Written By: Nick Holmes (@HoosierHolmes)
Third time’s a charm to get win number five? I’m not saying it has to be, but it certainly needs to be. Few had the Hoosiers penciled in as winners against Ohio State. And going into Happy Valley with as many injuries to key personnel as they had, expectations were adjusted accordingly. However, after dropping two in a row, now is the time for the players in crimson to regroup and take care of business on Saturday in front of a homecoming crowd eager to see this squad draw another game nearer bowl eligibility.
If you’ve looked ahead on their upcoming schedule, you know today is about as winnable game as they have left to play the rest of the way. However, I’m not counting this team out of any game, as they showed against Ohio State, they can certainly run with the big dogs. But a true sign of development and consistency is winning those games that you should win, the ones that you are favored in. So far, so good this season.
I’m not saying it will be easy, despite their 2 and 3 record, Rutgers is no pushover and they are looking at Saturday’s game as having the potential to turn their season around. They’ve made it to a bowl game the last four seasons, nine of the last ten, so a win today could go a long way in helping continue that run.
The Scarlet Knights have plenty of offensive weapons to make things interesting all afternoon. And while their record on the road in the Big Ten has been rather dismal, Indiana and its fans are in no position to overlook anyone. And I know for a fact Coach Wilson won’t let his team overlook the Knight, far too much is riding on Saturday’s game.
So today, opportunity knocks. Actually, it’s more like beating down the door, pleading for the Hoosiers to answer, to continue their ascension among the college football ranks. This program and its fans have been in hibernation for far too long, waiting for a reason to cheer, to get excited about the future. A win today would regain some of that momentum that has been lost over the last couple of weeks.
I know it sounds like I’m putting far too much emphasis on one game, but heading to East Lansing on a three game losing streak, not something you even want to think about. Following the Halloween bye week, the Hoosiers then play host to a revitalized Iowa squad and Jim Harbaugh’s blue collar Michigan Wolverines. Like I said, it only gets tougher for the next few weeks, so strike while the iron is hot.
Again, let me reitereate that Indiana could certainly knock off any one of those teams, as they’ve played them all tough at different times throughout Wilson’s tenure in Bloomington, but for the sake of momentum and perception, a win on Saturday is a near must.