This season, I’m going to offer a somewhat biased preview of each IU football game. While I’m not delusional about Indiana football (I don’t think we’re going 14-0 to become national champions), I’m more than willing to admit that my predictions will tend to be favorable towards the Hoosiers.
Week 1 presents a familiar opponent for the Hoosiers: the Indiana State Sycamores (FCS). Indiana leads the all-time series 4-0. This year's game kicks off Thursday, August 29th at 7pm.
Previous meeting: Last year in Bloomington, the Hoosiers held off ISU 24-17. In the only game he would complete all year, Tre Roberson passed for 280 yards and a touchdown on 26 of 36 passing, and ran for 19 yards and another touchdown. For Indiana State, Shakir Bell ran for almost 200 yards and a touchdown, and Mike Perish threw for 211 yards, a touchdown, and an interception. Despite giving up nearly 400 yards, the IU defense did just enough to win, forcing a Donald Spencer fumble in addition to Perish’s interception.
Why you’ve heard of Indiana State: They were relevant in basketball one time. Michigan State fans may remember the 1979 National Championship game; everyone else will remember Larry Bird and only Larry Bird.
Notable Returnees: Both Mike Perish and Shakir Bell are back for the Sycamores, so we should have a very early test of Indiana’s defensive upgrades. For the Hoosiers, we likely will see the return of Tre Roberson (or whoever will actually start at quarterback), plus many of last year’s starters are back again.
Notable Losses: For Indiana, Adam Replogle, Larry Black, and Will Matte to graduation, and projected starter Dan Feeney to season ending injury. Another projected starter, Chase Hoobler, is out indefinitely and may also be out for the season. For Indiana State, this series with Indiana is being lost, due to the Big Ten’s new policy of trying to upgrade its schedules as of 2016, according to Pete DiPrimo of the Fort Wayne News-Sentinel.
Prediction: If Indiana can get out to a fast start and show some actual improvement on defense, this one could get ugly early. I’m taking Indiana 42-14 on the hope that it does.
Next week: Navy comes to the Rock for their season opener.