Good morning Hoosier Nation! It is game day in Bloomington as the Bowling Green Falcons invade the Rock to face the Hoosiers. Fall is in the air finally, and the Hoosiers will try to regroup on defense after a subpar performance against Navy. All I have to say is thank goodness Indiana is not facing another triple option team this week. While Bowling Green’s offense has put up 37.5 points a game, the Hoosiers should not have as much trouble stopping this more traditional offense. Let’s take a look at the three keys for success the IU defense, so put down your brat or beverage for a few minutes and read along.
1. Force a turnover- Indiana has only forced two turnovers this season, both against Indiana State. A quick change of possession and a short field will bolster the Hoosiers’ effort to light up the scoreboard against a strong Bowling Green defense. Look for one of the veterans to make a big play early to help set the tone for Indiana.
2. Limit Yardage on First and Second Downs- Against Navy one of the things that killed the Hoosier defense was letting Navy get into manageable third downs. The defense let up over six yards per play. This has to improve if the Hoosiers are to be successful. If Indiana can get the Falcons behind the sticks on first and second downs than it becomes that much easier to stop the offense on third downs. The defensive line and linebackers must be able to make tackles and wrap up the ball carrier. If this happens the Hoosiers can rack up those Tap Out X’s.
3. Veteran Leadership- It is time for the seniors on this young defense to step up and set the tone for the young guys. I’m talking to you Greg Heban and David Cooper. The season is on the line with this game and these guys must play with that urgency. At the conclusion of the game the season will be at the quarter pole (Yes, it goes by that quickly), and the Hoosiers need to be 2-1. Heban and Cooper have been fairly quiet this year in terms of big plays on defense, but if history shows us anything it is that these two vets will bring tremendous heart and effort into this match-up.
The bottom line is pretty simple folks. The defense has to just be decent for Indiana to be successful. The season is on the line today at the Rock and anything less than a victory over a MAC school would be disappointing. They do not have to pitch a shutout; just do not get overpowered by a lesser team again. Emotions should be flying high as the Hoosiers will break out the chrome helmets for the first time, the defense needs to feed off that energy and shut down this offense early and give Indiana’s offense a chance to get ahead quickly.