Written By Sammy Jacobs (@Hoosier_Huddle)
The Indiana defense has definitely improved since last season. They are more energetic and confident. The statistics show it as well. The Hoosiers are giving up 28.6 points per game, which by Indiana standards is good. Now it is time to prove that this defensive can win in the Big Ten against a very physical and tough offense. Here are the three keys to victory on defense for the Hoosiers.
1. Make Iowa Rotate QBs- The Hawkeyes are using two quarterbacks on Saturday and it would be ideal for the Hoosiers to make each one as uncomfortable as possible. The draw back in a two-quarterback system, especially with two throw first guys, is that it is very difficult to get into a rhythm. IU’s defense can make this happen by winning the line of scrimmage and pressuring both Rudock and Beathard into hurried throws. The Hoosiers forced two interceptions last week and have shown signs of becoming an opportunistic defense.
2. Don’t Be The Spark That The Iowa Run Game Needs- In the past, it seems that offenses were cured after they faced the Hoosiers. This Indiana defense has to be different. They cannot let Mark Weisman and the rest of the Hawkeye running backs have a break out game this week. Iowa comes in averaging a very unhawkeyelike 140.2 yards rushing per game. The Hoosiers cannot survive if they allow the Hawkeye runners to have a breaking out party if they want to win.
3. Feed off the Atmosphere- The Hoosiers have already won a game in a hostile environment this year and head coach Kevin Wilson has come out and said that playing in front of big crowds away from Bloomington actually gives his squad a shot in the arm. Kinnick Stadium is about as good as it gets in the Big Ten and the place should be rocking on homecoming Saturday. The defense needs to feed off the noise and energy and transfer it to the field. This Hoosier defense needs to fly around and create chaos to leave Iowa with a W.