We’re here again and Indiana plays on Saturday which means it’s time for another game of, “HOW…CAN….WE…LOSE….THIS TIME??” Your favorite TV game show dedicated to watching all of the many ways the Indiana Hoosiers can implode on the football field. We saw holes in weeks 1-3 but honestly got some surprising victories (WKU and Illinois). In the last 4 weeks, we’ve gotten back to shitty IU football. Getting just embarrassed defensively against Cincinnati, a no call-no show effort against Nebraska, a blocking disaster against Michigan, and then just utter incompetence against Maryland are the 4 ways Indiana has chosen to lose games this year.
How can they lose against Rutgers? We’ll find out here.
Rutgers has a chance to pull this series even closer this year after the 38-3 whooping they put on the Hoosiers last year in Bloomington.
Indiana had won 5 in a row in the series prior to 2021.
Indiana really misses Chris Ash.
For this week’s fun facts, I have outsourced my work to our wonderful Rutgers correspondent RU in VA.
RU, whacha got?
RU in VA:
- Did you know that the initial mascot for Rutgers was the Chanticleer (a bird-thing), and the original color was orange (since it was a Dutch-founded/aligned Uni)?
- Rutgers’ second oldest athletic rival (next to those dickheads at Princeton) is West Point/Army!
- The school actually has a pretty dope 18 hole golf course with a full turf management bachelor’s program... but that’s not the fun fact - it’s that the golf course is located on Hoes Lane.
Three sub fun facts about young love:
- On the Cook/Douglass campus, there is a small lake named Passion Puddle. Legend has it that three strolls around with a young man/woman, means marriage is certain.
- Apparently there is also a statue on Douglass campus (THE ALL GIRLS ONE) of “William the Silent”, and it’s supposed to whistle if a virgin girl walks by on her senior year.
- Rutgers Gardens is an 180 acre botanical garden which is free and open year around - basically the only option for a nice date if you’re a dirt poor college student.
Thank you RU for the wonderful fun facts. They were quite fun!
What I’m Watching For
1) Will Indiana lay down and die?
Perhaps this is the sole question that needs to be on this list. Last season, the Hoosiers literally quit playing after the Ohio State game. It was evident to everyone watching and I’m sure everyone playing that the Hoosiers were disinterested in competing last year when Rutgers came to town. That was when the team was 2-7 going into the game against the ‘Gers last year. This year, the team is heading into this game at 3-4 with what had to be an emotional loss last weekend against Maryland. Emotional from the standpoint of Indiana had that game won. They had the chance to be 4-3 and win a second Big Ten game at home. Instead, they allowed a backup QB to scamper for 43 yards to the goal line, lost the lead, then fumbled after returning the kickoff to the 50. THEN couldn’t get a stop to give themselves a chance to win. That, my friends, is a loss that takes quite a bit of wind out of the sails. Will the Hoosiers come into New Jersey with some fight or will they lay down and die? I’ll be watching for that.
2) How poorly can the Hoosiers start this game?
Indiana has started games and halves poorly this season. In 4 out of 7 games, (Maryland, Nebraska, Cincinnati, and IDAHO), Indiana has been down more than 10 points in the first half. In the Western Kentucky game, Indiana trailed by 7 at the half. Maryland and Illinois were the only two games where the Hoosiers led at the half. In fact, here are how the first drives have ended this year in order: Field Goal (ILL), Punt (Idaho), Field Goal (WKU), Punt (UC), Punt (NEB), Punt (MICH), INT (MD). Compare that to what they’ve given up on defense in the first series: Punt (ILL), Punt (Idaho), Punt (WKU), Punt (UC), Touchdown (Nebraska), Touchdown (Michigan), Touchdown (Maryland). YOU GET TO SOMEWHAT SCRIPT THE FIRST SERIES OF THE GAME AT LEAST ON OFFENSE. HOW CAN IT BE THIS BAD? That’s what I’ll be watching for.
3) Will I ruin my wife’s day if the Hoosiers lose?
Probably. I’ll be pouty for sure. Will I ruin her day? We’ll see sports fans.
I Hate This Game I’m Wondering Why I’m Watching It At All
It’s astounding to me that a Big Ten team can operate like this. Then I look at Northwestern and Wisconsin at the moment and pause. Would I rather be them? Northwestern seems to be content losing 9 games 3 out of every 4 years but then rising to the B1G Championship game on that 4th year. Wisconsin was Indiana in 2000, but has had 20 years of sustained success before getting humbled the last 2-3 years. Would I rather be them?
I don’t know. Would I rather be Rutgers or Maryland? Certainly not Rutgers because their facilities suck, but Maryland seems to be a rather okay place to be. But they’ve been horrid since they joined the B1G and they can’t seem to keep a QB healthy either.
Sometimes, I just wonder why I keep tuning in. Watching this game. Watching this team. And the answer is that I love this school, its fans, and the state in general. I love Indiana. But dear God they make it tough to love. With a win Saturday, Indiana can limp into the bye week 4-4 with 2 winnable games on the schedule. I don’t find Penn State to be infallible but it may just be out of reach of an upset (though they lost to Illinois at home last year). I mean, there is room for a good season left to be had. Can Indiana take advantage? I doubt it, but at least they’ve been competitive this season.
Game Time: 10/22 – 12:00 PM EST – Big Ten Network