Written By Sammy Jacobs (@Hoosier_Huddle)
It is homecoming this weekend in Bloomington and the leaves are changing. The Spartans of Michigan State come to town as the sixth ranked team in the nation and will face off the 3-3 Hoosiers for the Old Brass Spittoon. It has been a rough week in Hoosier Nation with the announcements that starting quarterback Nate Sudfeld is out for the year and his backup Chris Covington is likely out for this week. This leaves the offense in the hands of a former male model from California who has yet to take a snap in his college career. That guy is true freshman Zander Diamont, who won Los Angeles City Player of the Year and threw for 47 touchdowns in his senior year of high school. So what does this offense have to do to pull the most unlikely of upsets on this Hoosier homecoming weekend?
1. Play Disciplined- The Hoosiers lead the Big Ten in penalties and there is no better way to torpedo an offense than to have penalties that cost a team big plays and scoring opportunities. The Hoosiers must play aggressively, but need to cut down on the amount of flags they have had thrown against them.
2. Somehow Get The Running Game Going- The Spartans come into the game with one of the best rush defenses in the country. They allow just 81.5 yards per game. The Hoosiers on the other hand have the nation’s leading rusher in Tevin Coleman. The immovable object meets the unstoppable force. Indiana needs to find away to open up some holes for their best player to do some damage. Whether that means running him out of the “wildcat” formation, putting him on kickoff returns, or just having some semblance of a passing game. If the Hoosiers can get TeCo going they have a shot.
3. Limit the Empty Drives- Grabbing points when ever possible is paramount to winning a football game, but it is unrealistic for the Hoosiers to score on every possession against one of the better defenses in the country. Indiana must, absolutely must, win the field position battle. I am going to define an empty drive this week as a three and out, where the Hoosiers do not improve their overall position in the game. Even getting a couple first downs and flipping the field should be considered a small victory on Saturday. This will also help the defense by putting it in a position for success.