Every Friday in this space at 9 a.m. we will put on our prognosticator hats and try to project how Indiana will fare in football on that particular game.
Prior to the first one, the six members of our staff (not surprisingly) all successfully picked that Indiana would beat Indiana State. Prior to the Bowling Green game, our entire staff (also not surprisingly) picked the Hoosiers to beat the Falcons.
And so everyone is 1-1 as Indiana travels to play Missouri on Saturday.
The time has now come for our third game of predictions for Saturday’s 4 p.m. ET kickoff against Mizzou in Columbia, Mo. As a side note, both Ben Faunce and myself will be in attendance Saturday for AllHoosiers.com at Missouri.
Last year there had been a sense of anticipation building up in Bloomington before Missouri came to town. And then the Tigers throttled the Hoosiers. Missouri built up a 28-14 halftime lead, scoring two touchdowns in the final 4 minutes of the second quarter. The second of those TD’s came on a 49 yard interception return for a touchdown against Nate Sudfeld.
The final score a year ago was Missouri wining 45-28. The Tigers went on to have a great season and Indiana did not. Missouri finished 12-2 and beat Oklahoma State in the Cotton Bowl.
A big difference between last year and this year going into this game is that few, if any, who I have talked to this week expect Indiana to win. A year ago, many thought Sudfeld and company could pull of the victory at Memorial Stadium.
Missouri is 3-0 with wins over South Dakota State, Toledo and Central Florida. The Tigers scored at least 38 points in each of those games.
Now the Tigers face a defense that allowed Bowling Green to take 113 snaps a week ago and score 45 points in a 45-42 BGSU win.
So it’s time for my prediction. This is exactly the kind of scenario that seems to scream out that Indiana could go to Missouri and win. Why? Because it would make absolutely no sense. So am I going to go out a limb and make that prediction? No. But I will go on record as saying it wouldn’t surprise me if the Hoosiers played a very competitive game Saturday in Columbia.
My prediction: Missouri 35, Indiana 28. I think the Indiana defense is a little bit better than it has been and perhaps Missouri isn’t as sharp as you think it would be in a game it expects to win easily.
So that’ s my thought. What do you think? We’re going to open a thread on the premium board for your picks.
You have my pick. Here are the predictions from the AllHoosiers.com staff.
Missouri 45, Indiana 31: I think Indiana will bounce back and play the Tigers tough for awhile, but the Hoosiers simply don't have the defense to stop a high-powered Missouri offense when it matters most. This one may be tied at the half and into the third, but the Tigers will pull away late.
Missouri 56, Indiana 10: Indiana quarterback Nate Sudfeld will struggle with the passing game, throwing at least two interceptions. He will have to rely on running back Tevin Coleman, who will have a decent running game yet not as impressive as his first two games. Missouri's offense, led by quarterback Matty Mauk, will roll through Indiana's still newly situated defense.
Missouri 49, Indiana 35: Indiana will get some early strikes in offensively, and the game will be within a score at half time. Sudfeld will be able to find his receivers early in their routes and the Hoosiers will attack the secondary, putting up four touchdowns. After the half, Missouri’s defense will prove it is one of the best in the country, and the defensive line will be able to slow down Tevin Coleman in the second half. The game will be closer than the score indicates, though, as I think Indiana will respond after letting go of the gas pedal against Bowling Green.
Missouri 42, Indiana 35:This one will be closer than last year's matchup, with the Hoosiers ranking No. 9 in the country in scoring offense and Missouri at No. 25 leading into Saturday. Nate Sudfeld will throw for 215 yards and two touchdowns and Tevin Coleman goes for 125 and a score against a Tiger defense that improved from last year. The IU defense leaves room for concern, though, after last week's high-scoring affair vs. Bowling Green. Missouri QB Maty Mauk, who threw for four touchdowns last week against the University of Central Florida, will have a big day against a secondary which struggled last week. I have a hard time seeing the Hoosiers bounce back from last week's loss, especially against an Southeastern Conference opponent.