4 storylines for Indiana’s game against Wake Forest

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.

6 comments

  1. It’s been two weeks since Feeney suffered his concussion. Having had a few myself, if he’s not cleared to play after two weeks, we can conclude that it was a severe concussion. Hope the doctors are getting it right.

  2. I think IU is favored by 6 or 7. Wake is 3 and 0 with a win over Duke though not last year’s team. Game is at IU with Cobbs and Fenney injured. I feel IU is still unproven this season. Ball State is an ok win but B. S. ended game a lot stronger than IU. Other than playing at home I do see why IU is favored by 6 or 7.

  3. I think IU will do fine against WF despite WF being the better team so far this year. We haven’t seen what IU will be like yet this year due to several issues. Coach Wilson admitted they put in the second defense in the game for the 4th quarter against BSU. He also said they called plays and played players based on keeping some happy instead of calling the plays that worked earlier in the game. We also were missing Feeney most of the game along with the three injured players we haven’t seen yet this year. Once Patrick gets back on the field, we will see the offense IU will use this year.

    I am disappointed that we haven’t seen Natee and Newton running the ball especially with the problem with converting 3rd downs. I hope we also see the offense doing more passing to balance the running. The running game hasn’t been as good as people were thinking it could be. By passing more it will open up the running lanes and having more running explosive than we have seen so far. Coach has said they treated the first two games as part of the Fall practice so I hope we see a better whole game that the first two games. We do have to remember though that last year we were winning by a point or two heading into the B1G games. This year IU has played better this year and winning games by a more points and feeling the game was in control.

    This game will be a good test to see how well IU will be against the B1G games. Going in 3-0 will help IU winning 2 out of 4 or maybe even better in the first 4 games in B1G. I like that this team believes they will win each game and playing as hard as they do. Our defense has shown they are much better with a good chance of getting even better yet. We know the offense can do better than they have so far. We know our coaches aren’t afraid to pass more and I hope they now trust Lagow to throw more passes to help the offense getting better.

  4. This is a good analysis. I have to say it sounds like similar analysis of many years (over and over) before about this time of year. We will see. I do have some defensive optimism.

  5. Seahawk is the soul sucker of all things IU athletics. And Harvard is the enabler. Crean is the beneficiary. Way to go, Harvard!

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