After a tough first game to the Ohio State Buckeyes last Thursday, the Indiana Hoosiers (0-1) look to bounce back Saturday against ACC opponent Virginia(1-0). Even after there lost to the Buckeyes last week, the Hoosiers come in ranked 48th by the NCAA ranking system, while Virginia, who pulled off a 28-10 win against FCS William & Mary,come in ranked in the high 70s. Even though the Hoosiers lost to the Buckeyes last week, they still come in projected to win in Virginia by 2.5+ points.
Why the Hoosiers could win?
After battling hard with Ohio State for 3 1/2 quarters in a packed Memorial Stadium Thursday, the Hoosiers at least showed they could defend Ohio State. The Hoosiers entered the 3rd quarter with a 14-13 lead, and they were able to show that they could stop a really talented Ohio State team. This game happening so early in the season not only should help the Hoosiers for the game agianst Virginia tomorrow, but also the remainder of the schedule.
On offense the Hoosiers really shined passing the ball. Quarterback Richard Lagow was forced to throw 65 passes, he completed 40 of those and threw for 3 touchdowns. Simmie Cobbs proved to be a handful for the Ohio State secondary. Cobbs caught 11 passes for over 100 yards and he added a touchdown to his already impressive game. Expect Lagow and Cobbs to connect a ton more this week and in weeks to come after Nick Westbrook was ruled out for the remainder of the season. The offensive line should also play especially well against Virginia, especially after getting to play a tough defensive line in Ohio State.
The defense allowed over 596 yards, but the numbers the Hoosiers put up through the first 3 quarters, was very impressive, and Hoosier fans shouldn’t be worried about another performance like that, this upcoming week. The returning defensive secondary showed Hoosier Nation they have nothing to worry about, with only allowing returning Quarterback JT Barrett to only throw for 300 yards. The Hoosiers do face a tough QB Saturday in Kurt Benkert, but if Indiana can get to the ball early, they shouldn’t have to worry about Benkert having a stellar game.
Why Indiana could lose.
Indiana struggled to find a really good running game. Actually Indiana had no running game at all. The Hoosiers rushed for 17 yards… yes really 17 yards. Now that is counting -30 yards on Lagow’s runs but still. Indiana cannot afford to throw the ball 60 plus times again, so the Hoosiers have to find a run game tomorrow, or this will not be a good game for the Hoosiers. With Natee possibly being healthy tomorrow I think he may get some reps, but expect to see Morgan Ellison in the game a little bit more than last week. Ellison led the Hoosiers with 24 yards, and if the Hoosiers struggle early, we could be seeing the freshman carry the ball a ton. The defense should have no problem with the Hoos offense, mainly because they were only able to put up 28 points against William & Mary last week, but we can’t allow big plays like we allowed against OSU.
Overall I don’t think the Hoosiers have any chance of losing this game, but they have to come out strong early, and find a run game and a running back who can get yards effectively quickly. If they can keep the crowd quiet with a fast start, it could turn into a big scoring game for the Hoosiers
My prediction: Hoosiers win 38-17