Heading into this Saturday’s matchup I just have to say thank Christ! Thank Christ (or BTN) the Hoosiers have a noon kickoff. My favorite days in all my time attending Indiana University were the noon tailgate days. Wake up, head to breakfast club at Kilroy’s, stumble on over to the tailgate fields, commence to party even harder, stumble into the game, root my tail off, take a nap and then hit the town at night. There is no fuller day for a degenerate Hoosier, as I was. Now while I’m changing diapers more than I’m tapping kegs these days, I am happy for those young Hoosiers who get to have a true Big Ten experience this Saturday.
I’m also just happy for it to be a noon game for my own enjoyment. Man I love going to bed happy, but I would have much rather had the rest of my day to rub a win in the faces of my Notre Dame supporting family, than experience a win and then have to try and tell myself I should go to bed. Noon rules, night games are trash.
Enough about my disdain for a night game and my nostalgia for the simpler days… onto the game itself.
The Hoosiers are heading into this one as 6.5 pt favorites with this minds in Vegas.
Heading into this game the Hoosiers will be looking to address the slow start they had in the Idaho game. They can not afford to come out flat against stiffer competition, and all due respect to Idaho, but I think Western Kentucky is a more talented side. The Hilltoppers will not allot the Hoosiers an entire half to figure out what they want to do in the game. Look for Allen to have the boys fired up for this one.
The Hilltoppers are not a team to be taken likely. QB Austin Reed (Season stats: 64.1% completion, 547 yards, 7 TDS, 2 INTs) could be a true test for our secondary.
Of course, always have to worry about the QB. Austin Reed, the man taking the snaps for the Hilltoppers is no different. Austin Reed has the ability to win a football game. While the Hilltoppers passing game isn’t putting up the same numbers that now New England Patriot Bailey Zappe put up for them last year, but his season stat line has been respectable to say the least.
Expect Western Kentucky to be looking to exploit huge plays to win this one. I don’t think they will be marching down the field to beat us (although I’ve been wrong before). If Western Kentucky is going to beat us it will be on large broken plays in my humble and biased opinion.
The big play option will most likely come to the Western Kentucky team in the form of Daewood Davis, WR (11 Catches, 202 yards, 1 TD). Daewood Davis, while not the primary red zone threat (Honorable mention weapon Malachi Corley has hauled in 3 TDs for the Hilltoppers), he is their primary receiver.
I’m looking for the Indiana secondary to keep their strong surprising start (to me at least) going and continue finding success in limiting opposing receivers. I’m hoping for a pick or two, as I think Western Kentucky will be looking to take plenty of shots through the air.
The Hilltoppers will be looking to test us through the air, but also establish a ground game to assist it. Our defense is up for the task of stopping it. Look for Dasan McCullough to continue to grow as a young stud in the Big Ten. Again, the kid is continue what Cam is passing off, a new tradition at the Indiana linebacker tradition. A tradition of blood hounds getting to the ball and completing tackles. I’m excited to see the player Dasan could become by the next week.
As for the offense, what can I say other than show up? Just show up guys. Come out and play like you were expecting there to be a game that day. Come out prepared. Bazelak will not be given an entire half to figure out how to get the offense going in this one.
He will need to rely on Matthews and Camper to get open early and often. Once he finds them, he needs to come with a sense of range on his throws. Far too many of his tosses were thrown miles above the receiver. If Connor brought the rangefinder to play today, expect for Indiana to rack up some yards. That is if. But, I do have confidence that Connor Bazelak can put it together and come out against the Hilltoppers connecting. Hopefully he worked out some new team jitters in those first two games.
I am hoping to see Indiana pave holes for Shivers to run through. Our larger team should be able to dictate that battle but our line has looked spotty at times. If we can establish the run to open up the coverage to those short in seams Cam Camper loves to run, I’m thinking we could have an impressive offensive day.
All in all, this season I’ve seen some really great things from this Indiana team. It’s just a matter of putting it all together. Here’s hoping Tom Allen has gotten through to the Hoosiers this week and has them coming out dialed in and ready to go!
But still… never overlook the opponent. Just ask ND.
I like to keep it short and sweet. Thank you for reading and if you’re in attendance tomorrow. Bring the noise!!!
LUX ET VERITAS!