On Saturday (7:00 P.M., BTN), the Missouri Tigers (2-0) travel to Bloomington to take on the Indiana Hoosiers (2-1). Indiana is coming off of a 42-10 home win over Bowling Green, while Missouri is coming off of a bye week, following a 38-23 home win in Week 2 over Toledo.
Indiana took the lead over Bowling Green and started to pull away in the 2nd quarter before dominating the game in the second half. Against Bowling Green, the Hoosiers averaged 8.1 yards per offensive play as they racked up 601 yards of total offense.
In his third season as Indiana Head Coach, Kevin Wilson has energized the Hoosier fan base, and he has certainly elevated the talent base of his football team. In his first two seasons at Indiana, Coach Wilson has played a remarkable 48 true or red-shirt freshmen. Coach Wilson and his staff have infused talent into the Hoosiers, but many of those young players have also gained experience over the past two seasons.
Coach Wilson entered this year with a pair of QBs listed at the top of the Depth Chart, and through Indiana’s first three games, both QBs have played, although 6’5” 230-pound sophomore QB Nate Sudfeld has effectively taken over the starting job. Sudfeld is more of the pocket passer, while 6’0” 200-pound red-shirt sophomore Tre Roberson is more of a runner. Roberson’s been in some on the goal line and in short-yardage situations. He’s 3-7-0 for 71 yards and 2 TDs passing, and he has 12 carries for 43 yards and 1 TD. Sudfeld is 60-85-2 (71%) for 917 yards and 10 TDs through the air (195.33 passer efficiency rating). He’s not really much of a runner, but he can move around well enough to extend plays, and he’s been effective throwing on the run. But he’s at his best in the pocket, where he’s the trigger man for Indiana’s fast-tempo, high-powered, spread attack.
A third QB, Kansas City native Cameron Coffman, has also seen some action.
“I’m very impressed with Sudfeld,” said Missouri Head Coach Gary Pinkel. “He’s real good! He’s been playing very, very well.”
Through three games this season, the Indiana offense has run one play every 21.1 seconds, and is averaging 571.3 yards of total offense per game (7.6 yards/play). The Hoosiers are averaging 50 points per game, and have scored so quickly that they’re averaging just 26:39 in time of possession.
“This is (Kevin Wilson’s) offense,” said Coach Pinkel, talking about the Indiana offense. “It’s the same thing he ran at Oklahoma. He’s been very, very successful doing it, and it was successful there. They’re one of the first teams, I think, to play the fastball type offense on a consistent basis. And, they try to get in and out of it. But they can create a lot of problems for you.”
Sudfeld has weapons at the receiver positions, including 6’2” 217-pound junior WR Kofi Hughes (13 receptions, 15.8 yards/reception, 3 TDs), 6’6” 252-pound fifth-year senior TE Ted Bolser (12 receptions, 12.2 yards/reception, 4 TDs), 6’3” 215-pound junior WR Cody Latimer (11 receptions, 19.1 yards/reception, 1 TD), 5’7” 170-pound junior WR Shane Wynn (9 receptions, 20.6 yards/reception, 3 TDs), and 6’1” 182-pound junior WR Nick Stoner (5 receptions, 19.6 yards/reception, 1 TD). Bolser has been very effective in the red zone, and Latimer and Wynn are big-play receivers. The explosive Wynn is also dangerous in the return game.
The Hoosiers feature a pair of dynamic RBs who complement each other in a combination of lightning and thunder, including 6’1” 205-pound sophomore Tevin Coleman (8.1 yards/carry, 5 TDs, 110.7 rushing yard/game) and 6’0” 230-pound fifth-year senior Stephen Houston (6.9 yards/carry, 64.7 rushing yards/game). Both backs are also adept as receivers coming out of the backfield. The Hoosiers are experienced up front on offense, where their starters average 6’4” and 297 pounds. “You know, they’re going to make plays,” said Coach Pinkel, speaking of the Indiana offense. “I mean, you know, everybody can play. They have scholarships, too. And, they’re good players, and they’re going to make plays. I think it’s about being disciplined. And, I think it’s about reducing big plays. I think it’s about being good on third down, you know, being good against the run. Get some pressure on him. Can you mix things up a little bit? I think it’s a combination of all of those things. But, you know, good players are going to make plays. You just want to make more than they do.” It’s on the defensive side of the football where Indiana’s youth is even more evident. The Hoosiers are giving up 28.7 points/game, and 5.3 yards/play.
