Written By Sammy Jacobs (@sammyj108)
Welcome to meaningful November football Hoosier Nation! Tomorrow is the most important game of the season for this Indiana football squad as they face off against the Minnesota Golden Gophers for homecoming. Minnesota is coming off two of their best wins in the last three years, knocking off Northwestern on the road and Nebraska at home last week. However, this is a very winnable game for the Hoosiers and the offense has to be the force to carry the Hoosiers to victory. Here are the three keys that the Hoosier offense needs to take one step closer to bowl eligibility.
1. Score Early and Often- The Hoosiers have done a nice job of getting on the board first in the games against Michigan State and Michigan. What the Hoosiers couldn’t do was build on those leads. In both games the Hoosiers had chances to make these two score games fairly early on and failed to do so because the offense sputtered for one reason or another. If the Hoosiers can get a multiple score lead it could take away Minnesota’s best chance at winning the game, using their run game to control the clock and keep the IU offense off the field.
2. Protect the Quarterback- Minnesota had a lot of success last week because they harassed Nebraska signal caller Taylor Martinez. They recorded four sacks as a team. Its looks as if Kevin Wilson will go back to Tre Roberson as the starter for Saturday, which should give the Hoosiers a slight advantage with his ability to run with the ball. Still, the Hoosiers love to throw the ball around and the times they haven’t done that well have been the times that the quarterback, whether Nate Sudfeld or Roberson, has been pressured. The offensive line is banged up but looks to be getting better with each week and they need to play well against this aggressive Gopher line.
3. Limit Turnovers- Indiana cost themselves a chance to beat Michigan with two late turnovers, and let’s be honest there were at least two other passes that should have been picked off. The Hoosiers cannot cost themselves another win by trying to force the ball into coverage. This is the area where the offense has to be improved. Turnovers will kill this team taking their offense off the field and putting a defense that has been awful back on a short field.