Hoosier Gameday - IU vs. Nicholls State

HoosierNation.com breaks down Saturday's home opener, complete with stats, key matchups, and predictions.



Indiana  (1-0) vs. Nicholls State (0-0)


Memorial Stadium




IU Radio Network (Don Fischer, Pete Compise, Joe Smith)


30,000 (est.)


First Meeting

Last Meeting:


IU  2005 Off:

Rush (109.0/gm); Pass (276.0); Total Off. (385.0)

IU  2005 Def:

Rush (167.0/gm); Pass (216.0); Total Off. (383.0)

NCSU 2005 Off:

Rush (N/A); Pass (N/A); Total Off. (N/A)

NCSU 2005 Def:

Rush (N/A); Pass (N/A); Total Off. (N/A)

Week Two: Indiana vs. Nicholls State
For the third time in four years, Indiana faces a I-AA opponent in its non-conference schedule. Nicholls State, from the Soutland Conference, will face the Hoosiers at 4 p.m. at IU's Memorial Stadium. The Thibodaux, La., based school is coached by Jay Thomas and is coming off a 5-5 mark in 2004. This is the season-opener for Nicholls, which was forced to cancel its scheduled season-opener last week against Utah State in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.

This is the first-ever meeting the two schools, and it marks the first time Nicholls State has played a team from the Big Ten.

IU WR James Hardy continues to nurse a sore Achilles. The 6-7 redshirt freshman was expected to be limited to 12-15 snaps in the season-opener due to the injury, but instead played 46 plays and led the team with five catches for 107 yards and a touchdown.

IU WR James Hardy vs. NCSU CB Tommy Lee Brown:
The 6-7 Hardy will have a decided size advantage over just about every corner he faces this year, but the 6-3 Brown won't be giving up as much size as CMU's corners did a week ago. A preseason second-team All-Conference pick, Brown is a big corner (210 pounds) who led the team with five interceptions a year ago.

IU LE Victor Adeyanju vs. NCSU RT Davon Dutton:
The 270-pound Adeyanju will have a big edge over Dutton, a 6-2, 265-pound freshman who will be tested by the Hoosier senior. Adeyanju will have a decided edge in size and speed and could be in for a big day Saturday.

NCSU FB Broderick Cole vs. IU MLB John Pannozzo:
The 5-11, 230-pound Cole and the 5-11, 225-pound Pannozzo will meet early and often. Cole is a preseason first-team All-Conference pick after running for 512 yards and four touchdowns a year ago. In NCSU's option attack Cole will attack the heart of the IU defense, where Pannozzo resides. When others are carrying the ball, Cole will be seeking out Pannozzo and trying to keep him from putting together another big performance. Expect some big collisions between these two.

IU LBs Jake Powers and Kyle Killion vs. NCSU QB Yale Vannoy:
The Nicholls State option attack starts with the 6-2, 225-pound Vannoy, who ran for 460 yards and a team-high seven touchdowns a year ago. It will be up to IU's outside linebackers to stay disciplined against Vannoy and the option attack to avoid surrendering the big play.

"The option is such a different look, you have to be disciplined. You have to be disciplined with your reads, disciplined with your responsibility. You have to be ready for guys to chop you at your legs to try to take your aggressiveness away. You have to be disciplined against this attack and do your job. You can't try to do anyone else's job." – IU linebackers Coach George Ricumstrict.

When The Hoosiers Have The Ball: As good as the passing game was a week ago, expect Indiana to try to establish the run against NCSU. The Hoosier offensive line is decidedly bigger than the NCSU defensive line, which will be surrendering as much as 60 pounds/man. IU Coach Terry Hoeppner would also like to create some confidence among the front five, as well as senior tailback Chris Taylor. That, in turn, could create some opportunities for some big strikes in the passing game.

When The Colonels Have The Ball: The Colonels only threw 96 passes in the entire 2004 season, and when they did throw, they completed only 42.4 percent of them. So don't expect Vannoy to start airing it out. Nicholls will go option left, option right, option left…all in an effort to move the chains, keep the clock going, and trying to hang around until the fourth quarter.

It was only three days ago that the Nicholls State players knew for sure that they'd be able to make the trip to Bloomington to play this contest, and it's certainly understandable that their minds are somewhere else as a result of the Hurricane. Indiana has too much size, speed and firepower for the Colonels to match up with. Blake Powers won't throw the ball 35 times like he did against Central Michigan, but he has a chance to match his nearly 300-yard effort with some big plays in the passing game. Don't be surprised if IU eclipses the 500-yard mark in total offense in this one:

Indiana 41, Nicholls State 10

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