Written By Sammy Jacobs (@Hoosier_Huddle)
The Indiana Hoosiers head into Missouri to face the number 18 team in the nation with a fan base that has been grumbling, a defense that is licking their wounds, and a special teams unit that has issues kicking the ball. It is time for head coach Kevin Wilson and his Hoosier squad to take an “us against the world” mentality and spring the upset in Columbia.
The Hoosiers have not beaten a ranked opponent since defeating the then number 24 ranked Northwestern Wildcats way back in October of 2008. The staff needs a marquee win, the players need a win, the program could definitely use the victory, and god knows the fan base needs a Hoosier triumph. The loss to Bowling Green was just another in a long line of heart breakers that have haunted the IU fan base for the last two decades. Now, a win Saturday will not erase every one of those losses, but it will show what kind of heart this year’s edition of the Hoosiers has.
What a Win Would Mean to IU
A win at Missouri would easily be the biggest achievement in the Kevin Wilson era. Not only would this be a feather in Wilson’s cap, it would help with recruiting, attendance, and the overall perception of Indiana University football. The most important impact however may be on Indiana’s bottom line. A loss this week can all but guarantee another half full Memorial Stadium. A win on the other hand should breathe some life into the alumni and the student body. Indiana needs the cash too; they were paid $200,000 to play at Bowling Green. I bet that the alumni would rather have the win than the extra green. Money rules college athletics and it sure would help IU if they could get a little extra to impress recruits and keep upgrading their facilities.
The Hoosiers Can Pull it Off
This is probably one of the most talented Hoosier teams in the last decade. They have a running back in Tevin Coleman who is averaging over 200 yards on the ground per game, a quarterback in Nate Sudfeld who is coming off one of the better games in his career, and a bevy of receivers including Shane Wynn and Nick Stoner who can make big plays all over the field. There is no reason why the Hoosiers could not go into Columbia and knock off the 18th ranked Tigers. Yes, the Hoosiers do have to play defense against an explosive offense, I did not forget that, but this defense is now in its third game in a new scheme and they did play pretty well in the first half at Bowling Green.
Under Wilson the Hoosiers have always showed fight, especially when things have seemed to hit rock bottom. Well, rock bottom in the Wilson era may have happened Saturday. It is time for these Hoosiers to make their mark on 2014 and prove to Hoosier Nation that in fact this season has just begun.