With every game that Indiana plays this season, we’ll take a pregame look at five keys that the Hoosiers will need to be successful.
Here’s the five keys for today’s game with Ohio State:
1. COLEMAN HAS TO BE PRODUCTIVEIt’s a lot to ask of Tevin Coleman that he has to put up big yards every week but last week’s game against Rutgers told the whole story. Coleman ran for 307 yards and a score and IU still got beat. That was the second most yards in a game in IU history and it still didn’t give the Hoosiers much of a chance to snap their winless streak in the Big Ten. So first and foremost, Coleman has to get untracked. If he doesn’t, this one could really get ugly. It may get ugly anyway, but I’m talking REAL UGLY
2.DIAMONT NEEDS TO TAKE THE NEXT NATURAL STEPAfter three less than inspiring starts against Michigan State, Michigan and Penn State, Zander Diamont took a step forward last week at Rutgers. He threw for 179 yards and his first career passing touchdown against the Scarlet Knights. Now obviously things get a little more difficult when you’re playing in Ohio Stadium against the Buckeyes. That will be a big challenge. But Diamont needs to do enough things in the passing game to give Coleman a chance in the running game. Probably easier said than done.
3. THE DEFENSE NEEDS TO PLAY LIKE PENN STATETwo weeks ago the defense looked stout against Penn State. Last week, it struggled again against Rutgers. Today it faces a great quarterback and will need to step up again. It’s a tall order for sure but for Indiana to have a chance in this game, the IU defense needs to hold Ohio State to under 30 points. The point spread is higher than that.
4. OTHER OFFENSIVE PLAYERS NEED TO STEP UPThis cannot just be the Coleman/Diamont/Wynn show because it gets too one dimensional. Someone else needs to step up on the offensive side of the ball. One of the freshmen wide receivers? One of the tight ends? D’Angelo Roberts? It doesn’t matter who it is but someone needs to come up big against the Buckeyes.
5. HANDLE BEING ON THE ROAD Indiana has not fared well on the road in Big Ten play in Kevin Wilson’s IU career. He only has one Big Ten road win and that was against Illinois. Indiana took a major step forward in terms of what it can do on the road when it won at Missouri earlier this season. But that was with Nate Sudfeld at the helm.
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