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Game Three Preview: Indiana Hoosiers vs. Wake Forest Demon Deacons


Indiana v Florida International Photo by Rob Foldy/Getty Images

Who, When, Where: After enjoying the Week 3 bye, 2-0 Indiana returns to Memorial Stadium to welcome in 3-0 Wake Forest. This is only the second meeting on the gridiron between the teams, with Indiana coming out 31-24 victors at Wake Forest last season. The Demon Deacons are the first ACC team to visit Bloomington for football since 2011, when Virginia came to town. Kickoff is at 3:30pm Saturday on the Big Ten Network; Joe Beninati and J Leman have the call.

Big Men On Campus: Following the Ball State game, Marcelino Ball was named Big Ten Freshman of the Week, mostly on the strength of his interception of the Cardinals’ Riley Neal. Nick Westbrook only had three catches against Ball State, but two of them were for touchdowns, including a 79 yard score to open up the third quarter and seal the game for the Hoosiers.

Interesting Tidbits about Wake Forest Football: The Demon Deacons have a reasonably similar all-time record in football as IU does (Wake is 438-642-43; the Hoosiers are 469-658-44, per Winsipedia), though the Hoosiers have played quite a few more games despite only having a one year head start on Wake. Notable former Wake head coaches include Al Groh and Jim Caldwell, who have also been NFL head coaches after their tenures at Wake. Finally, both teams have been to 10 bowl games, with Wake compiling a 6-4 record (no bowls since 2011, though) compared to IU’s 3-7 (but with a postseason appearance last year).

How Would This Game Go If It Was Basketball?: Let’s maybe not talk about last basketball season’s meeting. If we played it this year, I expect it would be a close, competitive game. Also, if we played it this year, it would be in a postseason tournament, as Indiana plays UNC in the Big Ten-ACC challenge this year.

Prediction: This could be a very important game in determining just how good IU might actually be this season. This is yet another step up for a defense that has thus far been much better and bending and not breaking, but since this is In_iana we’re talking about, that progress might not be enough. This week, hopefully, we’ll learn something. Also, we’ll see if more news on either of Indiana’s big injuries from the Ball State game will come out. Dan Feeney left the game with a concussion, and may or may not be available for the game, while Simmie Cobbs went down with an ankle injury, and after surgery is just hoping to be back before the end of the year. The wide receiver corps has been stepping up in Cobbs’ absence so far, but both they and potentially the offensive line are areas of concern this week.

I can’t say I have a really good feel on what might happen in this game, so I’m just going to throw out some numbers and see how badly I’m proven wrong on Saturday. Give me IU winning 34-24.

Next Week: Saturday night’s all right for fighting, and with the Michigan State Spartans coming to town for a Spittoon showdown under the lights, you can bet there will be some fighting.