FIVE KEYS TO THE GAME
1. ESTABLISH THE PASSING GAME:That sounds funny to even say out loud but that really is a key for Saturday’s game with Bowling Green. Tevin Coleman and D’Angelo Roberts ran wild against Indiana State but the passing game was an after though. Now, the Hoosiers and quarterback Nate Sudfeld face a Bowling Green defense that has allowed 890 yards passing in two games and opposing quarterbacks to complete 68.5 percent of their passes. If the Falcons choose to let IU run like Indiana State did, the passing game may be an afterthought again but my guess is that Sudfeld will have a big day Saturday in Bowling Green, Ohio.
2. DEFENSE NEEDS TO TAKE THE NEXT STEP: Holding a FCS school like Indiana State to 170 yards of offense, 30 yards on the ground and 10 points is one thing, but now the IU defense needs to take the next step. If the Hoosiers can have a solid performance against a FBS school, one that is the defending MAC champions that would clearly be a bigger step. They always say the biggest improvements come between weeks one and two. In IU’s case, the Hoosiers had two weeks to get ready for game two and the defense needs to take advantage of that, too.
3. COLEMAN MUST HANDLE BEING THE TARGET: One thing that comes with the territory of running for 247 yards in the opener is the fact that opposing defenses in the future are going to game plan to stop someone like Tevin Coleman. For Coleman it’s not that big of deal considering his last game from a year ago he ran for more than 200 yards against Illinois and still managed to break loose against Indiana State. Coleman’s biggest key is that he has been known to break big, big runs. He had a 73-yard scamper in the opener this year. Last year against Bowling Green he had a 43 yard touchdown run. It’s important that Coleman bounces back from his super debut to at least have formidable statistics against Bowling Green, too.
4. GET THE VETERAN WIDE RECEIVERS INVOLVED: Along with the limited passing game against Indiana State was the fact that IU’s veteran threesome of Shane Wynn, Isaiah Roundtree and Nick Stoner combined to catch four balls for 15 yards. Wynn needs to return to his big play ways of the past in this one and show he has made the adjustment from a slot receiver to an outside guy. Sudfeld simply needs to spread the ball around and get a lot of different receivers involved.
5. HEAD TO Missouri WITH MOMENTUM: If Indiana is going to ultimately become bowl eligible this season, it’s going to need to win at least three of its non-conference games. With a tough road game at Missouri coming up next week, that makes this one even that much more important. If IU could go to Missouri with a 2-0 record coming off a road win against the defending MAC champions, that would be a major positive. This is a big game for the Hoosiers in their quest to ultimately get bowl eligible.
Follow Terry Hutchens at Twitter.com/Foxsportshutch