Someone has to be the standard for football in this state. Hoosiers going for 4-0. (IU-Cincy short pregame thoughts)

For the Glory! LET’S GO AND GET IT TOMORROW HOOSIERS! Cincinnati will be a madhouse as the Hoosiers travel to take down the Bearcats. This is going to be a big game for both teams, for different reasons. Both team’s looking to bring their A-game in this one. Unfortunately, Luke Fickell and the Bearcats are not going to allow Tom Allen and the Hoosiers a half to get into their A-game play.

Cincinnati feels slighted by the NCAA for their current no ranking. There only loss being to now #10 Arkansas in Arkansas allows one to understand why. They will be looking to make an example of us. Call it conference envy.

The story of Indiana Football this year has been a story of playing from behind. Once we get behind and really give it a quarter or three to marinate, the Hoosiers come out as one of the most efficient and execution forward Indiana teams I have ever seen. Honestly, while many stringent commentators and talking heads would say the Hoosiers have been sad this year, coming out flat time after time. As a true fan of this team (this site is my hobby), I know that if you watched this years’ team as a fan you’ve seen some truly remarkable things from the Hoosiers this year.

Air raid and ground game, both needed in this one.

First of which, and needed right out the gate against the Bearcats, is our offensive rhythm. Dedicated Hoosiers watching these games from first kick to final whistle have seen that when Bazelak is clicking, the Indiana Hoosiers offense has a facet that its lacked in quite some time. Connor Bazelak isn’t afraid to and has the arm to take chances that QBs haven’t since maybe Nate S(t)udfeld. It’s awesome to see that we have an arm that can drag us back into games that previous Indiana teams would have been shoot outta’ luck having to trust Jordan Howard or Tevin Coleman to run us (and the clock) back into the game. An arm can get you back in games you thought you were out of. I mean look to our first three games for evidence of that.

Cincinnati’s defense will be looking to shut down the very real threats posed by our receivers. They will have the athletes capable of making the plays that our prior opponents weren’t. I’m sure they will be blanketing Matthews and Camper. It will be a whole team job getting open against the Bearcats. Starting with the offensive line. Blocks need found and executed right away if the Hoosiers have any shot of beating the Bearcats. We need to limit the pressure that their defensive line is providing. Making them commit more coverage to the blitz will be essential in opening up those slot slight post routes the Hoosiers have loved to use this year. By having to throw more men at the QB, there are less to cover our racehorses on the outside. Time to run boys!

Linebacker Ivan Pace Jr. has shown he has an absolute nose for the ball. The man is involved in each and every defensive play for the Bearcats. Ivan Pace Jr. leads Cincy with 31 tackles, twice as many as the next Bearcat. Wherever the tackle is made, he is there or flying in 3 yards away. If Shivers is supposed to alleviate any pressure on our air game by providing the run, getting to Pace will be essential. One man does not make a team, but that man can definitely dictate a game. Get aggressive off the line, get to the second level and engage. If we win this one, our offensive line will need to be hailed as kings in Bloomington.

What can I say about the defense. While the secondary has been a surprising surprise for me. Adequately covering our opposition, keeping the offense in games, all good stuff so far from them. We will need Tiawan leading our boys like a pack a rabid hyenas. While GOOD has worked up until now, GREAT will be needed against Cincy. From top to bottom, no plays off in this one.

I couldn’t go into Saturday without just discussing Cam Jones. This is just an obligatory mention for the heart and soul of our team right now. The tone setter has been the lighthouse in the fog. He gets “rah, rah let’s go” when needed, but what he does more so is lead by example. You see his heart in the manner in which he plays. It bleeds into the team. I’m sure if we are to march into Cincinnati and walk out undefeated, Cam will be asked to make several large plays for us. I think he’s up to the task, don’t you?

Last but not least, Tom Allen. Heading into this game Tom Allen has to be fully aware of the task at hand. Luke Fickell is highly touted as one of the best coaches in the country. His team will be well oiled and ready to go come kick. Tom Allen’s number one objective for this game has to be having the Hoosiers ready to meet the Bearcats. The game is where preparation and execution has to pay off. If our boys can’t come out ready for a game of this caliber, I don’t know what will get them going.

All in all, the Bearcats are an entirely different monster. The Hoosiers will need all facets clicking and operating at full potential to compete with the top level talent Luke Fickell has convinced to buy in at Cincy. I believe the Hoosiers are entirely up to the task. At 16.5 underdogs Vegas has all but written the Hoosiers off. Not me though, not Hoosier Nation.

I’ve posted this image in each of the last 3 pregame posts. Not stopping now.

Down with the Bearcats.

Lets make it 4-0 HOOSIERS!

LUX ET VERITAS!!!

-Burke

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