Written By Sammy Jacobs (@Hoosier_Huddle)
The Indiana Hoosiers finally return home after three weeks, and this game promises to be a great one. Hoosier fans should be out in droves as the Big Ten season kicks off with perfect weather at the Rock and add in the fact the IU is coming off their biggest win since 2007 the atmosphere should be great. So while your waiting to drive down to Bloomington, or are in the car heading home from work, or even tailgating a little early, here are your three keys to a Hoosier victory on offense versus Maryland.
1. Feed the Beast- Tevin Coleman may just be the best player on the field tomorrow. It is time to give him the rock against a defense that is yielding almost 200 yards on the ground a game. Now the Hoosiers have more than just Coleman in the backfield as shown last week when D’Angelo Roberts and Devine Redding combined for 114 yards, but the ball must be given to TeCo. The reason he needs the ball is pretty simple too, he is just better than everybody else so let him run wild on the Terrapins.
2. Improvement of Third Down- Some how the Hoosiers found a way to win last Saturday despite going just 1-14 on third down conversions. On the season IU is just 16 of 43 on third downs, that is a 37% success rate. In order for IU to be successful and more consistent on offense they must figure out away to convert on at least 50% of their third downs. There are a couple of ways the Hoosiers can improve this. First, do not take pre-snap penalties. It puts the team behind the chains and hurts the chances of picking up a first down. Second, get positive yards on first and second down. If IU can pick up 5-7 yards on first and second down that sets up more manageable third and shorts. Finally, help quarterback Nate Sudfeld out. Whether this is blocking for him so he can find a man open or catching the ball when given the opportunity.
3. Score Every Chance Possible- The crowd should be electric Saturday and what do crowds love? Points! The Hoosiers need to score every opportunity they get. Now, will they score on every possession? Probably not, but opportunities that arise from turnovers and short fields must be cashed in. A perfect case in point was last week when the offense failed to put up anything after safety Mark Murphy picked off a pass to open the second half.