Written By Sammy Jacobs (@Hoosier_Huddle)
The Indiana Hoosier offense was a disaster last week as they mustered only 332 total yards. Hopefully this was an aberration in a game against an unfamiliar opponent and not the start of a trend. The North Texas Mean Green comes to town on Saturday with a defense that leads the nation in sacks with 19 and has forced 11 turnovers. So let’s dive in and take a look at the three offensive keys to the game for the Hoosiers.
1. Establish the Pass to Open the Run- The Hoosiers need to get Nate Sudfeld in rhythm to take the pressure off of Tevin Coleman and the running game. Yes, Coleman is a great running back but teams are stacking the box with defenders and making it nearly impossible for IU to get anything going on the ground. Using short quick throws to ease Sudfeld into the game should help him get into a rhythm with his receivers, but he needs to have a deep threat. For example the long pass to Nick Stoner against Missouri really loosened up things for the running game. The Hoosiers need to stretch the field a little bit with Simmie Cobbs and Stoner early and hope Sudfeld connects so the defense has to respect that. If they cannot loosen up the Mean Green defense it will be a long day once again for the IU offense.
2. Do Not Give The Ball Away- Sure, it seems like a key every week, but only because protecting the ball is that important. Coming into the game North Texas has turned 11 turnovers into 88 points. The Mean Green offense is not great, yet they do know how to cash in their opportunities. With the Hoosier offense sputtering a little bit they need every chance they can get to put points on the board.
3. Do Not Beat Yourself- Last weekend it seemed that the Hoosiers did more harm to themselves than Maryland. IU had two touchdowns called back because of penalties, which really killed any momentum the Hoosiers could have had. Last week Indiana was called for nine penalties and they now are the most penalized team in the Big Ten. Indiana cannot afford to have to overcome nine penalties and an opponent every game. They just are not that good. If the Hoosiers can keep the flags in the ref’s pockets they should come out with the win. Another day like last week and the fans in Bloomington will be groaning.