Well…here we go.
This weekend, the Indiana Hoosiers play in an elimination game against the Penn State Nittany Lions. Yes, you read that correctly. Despite only having 5 losses at the moment, this is an elimination game for the Indiana Hoosiers. It’s also an elimination game that seems like Indiana is most likely going to lose as well.
That is if you take the matchup on paper. When they hit the field…Indiana will still be badly outgunned at pretty much every position other than QB. In case you were wondering what Sean Clifford would look like on an Indiana roster, I give you Connor Bazelak.
Neither of those two QB’s may start this game you say?
Grease me up and call me fat, this may have just gotten more intriguing. Indiana still won’t win, but let’s take a peak and see what’s going on this weekend in Bloomington.
- Indiana has only beaten Penn State twice. Once in 2013 and then what feels like forever ago in 2020.
- Last year, the Hoosiers defense put up a valiant effort but the offense was utterly inept and the Nittany Lions won a 24-0 rock fight.
- Indiana has given Penn State some scares in the last 10 years.
Again, I have outsourced the fun facts. Learning about other schools is stupid and I hate growing as a person so I’ve turned the chore over to our wonderful Penn State correspondent Misdreavus79. Misdreavus, use fun facts!
- Let’s start with an easy fun fact. Penn State’s original colors were pink and black. But, after a while, the colors would fade (the pink would fade to white after a few days in the sun), leading to the Nittany Lions modern color scheme of blue and white. The other reason, less practical in nature, is of course, imagine the kind of mockery those poor men went through in the late 1800s for wearing pink! Well, after a few weeks of that, coupled with the fading pink, they chose new colors.
- Speaking of uniforms, Penn State now dons the “generations of greatness” uniforms for homecoming. This is their version of an alternate uniform. It incorporates elements from most variations of the uniform worn throughout the years.
- Ever wonder where “We Are... Penn Sate” came from? Well, just like the Whiteout, it was a way to engage the students at the time! Penn State had two other chants that it would use, but they were too complicated to follow. They took a page from other schools, and created a shorter, easier to follow chant that has become a staple in Nittany Lion fans and alums everywhere!
- Now, maybe you’ve heard a different origin story for the “We Are” moniker. That one is true, but it’s not the origin story. Wally Triplett, one of the first black starters for Penn State, made his debut with the Lions in 1945. As we all know, many teams were segregated at the time. One such team was Miami, which would make its way on the schedule for 1946. Penn State allowed the players to decide what to do, and they chose to cancel the game against Miami, as they were an integrated team. In the 1948 season, the Nittany Lions would become bowl eligible (when there were only four bowls), so going to a bowl game at that time was a big deal. Only problem, of course, is that only the Rose Bowl allowed black players at that time. And, as we all know, Penn State was not a Big Ten team yet in 1948. Penn Stat was selected to participate in the Cotton Bowl that year, and, against SMU, there was talk of having a meeting to discuss not playing black people during the game. One of the Lions the team captains, Steve Suhey, said to the notion of having said meeting: “We are Penn State. There will be no meetings.” The Nittany Lions would go on to play, and Wally Triplett would score the tying touchdown in the end. It’s an awesome story and one that I am proud of, but it’s not the origin of the “We Are” chant.
Fun facts were super effective. Thanks Misdreavus!
What I’m Watching For
1) Who is playing QB at Indiana?
In perhaps the dumbest thing to come out of Bloomington this week (and they spilled 1000’s of gallons of gas into the sewer system), Indiana coach Tom Allen has refused to name a starting QB for this weekend. Indiana has not looked good on offense for a whole host of reasons, but towards the bottom of the list I would think would be QB play. It’s fairly difficult to blame the guy getting lit up on every other play and then having shitty receivers on the remaining plays that can’t get separation or get YAC. That said, Indiana is evaluating all options apparently. The most likely QB to get time would be Redshirt^2 Freshman Dexter Williams. Dexter has never played a collegiate snap, however he is a mobile QB with a highly touted arm. AKA, he’s more mobile and can make plays with his legs when the offensive line utterly collapses. I’d be shocked to see Jack Tuttle, but hell who knows what the IU coaches are thinking at this point. So who is playing QB? We’ll see!
2) Who can pick up the Cam Camper slack?
Also announced Monday, IU receiver Cam Camper is out for the season with a torn ACL. That leaves….well not a lot of talent left in the Hoosier wideout rooms. Apparently, Omar Cooper is being redshirted so he will not play. DJ Matthews is still nursing his injury but will likely play. We saw how this played out at Nebraska and I did not enjoy that. Against Penn State? Indiana may get shutout two years in a row. So who steps up at receiver? Probably nobody, but I’ll be watching for that.
3) How shitty is that stadium environment?
My how time has flown in Bloomington. In 2011, you couldn’t give tickets away. In early 2021, you could hardly get them. Now? We’re back to rock bottom. The homefield advantage the Hoosiers had earlier this season against Illinois and Western Kentucky is pretty much over. That Maryland crowd looked rough. It’s about to get rougher as I wouldn’t be shocked to see less than half the bowl filled. That means it’s basically a practice for Penn State. How empty will the rock be? We’ll see.
Hard to Even Talk About
Look, I’ll be on a golf course most likely on Saturday. I’ll have a phone on with the game, but I may not watch much if Indiana gets down too quickly early. This team just has no horses in the stable at this point. The lines suck. The secondary sucks. The receivers suck. The coaches suck. The runningbacks suck. Everyone in the program sucks until proven otherwise. There were players at the beginning of the season who we didn’t think sucked but actually have turned out to be kind of sucky this season.
It’s just getting so much harder to talk about this team each week. Nothing changes. Nothing has improved. Things just getting worse. Can the Hoosier stop the bleeding and at least look competitive? I sure hope so. If this team tanks the rest of the season like they did last year, Tom Allen may get uncomfortable questions in the pressers way sooner than I thought he would.
Game Time 11/5 –3:30 PM EST – ABC