WKU: Four Days and Counting

Hoosier Nation continues its day-by-day look at Indiana's 2010 road opener Saturday at Western Kentucky. Today, we examine "Four Names to Know" off Coach Willie Taggart's roster...

Bobby Rainey, RB – A couple of lopsided losses to BCS-conference schools hasn't dampened the enthusiasm about Rainey, a 5'7", 196-pounder who went for 155 yards on 30 carries against Nebraska and then 184 yards on 22 runs against Kentucky. Those outings have Rainey ranked fourth nationally in rushing (169.5 yards/game), trailing only Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson (227.5), Oklahoma State's Kendall Hunter (207.0) and Kansas State's Daniel Thomas (185.5). If he can go over the 150-yard mark for a third straight game against IU, he'll become the first Hilltopper to accomplish that feat since WKU's head coach, Willie Taggart, did it four straight times during the 1998 season. Rainey showed signs of being a difference maker a season ago when he ran for 939 yards on just 144 carries (6.5/carry). Now, he's the focal point of the WKU offense and the top priority for an Indiana defense that gave up 200-plus yards on the ground to Towson.

Ed Hazelett, OT – Remember me? That's what the 6'8", 305-pound Hazelett is probably thinking as he gets ready for a shot at Indiana. Two years ago, Hazelett was a much-talked about recruit out of Indianapolis' Warren Central H.S., someone who reportedly had offers from Louisville, Kentucky, Cincinnati and Boston College, among others. As Scout.com's 31st-ranked tight end nationally, Hazelett said he was also hearing from the likes of Ohio State, LSU, Florida and USC. But for whatever reason the interest dried up late in the process, and Hazelett's plans to attend Kentucky were thwarted when the Wildcats said they had no scholarships left. That led Hazelett to Western Kentucky. Hazelett played as true freshman last fall, but has yet to crack the starting line-up. He's currently listed as the second-string left tackle behind junior Wes Jeffries.

Kawaun Jakes, QB – Thus far, WKU's 6'3", 190-pound sophomore quarterback has been a virtual non-factor for the Hilltoppers. In two games the St. Augustine, Fla., product has completed only 20-of-37 passes for 217 yards and one touchdown through the air and he's amassed only two yards rushing on 10 attempts. Despite those pedestrian numbers, Jakes' dual-threat skills will be of some concern to the Hoosier defense. As a freshman Jakes ran the ball 10 times or more in six of the nine games he started, highlighted by a 18-carry, 121-yard effort against Troy (a 40-20 loss that saw Jakes also throw for 181 yards). He ran for 355 yards and passed for another 1,516 and nine scores. Considering the struggles Indiana had in slowing down Towson quarterback Chris Hart, it's a good bet Jakes will run the ball 10 times or more on Saturday.

Thomas Majors, LB – The 6'0", 239-pound middle linebacker is the only player on the WKU roster who was tabbed as a preseason first-team All-Sun Belt Conference choice. He's lived up to the billing in the first two games, leading WKU with 14 tackles and two tackles for loss. Majors earned the preseason accolades due to a very good first season on the WKU campus after he transferred from Northwest Mississippi Community College. The Nashville, Tenn., product totaled a team-high 101 tackles and four tackles for loss for Coach Willie Taggart's squad.

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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