Written By Sammy Jacobs (@sammyj108)
Welcome back to our “Three and Out” series as we will take a look at the keys for the Hoosier defense heading into Saturday evening’s game with Navy. Navy will present Indiana with the unique challenge of trying to stop the triple option. This type of offense is very difficult to game plan for, however it is not unstoppable. As you prepare to head down to Bloomington or are just settling in on the couch for the weekend here are some of the defensive keys to stopping this potent running attack from the Midshipmen.
1. Stay Disciplined on Defense- This does not just mean not committing stupid penalties, but also not doing too much or trying to be a hero. In order to stop the triple option offense a defense must stay on assignment. If your read is the quarterback stay on the quarterback and let the man covering the fullback take the fullback. Of course avoiding silly penalties is also a must in order to win any game. It is vital in the effort to stop the rushing attack of Navy.
2. Get off the field- The Hoosier defense did a solid job against Indiana State of limiting drives and getting off the field when they had a chance. Due to the nature of Navy’s offense the Hoosiers will not get as many possessions as they would against a “normal” team. Last year Indiana only had 10 total possessions against the Midshipmen. If the defense can create more possessions for the Hoosiers through turnovers and 3rd down stops, Indiana should have no trouble dispatching a tough Navy squad.
3. Make Tackles- Navy’s offense is not as explosive as many think, however if you miss tackles against them a play that should go for no gain ends up going for four or five yards. With a young Hoosier defense good tackling should be a priority over going for the big hit. For the Hoosiers to get the victory the defense must play physical, but not out of control.
Week two may be too early to call this a must win game, but playing a team that does not have the talent or depth that Indiana has and playing at home this game is huge for the Hoosiers’ bowl aspirations. Navy is bringing a good crowd to Bloomington and Hoosier Nation should be out in full force after a full day of festivities, but Indiana must protect the Rock.