1. Is Dan Feeney healthy enough to play?
This may be the biggest question of the week for Indiana, which could surely use the talent of its All-American right guard to mitigate the strength of Wake Forest’s stout rush defense. The senior has an incredibly quick first step for a lineman of his size and caliber and he has to be among the most effective pulling guards in the country. IU coach Kevin Wilson indicated Feeney looked good during Wednesday’s practice. If he can’t go Saturday, look for Jacob Bailey to slide into Feeney’s role at right guard.
2. What kind of pressure does Wake Forest put on Richard Lagow?
Whether they’re stopping the run or hassling opposing quarterbacks, the Demon Deacons like what they’ve seen from their defensive front this month. Wake is allowing only 79.7 rushing yards per contest to go along with 12 sacks in three games. Cohesion is still forming for an Indiana offensive line that has already yielded six sacks in two games. Keep an eye on Deacons defensive end Duke Ejiofor, who brings 4.5 sacks and 6.5 tackles for loss into the matchup.
3. A more complete performance for Indiana’s defense.
The Hoosiers authored a 56:31 span of scoreless football between both of their first two games this season. Defensive coordinator Tom Allen expressed his frustration this week after Indiana failed to complete its shutout bid against Ball State in the 30-20 win on Sept. 10. Allen is challenging his bunch to sustain its aggression over four full quarters this week, while trying to force Wake backup quarterback John Wolford into trouble. Wolford has starting experience, but has been erratic at times. Meanwhile, Indiana has six takeaways over its first two games. Can it keep that pace?
4. A perfect non-conference run is within reach.
This isn’t necessarily a must-win game. It would, however, be a crucial win for IU’s postseason aspirations — just as last year’s 31-24 victory in Winston-Salem turned out to be. Indiana has won eight consecutive non-conference games for the first time since a span of victories between 1992 and 1995. The Hoosiers have won their last four regular season games and are looking to start 3-0 for the second consecutive year and the 17th time in school history.