Written By Sammy Jacobs (@Hoosier_Huddle)
Happy Halloween Hoosier Nation! What’s better than having Halloween on a Friday night before a football Saturday? Not much. This week the Hoosiers head up to Ann Arbor, Michigan to take on a Michigan team who will be dressing up as a dumpster fire. Since Michigan is dressing up, let’s see what costumes the Hoosiers defense must wear to win in the Big House for the first time since 1967.
1. A Turnover Machine- The Hoosiers have not forced too many turnovers in 2014, but playing against a Michigan squad that has had butterfingers more times than trick-or-treaters. The Wolverines have turned the ball over a brain splattering 19 times this season, led by quarterback Devin Gardner’s 10 interceptions. Indiana’s defense should be rejuvenated and playing with a new sense of energy.
2. The Energizer Bunny- Head coach Kevin Wilson commented all week that the defense must play with more energy, confidence, and effort. It should help the Hoosiers’ energy that they have had an extra week before playing Michigan. IU needs to fly around and get into the backfield to harass Devin Gardner. Putting pressure on Gardner will lead to him making poor decisions and give this young IU defense a chance to get the ball back quickly.
3. Take the Fun(chess) Away- Indiana’s pass defense was torched the last time these two teams matched up. Thankfully, for the Hoosiers Jeremy Gallon is no longer wearing Maize and Blue. However the Wolverines have a receiver in Devin Funchess that is well deserving of wearing that number one jersey. Funchess has 41 receptions for 525 yards and four touchdowns. He is a big, physical receiver who can stretch the field and be a matchup issue for the Hoosier defensive backs. If IU can somehow find a way to shut him down a little bit, the game becomes that much more winnable.