainey started the season with a 30-carry, 155-yard, one-touchdown effort against Nebraska and followed that up with a 22-carry, 184-yard, two-touchdown outing against Kentucky. The 5'7", 196-pound Rainey has broken loose for a big gainer in both games, busting loose for a 46-yard run against Nebraska and then following that up with a 59-yard touchdown run against the Wildcats.

37 – pass attempts for Western Kentucky in two games. Despite falling behind big early against both Nebraska and Kentucky, WKU is clearly looking to establish an identity heading into Sun Belt Conference play, and that's to run the football. In two games WKU has run it nearly twice as many times as it's thrown it (73 runs, 37 passes), and that ratio figures to remain in place against the Hoosiers. WKU ranks 113th in passing offense this season, averaging only 108.0 yards/game through the air.

4 –non-conference, road wins for the IU football program dating back to 2004. While the Hoosiers were crushed by Virginia 47-7 in the middle of the 2009 season, before that setback the last time the Hoosiers lost a non-conference road game was six years ago when Kentucky whipped IU 51-32 during Coach Gerry DiNardo's final season. Since then, IU has gone on the road to beat Central Michigan (20-13, 2005), Ball State (24-23, 2006), Western Michigan (37-27, 2007) and Akron (38-21, 2009).

Coming Up
On Sunday – Five Numbers to Note
On Monday – Four Names to Know
On Tuesday – Three Big Concerns
On Wednesday – Two Key Match-Ups
On Thursday – One Bold Prediction

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