From the get go, Indiana was labeled as a team that could compete in the B1G East and compete for a B1G championship. Tom Allen finally allowed his team to openly discuss it as a goal. Commentators on FOX Sports labeled Indiana as Ohio State’s biggest hurdle this year in the East. Indiana was ranked. The hype was immense.
Then the Hoosiers played against Iowa and laid quite possibly the biggest egg of the Tom Allen era.
Last week, the Hoosiers got to whoop up on an FCS Idaho and feel better about themselves. They did something that Tom Allen teams haven’t normally done and covered a massive spread, and had it covered by half time (except for a last minute TD from Idaho to make it 35-7). The defense did look good. Stephen Carr looked good. Penix looked capable. It was an FCS school though.
Well fellow Hoosier fans and onlookers, Indiana now gets a chance at redemption. Over the past two weeks, the team has stated they are overcoming negativity and flushing bad attitudes and expectations. They’ve gotten a win under their belts just in time for the number 8 Cincinnati Bearcats to come to town. Let’s see what we’re looking with here this week.
Previous Matchups and Fun Facts
- First meeting was on Halloween in 1896. Indiana won 16-0.
- Indiana has won 5 consecutive matchups from 1962-2000.
- The last Cincinnati win was a 21-0 shutout in 1957.
- The last Hoosier victory was a 42-6 rout in 2000, also good for 1 of Indiana’s 3 wins that year. Thanks Cam.
- There have been 2 ties in the series, both in 1898 weirdly.
Cincinnati Fun Facts
- UC IS A P5 SCHOOL NOW! CONGRATS!
- Benadryl was invented at UC.
- UC has more NCAA basketball championships than Ohio State. Suck it.
- The UC campus is statistically safer than Compton.
- The UC campus is .6 miles away from the Cincinnati Zoo. The Cincinnati Zoo is where our sweet prince Harambe was killed. RIP big guy.
Week 3 Stories to Watch For
Here are the three things I’m most interested in from Indiana this week:
1) How much of a home field advantage does Indiana actually get?
Well slap my ass and call me Sally. I didn’t actually think the stadium would be as full as it was on Saturday. I thought for sure that the loss at Iowa would have meant the fanbase wouldn’t show out for a predetermined FCS blowout. I was wrong. And that’s a good thing.
Now the question is, how much can that crowd affect the visiting Bearcats? Playing at a hostile Iowa seemed to swing the momentum early to Iowa and Indiana never recovered. UC took out Miami Hydroxide in week 1 very, very easily. Then, they turned around and played Murray State even through the first half. Can Indiana create a push early to take a lead and a momentum swing? Can the crowd pump up the Hoosiers when they inevitably get punched? It’s something to watch for.
2) Will the o-line provide enough protection to win?
Possibly the worst group for the Hoosiers this year has been the offensive line. They’ve been bad. I don’t personally think the run game has been completely atrocious because Stephen Carr is a pretty good back. That also means he’s been able to mask some of the Indiana running game flaws on talent alone. The passing protection has been poor though, and Penix and Sheridan haven’t been able to make it work. Is this the game they figure it out?
3) How does Mike Penix look this time?
If I could grade Mike Penix for each game this season, he’d get an F at Iowa and a B against Idaho. Nothing Penix has done this year has been phenomenal or even impressive. A fair amount of that is on Nick Sheridan and the offensive line. Penix isn’t completely absolved though. He’s been not great even in clean pockets. At Iowa, he was a 55% completion rate in a clean pocket. That’s not good. It’s not even passable (buh dum tiss). UC is going to get after him this week. How does he respond? It will make or break the game.
Oktoberfest is Here and I’m Loving It
Indiana’s schedule is completely front loaded. In the first 7 games, they play Iowa, Cincinnati, Penn State, and Ohio State. All damn good teams. Now Michigan State is looking like they’ve turned it around from last season. This schedule is doing the Hoosiers no favors.
Indiana didn’t come into this season aiming at 6-6 though. #9Windiana is the goal, not a dream. These are the kinds of games that Indiana has to pick up if they want to keep their spot as a competitor in the East. Cincinnati is legit, there is no denying that. It would be a wonderful comeback from a dreadful start against Iowa two weeks ago.
Also, it is Oktoberfest in Cincinnati, so hopefully the team is busy looking ahead to that and completely forgets to show up for the game. I apologize ahead of time for the lack of personal ramblings. It’s been a busy last two weeks and I’m happy I even got this article together in time. I’ve drank so much Oktoberfest in the last 2 weeks and will drink so much more this week that I moved my physical out until December because that’s when I assume my liver will catch up. If you ever get a chance to go to Zinzinnati Oktoberfest, I recommend. I’ll be watching little wiener-dogs dressed as hotdogs run 100 feet on Thursday, and I may just bail out of work on Friday because of it. Anyways....
Go Hoosiers! Let’s see what we’re made of.
Game Time 9/18 – 12:00 PM EST – ESPN