The Hoosiers best defensive lineman is 6’5” 260-pound sophomore DE Nick Mangieri. He leads Indiana with 2.5 sacks on the season, and he has an interception and a pass-break-up to his credit, as well. Junior DT Bobby Richardson 6’3” 281 has been very productive, as well, with 16 total tackles through three games, including 1.5 TFLs, and he also has been credited with a pass-break-up. A true freshman, 6’0” 240-pound LB T.J. Simmons starts in the middle for Indiana, and he’s been productive through the Hoosier’s first three games, with 21 total tackles and 1.5 TFLs. Senior LB David Cooper 6’1” 235 leads the Hoosiers with 27 total tackles. A team leader, fifth-year senior safety Greg Heban 6’1” 205 has made 24 total tackles on the young season. Junior corner Tim Bennett 5’9” 190 has garnered 21 total tackles and an impressive 7 pass-break-ups. On the other side of the field, sophomore corner Michael Hunter 6’1” 190 has made 4 total tackles, and he has 4 pass-break-ups, and an interception.
“There’s been a lot of group work, because there was some bend/break,” said Coach Wilson, talking about his defense. “There’s a lot of things that we’ve got to clean up. We’ve still got some issues, and things that we got away with some execution that wasn’t as clean as it needed to be. Nick Mangieri has really played well for us. He’s a D-end that we move around, and he’s played a couple of different spots……………………………………. He’s been very, very productive. We’ve gotten some good play out of our young linebacker, T.J. Simmons, and David Cooper. Timmy Bennett, at corner is playing well. They’ll get stressed this week with Missouri’s receivers. Michael Hunter and Tim Bennett have played well. I don’t know that we’ve played great there, but it’s a lot more of a competitive group effort………………………………………. We’ve got to keep getting better, but those guys have got a great attitude, and they’re starting to play off of the energy that the offense has. So, it’s a work in progress, but those guys are gaining on it.”
Comparative Statistics (NCAA Ranking in Parentheses) CATEGORY _________MIZZOU (2-0) __________ INDIANA (2-1) Total Offense __________539 (T-17) _______________571.3 (8) Rushing Offense ________265 (19) ________________232.3 (33) Passing Offense _________274 (40) ________________339 (11) Team Pass Efficiency ____151.09 (34) _____________185.89 (11) Scoring Offense _________48 (10) _________________50 (6) Total Defense __________342 (43) ________________410 (77) Rushing Defense ________124 (39) _______________237 (108) Passing Yds. Allowed ____218 (60) ________________173 (24) Team Pass Effic. Def.____104.41 (25) _____________103.97 (24) Scoring Defense ________18.5 (T-34) _____________28.7 (T-82) Turnover Margin _________2 (T-4) _______________ -0.7 (T-99) 3rd Down Conv. Pct _____0.645 (5) ________________0.581 (13) 4th Down Conv. Pct _____0.5 (T-44) _______________0.375 (76) 3rd Conv Pct.Def. _______0.4 (T-70) _______________0.319 (31) Red Zone Offense ______0.818 (T-72) ______________0.737 (99) Red Zone Defense ______0.833 (T-58) _____________0.692 (T-27) Net Punting ____________34.43 (92)________________ 22 (123) Punt Returns ____________4.63 (93) ________________22.5 (9) Kickoff Returns __________21 (71) ________________18.18 (104) First Downs Offense ______56 (T-68) ________________79 (11) First Downs Defense _______33 (7) _________________66 (T-100) Fewest Penalties / Gm. _____3 (T-11) ________________6 (T-62) Time of Possession ________31 (43) _________________26 (108)