Written By Sammy Jacobs (@Hoosier_Huddle)
Well the forecast for Saturday’s game has cleared up since the beginning of the week and it should be a great fall day to tailgate and take in some college football in Bloomington. So whether you are prepping your food for tomorrow or just getting around to reading this at your morning tailgate here are the three keys to victory for the Hoosier defense.
1. Don’t Let Penn State Flip the Field- Indiana’s offense and special teams have done no favors for this defense, so the D will have to try and pick up the slack. This means getting off the field via turnover and three and out. The Hoosiers cannot afford to have Penn State flip the field on them and win the field position battle. The Hoosier offense needs as much help as it can get.
2. Stuff The Run- Penn State is averaging just 2.3 yards per carry in 2014. Indiana has been the elixir for teams that have struggled on offense for the better part of two decades. While this defense has been improved, it will have to take away the run and make Penn State one-dimensional. Guys like Ralph Green III, Bobby Richardson, and Darius Latham need to have big games to hold the Lions to under 100 yards. If the Hoosiers can take away the run it will go a long way in making this a competitive ball game.
3. Pressure Hackenberg- This goes along with stopping the run and is also a weakness of this Penn State team. The offensive line has given up a brain rattling 30 sacks so far this season in just eight games. Indiana has the defensive line and linebacker talent to get to Hackenberg and sack him or at the very least force him into some poor throws that will result in interceptions or incompletions. Bandit Nick Mangieri and the defensive line need to win the battle up front and allow the linebackers to fill the gaps on the run or come unblocked when they are blitzing.