Written By Sammy Jacobs (@Hoosier_Huddle)
It was a tale of two halves for the IU defense against Bowling Green. The first half was filled with energy and players flying around, while the second half was a throw back tribute to the styles of the Doug Mallory coached defense. If the Hoosiers are going to pull the upset at Missouri the defense will need to follow these three keys to victory.
1. For the Love of It Get Off the Field- Last week Bowling Green ran 113 plays, that is two plays off the NCAA record. Understandably the Hoosier defense look gassed late in the second half. Getting off the field starts with good play on first and second downs. The Hoosiers need to come up with some negative plays to get Missouri into some third and long situations. The Hoosiers do not have to get a three and out every drive, but stringing a few stops together and winning the field position battle will set up the offense for success.
2. Put the Heat on Matty Mauk- Matty Mauk has the reputation as a bit of a gun slinger, as he has thrown three interceptions and has been a bit reckless with the ball in the first three games. His 62.3 complication percentage is solid, but nothing special. The Hoosiers need this defensive line to play with fire in their bellies and get after the first year starter. Nick Mangeiri had a great day against Bowling Green and a similar effort should go a long way towards a victory.
3. Score- What better way can the defense help an offense that has to be almost perfect to win than to score on its own. While a defensive touchdown does not guarantee a win, it will take some pressure of a Hoosier offense that has to be almost flawless for the team to win. A defensive score is a great momentum changer. It will give the defense a burst of energy while taking the wind out of the sails of what should be a raucous Missouri crowd. Michael Hunter and Tim Bennett need a little redemption after getting picked on in last week’s loss.