Hoosier Gameday - IU vs. Kentucky

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



Indiana  (2-0) vs. Kentucky (1-1)


Memorial Stadium


ESPN Classic (Gary Bender, Bill Curry, Duke Castiglione)


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


40,000 (est.)


Tied 17-17-1

Last Meeting:

2004, Kentucky 51-32

IU  2005 Off:

Rush (111.5/gm); Pass (291.5); Total Off. (403.0)

IU  2005 Def:

Rush (287.5/gm); Pass (133.5); Total Off. (421.0)

UK 2005 Off:

Rush (91.0); Pass (222.5); Total Off. (313.5)

UK 2005 Def:

Rush (183.0); Pass (235.0); Total Off. (418.0)

Week Three: Indiana vs. Kentucky

Kentucky will play its first road game of the season when it travels to Bloomington to face Hoosiers at 5:45 p.m. at Memorial Stadium. Kentucky has won nine of the last 10 meetings between the two schools, with Indiana's lone victory coming in 2001 when IU handed UK a 26-15 setback in Bloomington. That game was originally slated to be played in September, but the game was postponed until Dec. 1 after the tragic events on 9/11.

"The Walk" will once again be a big part of Indiana's pregame festivities, as the team will be dropped off on the west side of Memorial Stadium. IU Coach Terry Hoeppner said he expects the bus to arrive to drop off the team at 3:50 p.m.

IU WR James Hardy (Achilles), LB John Pannozzo (ankle), KR/WR Lance Bennett (knee) and S Troy Grosfield were all sidelined during last week's Nicholls State game, but all are listed as probable for this week's game.

UK WR Keenan Burton (broken foot), S Marcus McClinton (torn patella tendon), WR Tommy Cook (dislocated knee cap), DT Lamar Mills (knee) and RB Tony Dixon (broken ankle) are out; DE B. Jay Parsons (sprained ankle) and DE Travis Day (broken hand) are doubtful; WR Glen Holt (sprained ankle) and DTD Ricky Abren (broken wrist) are questionable; and CB David Jones (hip flexor) is probable.

IU CB Leslie Majors vs. UK WR John Logan:
With the recent wave of injuries to the Wildcat receivers, Logan has surfaced as a player to worry about, almost by default. A top recruit two years ago, Logan has been criticized by the UK coaches for his work habits in practice, and has been used sparingly. But with the loss of top deep threat Keenan Burton for the season, Logan is expected to fill that deep threat void. Logan has great speed, so expect the Hoosiers to use their fastest cornerback, Majors, on him.
IU KR Lance Bennett vs. UK KR Rafael Little:
In a game that most figure to be close, a big return on special teams could wind up being a momentum swinger and/or a decisive blow. Both Benett and Little are capable of delivering. Bennett has been quiet thus far, but is capable of breaking a big return on a punt of kick return. Little, meanwhile, turned the tide in last week's UK win over I-AA Idaho State with a 99-yard kickoff return for a touchdown that gave UK the lead late in the fourth quarter. Kentucky piled up 317 yards in kick returns last week, so special teams could obviously play a big part in this game's outcome.

IU DEs Victor Adeyanju, Kenny Kendal and Ben Ishola vs. UK OTs Fatu Turituri and Haden Lane:
One big difference in Kentucky's passing attack this season – other than the debut of heralded sophomore quarterback Andre Woodson – is the ability to throw the ball downfield. A year ago UK relied on primarily underneath routes, and was last in the nation in passing yards/completion (9.6). This year that number is up to 13.9/completion, and Woodson is completing better than 68 percent of his throws. It will be up to the Hoosier defensive ends to generate some pressure on Woodson so the 6-5, 230-pounder doesn't have time to find wideouts open deep downfield on a regular basis.

IU LBs QB Blake Powers vs. UK safeties Muhammad Abdullah and Karl Booker:
IU will often be lined up in three- and four-wide receiver sets, which will force Abdullah and Booker to play man-to-man coverage more often than they are used to. Abdullah – last year's UK MVP - has been a turnover specialist during his career, coming up with ten turnovers (seven interceptions and three fumble recoveries). UK Defensive Coordinator Mike Archer will try to throw different looks at Powers with his safeties to try to confuse the signal caller, and Powers must avoid costly turnovers.

" They are a really good, sound defense. They mix what they do. They're not a predictable defense in any way. They are going to keep you off balance. They are a combination of man coverage and zone. A combination of different types of blitzes and stunts.

"It's a really good sound defense. It's not one of those that you see it and see big holes. You're going to have to earn everything you get. Louisville had to earn what they got. Louisville is obviously an outstanding offensive team." – IU Offensive Coordinator/Assistant Head Coach Bill Lynch.

STREAK COMING TO AN END: This will mark the 19th straight season Indiana and Kentucky have met on the football field, the Hoosiers' second-longest active streak. The Hoosiers and Purdue have square off 85 straight seasons, as 1919 marked the last time IU and Purdue didn't play. The Indiana-Kentucky streak, though, is coming to an end, as the contract between the two schools was not renewed.

When The Hoosiers Have The Ball: Indiana wants to have success running the ball, but look for the Hoosiers to throw the ball early. Don't be surprised if IU starts the game with its four wide receiver set and relies on Powers to spread the ball around to move the ball downfield. Once the Hoosiers have success through the air, they very well may try to then establish the run later in the contest.

When The Wildcats Have The Ball: Kentucky is averaging only 91.0 yards/game on the ground. But with the success that both Central Michigan and Nicholls State had running the ball against the IU defense, look for tailback Rafael Little to get plenty of work until IU shows it can stop him. Little will also be a primary target out of the backfield, evidenced by his team-high nine receptions on the year. It will likely by Kyle Killion's job to keep an eye on him coming out of the backfield.

Indiana has had limited success in this matchup in recent years, and the same will be the case if it can't stop the Wildcats on the ground. But after a statistically embarrassing effort against the Nicholls State rushing attack, look for Indiana's defense to be much better this weekend. UK has been decimated at wide receiver, which should better enable the Hoosiers to concentrate on stopping the Wildcats on the ground:

Indiana 31, Kentucky 27

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