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Indiana Hoosiers Preview

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Unlike RUTS, we're not looking past the Indiana Hoosiers here at BSD. This a 5-2 team with a 2-2 Big Ten record. Like Illinois, they see this as a statement game for their program to take a major step forward. As always, let's look at some film.

The Film Room

Here they are in the running game.


NCAA Football Highlights on Veoh.com

The first thing I noticed is holy crap does Minnesota look terrible. Too bad we don't have them on the schedule this year.

You can see most of their big running plays are keepers by Lewis. The Hoosiers don't have a very effective #2 option in the running game. They'll spread out the defense and use a lot of counters and misdirection to try to confuse the linebackers. This is why it's important that everyone know their assignments and stick to them. The first guy to get to Lewis has to wrap him up or slow him down long enough for the pursuit to catch up.

Now let's look at the passing game.


NCAA Football Highlights on Veoh.com

You can see that Lewis is a much bigger threat with his arm than Juice Williams, and James Hardy is a big time receiver with home run potential. The secondary is going to have their hands full containing this duo. And if they're not careful Ray Fisher can make them pay.

On defense the Hoosiers have two outstanding cornerbacks in Tracey Porter and Leslie Majors that will create problems for Anthony Morelli.


NCAA Football Highlights on Veoh.com

This may be a game where the Lions are forced to attack the middle of the field. Hopefully Andrew Quarless can get his head on straight and become the weapon we've been waiting all season to see.

Stats and Stuff

On offense you could say that Indiana holds a slight edge, but not much. It's virtually a tie. But on the defensive side of the ball the Nittany Lions hold a huge advantage.

We saw against Illinois that Penn State can give up a bunch of yards against a spread offense with an option quarterback. I think Indiana will get yards and points on Saturday. But the Hoosier defense is not nearly as good as the Illini defense at stopping the run. This should enable Penn State to control the ball and keep Lewis and Hardy on the sideline.

Special teams look pretty even, though Penn State holds a pretty significant advantage in net punting.

Predictions

Penn State may try to control the tempo of the game by slowing it down and grinding it out against the soft Indiana run defense. But if Indiana comes out stacking the box like Iowa and Wisconsin did at the beginning of their games then Penn State will take it to the air to set up the run. But ultimately Penn State will settle into a ball control offense with long time consuming drives designed to keep Lewis and Hardy off the field. Michigan State did this with great success.

On defense it's essential that Penn State contain Lewis and not allow him to turn sacks into 30 yard gains. The defensive line has to be disciplined about staying in their lanes and keeping him in the pocket. The linebackers have to stick to their assignments and not fall for the counters and miss directions.

Ultimately I think Indiana will get a lot of yards and more points than we're all comfortable with. But I also think the Penn State offense will be able to exploit the Hoosier defense and Penn State will win this game in somewhat of a shootout.

Team Comparison
Statistical Category Indiana NCAA Rank Penn State NCAA Rank Advantage
Rushing Offense (ypg) 176 42 185 31
Passing Offense (ypg) 235 53 223 65
Pass Efficiency Offense 143.0 22 128.4 59
Total Offense (ypg) 412 42 409 43
Scoring Offense (ppg) 36.0 23 32.7 38
Rushing Defense (ypg) 155 59 81 9
Passing Defense (ypg) 230 64 183 20
Pass Efficiency Defense 119.7 50 102.6 15
Total Defense (ypg) 385 63 264 7
Scoring Defense (ppg) 25.3 57 12.7 5
Net Punting (yards) 34.3 69 39.9 3
Punt Returns (yards) 17.2 7 13.6 22
Kickoff Returns (yards) 20.3 81 20.9 68
Turnover Margin 0.71 31 -0.29 76
Sacks Per Game 4.6 1 4.1 2
Tackles for Loss 8.0 15 9.1 5
Sacks Allowed Per Game 2.3 79 2.0 64
Penn State 45
Indiana 20