Preview: Penn State At Indiana

Penn State Nittany Lions (3-1, 2-1 FBS) at Indiana Hoosiers (1-3, 0-3 FBS)

Kickoff: 12:00 p.m. ET, Memorial Stadium, Bloomington, Indiana
The Line: Indiana +16
TV: IT'S ALL ABOUT THA ESPNU. Clay Matvick (play by play), Brian Griese (analyst) & Allison Williams (sideline)
Weather: 60 degrees, sunny, 13 mph wind from the north

Enemy Recon. The Crimson Quarry. Makes a Morrissey album seem like The Polyphonic Spree.

The Good Indiana. Penn State's opening day opponent, Indiana State, just snuck into the FCS Coaches' Poll. It's entirely possible that ISU is better than Indiana right now.

How Bad Are Things In Bloomington? Well, their star running back has been out since the fourth game of last year with a knee injury, yet mysteriously participated in a fifth-tier pro wrestling event in Bloomington last weekend while his team was losing to North Texas, which entered that game winless and ranked last among 120 FBS teams in total defense. So, awesome? FYI, the Hoosiers are now leaning on freshman running back D’Angelo Roberts -- one of 16 true freshman that new IU Head Coach Kevin Wilson has played thus far.

The Quarterback Controversy You're Dying To Dissect. Will it be Dusty Kiel or Ed Wright-Baker for Indiana? Wright-Baker (80-for-129, 925 YDS, 4 TD, 2 INT) was the starter for the first four games, and Kiel (11-for-18, 172 YDS, 2 TD) mounted a rally off the bench at North Texas last week. Wright-Baker has run for 157 yards in four games (he's also lost 69, for an overall average of 2.1 ypc).  Neither should scare you.

Seriously, They Do Nothing Well. Indiana averages about 15 yards per kickoff return. Their punting is awful. They've given up 12 sacks in games against Ball State, Virginia, South Carolina State, and North Texas, while recording only one sack in those four games. They ran for 50 yards at North Texas.  Their defensive coordinator was openly lamenting about how many "loafing" plays his defense had last week.

Nothing?  Okay, they have some good receivers in Damarlo Belcher, Duwyce Wilson, and Kofi Hughes. All three of them are battling nagging injuries.  Their kicker, Mitch Ewald, is pretty good (his only misses are from 48 and 49 yards this season) but has only two touchbacks in 20 kickoffs.

What To Hope For. A quick start. By any reasonable measure, this should be a stomping from the opening kickoff. Look for the Penn State quarterbacks' progression in terms of checking down to secondary receivers. Tilt your head in wonder at the criteria for using specific quarterbacks and placekickers. Be grateful for a day that we're not Indiana fans.

And...If They Lose? Oh, you don't even want to know, man.  It's a cripple fight between Minnesota and Indiana for Worst B1G Team.  They're both unspeakably bad.  A loss in this game should make you question existence.

Prediction In GIF Form?

 

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Penn State 42, Indiana 13.

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