Written By Sammy Jacobs (@Hoosier_Huddle)
Football weather is finally here in central and southern Indiana, which means it is time for sweatshirts, football, and fires. On Saturday the Indiana Hoosiers will play for their postseason lives when North Texas comes into Memorial Stadium. Yes, the Hoosiers need the W Saturday to even sniff thinking about a bowl game. The defense, which has looked improved so far in 2014, has to set the tone early against the Mean Green and take away whatever hope there is for an upset. So without further ado here are the three keys to victory for the Indiana defense.
1. Energy, Energy, Energy- Playing North Texas may not pack the house Saturday and fans definitely won’t come out just for the weather this week (a high of 53), so the Hoosiers defense will need to create some energy of their own. That means creating big plays and getting hyped up after them. North Texas’ offense is not the 2000 St. Louis Rams and will not light up the scoreboard. The Hoosiers are more talented across the board and must prove they are the better and more physical team.
2. No Letting Up- The last two weeks the Indiana defense has been serviceable, however there is one glaring issue that keeps haunting them. That is the problem Indiana has getting off the field on third and long. We saw it against Missouri a couple times and then saw it again in the Maryland game when the IU defense had the offense pinned back with a third and 10 plus yards and the opponent then converts. This defense needs to get off the field every chance they get and start cashing in on those “money downs”.
3. Be Prepared for Anything- North Texas comes into the game Saturday with a 2-2 record. Nothing special, but you can bet the farm that they will do everything in their power to knock off a Big Ten team. The Hoosiers may see three quarterbacks, they may see some funky formations, and probably some trick plays, but they have to have the mindset of expecting the unexpected. Even if these plays do not come to fruition, it is better to be ready than caught flat-footed and gashed for a big gain or score.