3 & Out Defense: Week 11 Illinois Fighting Illini

Forcing turnovers should be a high priority for this Hoosier defense

Forcing turnovers should be a high priority for this Hoosier defense

Written By Sammy Jacobs (@sammyj108)

Good morning Hoosier Nation! We hope you are out tailgating and cooking up some brats or some breakfast.  Enjoy it while you can because there are only four games left in the season.  While your food is cooking or your buddies are setting up the dish sit back and enjoy the three keys for victory for the Hoosier defense.

Hold the opponents to field goal attempts- By now we all know that this defense isn’t going to completely shutdown an opponent, but what they can do is limit the damage.  The Hoosiers defense played OK in the second half last week after a disastrous second quarter.  If the Hoosiers can not break after letting up yards to the Illini and hold them to field goal attempts this game should be well in hand by dinner time.  It should help IU that their number one receiver Ryan Lankford is out for the year.

Pressure Scheelhaase- The reason Indiana came out victorious in this matchup last season is that the Hoosiers put the Illini QB on his back all day.  Scheelhaase looked uncomfortable and just was not effective.  Scheelhaase is healthy in 2013 so far and has looked solid, but this offense is still 66th nationally in scoring at 29 points per game.

Take their Heart- The trick in beating really bad teams is to not let them stick around for long.  Don’t let them believe that they can win.  This is what Indiana has to do today.  While the defense hasn’t been great they have forced a turnover in six straight games this season.  An early turnover should crush the will of this Illinois team, especially if the Hoosiers can capitalize off of it.  Forcing multiple turnovers will make this game swing largely in favor of the Hoosiers.

There are no two ways around it.  This is a game Indiana should win.  Playing at home against an inferior conference opponent the Hoosiers simply have to win this game to have something to show for this season.  Illinois will come in thinking that this may be their shot to end their losing streak, but the Hoosier offense has to crush any hope that the Fighting Illini have at pulling off the upset in Bloomington today.