|Indiana (1-0) vs. Navy (0-0)|
|Date||Saturday, Sept. 7, 2013|
|Time||6:01 p.m. ET|
|Location||Bloomington, Ind. - Memorial Stadium (52,929)|
|Television||BTN (Eric Collins, Jon Jansen & Antwaan Randle El)
|Radio||IU Radio Network (Affiliates) | Sirius 112 | XM 195|
|Game Notes||Indiana | Navy | Big Ten|
|@IUCoachWilson | @HoosierFootball|
*Table courtesy of IUHoosiers.com (I added the odds)
It feels like it has been forever since last Thursday's game against Indiana State. I've decided I don't like Thursday games. The crowd is weaker, the time between games takes longer and all the games being played on Saturday just makes you long for your next game. No, from here on out I demand every game be played on Saturday. That Thursday night stuff is just weak. But I digress...
The Hoosiers open up their FBS schedule tomorrow night when the Navy Midshipmen come to town. Coincidentally, the Midshipmen happen to be strolling into town when Indiana is re-dedicating the prow of one of their old vessels. The prow of the USS Indiana will now be sitting outside the west entrance to the stadium for the foreseeable future and the Hoosiers will have more than the rock to defend now.
As for the game, it will likely be a pretty hard fought battle of explosive offenses against defenses just doing their best to at least slow the opposition down. As we saw yesterday, even a mediocre performance by Indiana last year, resulted in 400 yards of offense. Navy walked away with 350. The fact that the over/under on points scored is 65 should be telling. It's going to be a high scoring game.
However, I'd venture to say it isn't nearly as high scoring for Navy as some expect. While the Hoosiers still haven't proven they know what they're doing on defense, this year will be different than last year. Expect better gap discipline from the linebackers and don't expect the defensive line to get pushed off their marks as much. Just a small adjustment from last year in these two categories will make for a world of difference in IU's defense against the vaunted Navy triple option. The Hoosiers don't even have to tackle well to get stops. Just delay the runs long enough that help can arrive. I expect that to happen.
Safety Greg Heban has been the mouthpiece for the defense all week and he's saying a lot of the right things. Though obviously looking forward to getting past the gimmick of Navy in the season, the Hoosiers have been preparing for quite some time. Heban suggested to the media that the Hoosiers, every day for the past month, have at least taken some time out of their practices to work against the triple option and cut blocking schemes. Indiana is going to be ready. It also helps that Navy is game 2 this year instead of game 7. The Hoosiers didn't have the time to focus on countering the Middies' schemes like they have this year. I expect everyone to know what they are doing this round.
On the offensive side of the ball, we're likely to see more of the same. Cam Coffman won't be under center this time, but a more dynamic Tre Roberson will be. Roberson brings more at a Midshipmen defense that struggled stopping the IU run last season. There's a good chance that with the addition of a rushing threat of Roberson, that we see some big plays from the quarterback via his legs. Factor in the health of Ted Bolser and the plethora of weapons that Indiana has getting bigger and stronger and we may be in a position for IU to put another 50 spot on the board.
In the end, I like IU's chances. A lot. The spread started out at -13.5 for Indiana but has since dropped to -12.5. Many are wobbling on that number. I think the Hoosiers top it easily. I don't know if it is just over confidence from beating up on an overmatched foe, but I think the Hoosiers might actually have something this year. I'm going to take the over. Navy is going to need a bigger boat, Indiana 52 - Navy 28.