The Mike P’review of IU-Minnesota

OK, our loyal reader Mike P. was right on target last week in predicting a season high in sacks for Indiana against Iowa, so we’re going to see if he can do it again in his preview of the Minnesota game. This week, Mike is predicting Minnesota turnovers, a huge day for the Indiana passing game and a big Hoosier win. Here is what he has to say about this week’s game:

After a tough loss to a much-improved Illinois team, the Hoosiers went on the road and got a much need win at Iowa. That game is over and done, time for the Golden Gophers to come to town. Minnesota is coming in 1-4, but don’t let that fool you. Ohio State is the only team that has not had their hands full with them. The Hoosiers have to come out with the mind set that Minnesota can beat them; not thinking this is already a win. We all remember what happened last year at the Metrodome.

Defense: This is a game that will really test the secondary, and how they can play against a high-powered pass offense. Webber has been efficient this year, completing almost sixty percent of his passes and gaining just shy of 1,300 yards. They also spread the ball around to different receivers. So far this Minnesota has used eleven receivers, nine of those eleven have six or more catches. Decker and Wheelwright have been the two main receivers, with thirty six and twenty two catches respectively. However, IU can’t stretch the secondary out and not protect against the run. This is a team that is averaging 192.8 yards per game on the run, and almost five yards per carry. They are doing all of this behind a line that has only allowed Webber to be sacked three times. The good thing for the IU defense is that Minnesota does not protect the ball. They have fumbled the ball twelve times, lost eight of those, all while throwing 10 picks. This should be a game to rack up the takeaway stats.

Offense:
This could be where it gets really interesting. With all the positives that Minnesota does on offense, it is their defense that hurts them, and will allow IU to really be able to rack up the yards. The defense IU gets this week appears to have more holes than a wheel of Swiss cheese. They are allowing almost 37 points per game so far, with all opponents having scored over thirty. I know I have said that the line, Lewis, and the receivers are important in every game. This game should allow some IU records to fall for the passing game. The Minnesota secondary has issues, they have allowed 1840 yards and sixteen TD’s on the season so far, and only picked off the opposing team three times. They have only forced five fumbles, and recovered three. IU should be able to protect the ball easily this week.

This game will depend a lot on the Hoosiers mind set and the play calls. The secondary of Minnesota is weak, Coach Lynch has got to attack them and let the offense really open up the deep ball. If IU can come out early and get a couple big plays and easy scores, it should open up the running game, and give them the ability to control the clock. Last year Minnesota embarrassed this team, and for all intent and purpose ended any chance IU had to make a bowl game. This year is payback.

IU wins big on Saturday, 42-17.

I hope this provokes some good conversation on the game, whether you agree with me or not. I want to hear what you have to say.

15 comments

  1. Kudos to Mike P, as he was spot on with his game preview.
    Last weekend was a big step for the Indiana Football program. Winning on the road in the Big Ten is no easy task. As Bill Lynch said (referring to the hostile Iowa atmosphere ) “We embraced the situation”.

    Hopefully Indiana will score early and often this Saturday as this seems to be the best recipe for IU’s success. This year we haven’t really seen a late comeback by these Hoosiers. I guess you could argue they came back in the Akron game but, I was thinking in terms of the IU-Illinois game from 2006.

    Now if I could just get the BTN on Comcast up in Chi, my problems would be solved.

    Keep up the good work on the blog gentlemen.

    Go Big Red…

    PB

  2. Nice preview Mike! I hope it is as accurate as last weeks…

    I feel ya on the Comcast issue.. Nazi’s!!! Direct TV all the way!!!

    Where is our return game?

  3. Mike P,

    I agree with you on several points. The most important thing though, for me, come Saturday will be the fact that the Gophers’ defense is allowing 37 points and 526 yards per contest. If they didn’t become familiar with what Kellen Lewis and James Hardy are capable of last year in Minneapolis, they will Saturday.

    I’m predicting four TD’s in the air from Lewis (a minimum of two to Hardy) and a double-digit win for the Hoosiers. I honestly just can’t see a team that surrenders 360 passing yards per contest shutting down one of the Big Ten’s best passer-receiver combos.

    Zak

  4. Predicting big wins for IU is always a tricky proposition. Don’t get the Coulter/Krugman (from BlogPoll) disease.

  5. That is why I compared the secondary of the Gophers to a wheel of swiss cheese. So far this year everyone has found holes in the defense for the passing game. Not only have they surrended 37 points per game, they have gave up 16 TD’s in the air, that is 3.2 per game just from the passing game. I am still waiting on Hardy to have the break out game, the one that puts him on Sports Center every weekend as the guy to watch, and I really think this may be that game.

    What do you not agree with me on?

  6. Revenge, Revenge, Revenge.

    Besides, this is one of the most winnable games left on our schedule and will put us one shy of bowl eligibility.

    Down with Goldy.
    Go Hoosiers.
    Defend the Rock.
    Don’t Quit.
    Win it for Hep.
    Play 13.

    (Wow, we really have a lot of slogans now)

  7. Good Play calling, and the right mental attitude will take the Hoosiers a long way in this game!

    Every game the rest of the way is going to be bigger than the one before. Here’s hoping the Hoosiers are up to the challenge.

    GO IU!

  8. I have been gone all night coaching my sons football team. I just wanted to thank everyone for the positive feedback.

  9. Well, Mr. P, let me give you a negative- Your head is getting TO [email protected] BIG! (Thanks a lot, guys!)

    Hey- you should copy the info over in to blogs on ‘space, logo stealer!

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