Thoughts On IU’s Next Three Opponents

Indiana’s Thursday night season opener granted me one lazy Saturday to spend glued to my couch, so I spent it checking out Indiana’s next three opponents. That doesn’t exactly show much dedication on my part considering two of them were playing each other and the third was playing my alma mater, but regardless, I have thoughts.

Western Michigan, the Hoosiers’ opponent this week,  was considered by many to be a threat to upset what was expected to be a distracted Michigan team. Didn’t happen. The Wolverines, who host the Hoosiers on Sept. 26, looked a lot better than the 3-9 outfit from 2008, with Tate Forcier, Dennard Robinson and Nick Sheridan providing better quarterback play than Michigan ever got out of Steven Threet. Tim Hiller may well turn out to be the most decorated quarterback in Western Michigan history, but he didn’t look the part Saturday afternoon. He finished with 259 yards, including a 73-yard bomb to Juan Nunez in the fourth quarter, but he threw two picks and was sacked twice. The Broncos were manhandled on the line and managed just 38 yards on the ground.

Here’s coverage from AnnArbor.com.

Akron, which Indiana visits on Sept. 18, was beaten nearly as badly by Penn State, though the Nittany Lions looked ragged at times in a 31-7 victory. The biggest concern for the Hoosiers, though, is that the Zips kept Penn State killing them with the run. The Nittany Lions final numbers looked good — 30 carries for 136 yards — but they were never dominant. Considering the trouble Indiana had running against Eastern Kentucky, Akron could have the edge there.

Here’s what the Akron Beacon Journal had to say.

23 comments

  1. WMU will come to the Rock next weekend very angry and focused. If we look past them we will be in serious trouble.

    UM looked much improved today. Predictions of IU going up there and winning appear premature, although of course you never know….

    Akron? Honestly I didn’t see any of their game, but this IU team right now cannot be considered a safe favorite over any opponent.

    Here’s hoping some productive preparations for saturday are in progress.

    GoHoosiers!

  2. Of note: we dont run the triple option, so we’ve got no hope against OSU (unless their first and second strings get knocked out by USC).

    UVA lost to FCS William & Mary. While W&M is certainly a championship-worthy FCS school, the home loss for UVA is embarrassing. They can’t be overlooked, obviously, but that should give us some confidence going into Charlottesville in a few weeks.

  3. How can we even sit here and treat IU like a real football team? They have no chance against real programs; why sit here and try to speculate? Why not move the team to 1-AA?

  4. Husky,

    I agree with a lot of what you say, but comments like “move the team to 1-AA” is just ignorant.

    Seriously.

    Now, even though they lost, Washington gave LSU a great game. 0-12 last year, the difference is new coach, new staff and a whole new attitude. LSU was just too much in the end.

  5. Mike P-

    Yeah, that was really good to see. I haven’t seen that kind of fight in the Huskies for a long time. 15 straight losses for the program, but you can feel that they are on the rise again. Thanks for mentioning it.

    Part of the reason I made that comment about IU is because of the Washington game. How does a team coming off of an 0-12 year play a powerhouse like LSU so close, yet IU barely scrapes out a victory against a 1-AA team? It’s like you said: new coach= whole new attitude. It’s that simple, and the fact that it could have been done here at IU, but hasn’t yet, is extremely frustrating.

  6. If “new coach = new attitude” were the secret to success, IU would be the winningest program ever. We get new coaches all the time.

  7. well i think the saying needs to be “a good new coach = a great new outlook” washington hired a great upcomming coach from USC.. we got a re-tread from an unsucessful Ball State.. I hope somehow Glass can find some cash to hire a legit coach.. Saban makes 4 million a year coaching alabama but the program made 36 million last year.. sounds like a great business decision to me! it takes a little investment to reap rewards!

  8. I agree with GFDave. Our real problem is “fans” like Husky Tom and chris who rip on the team after a win. Many of the big ten teams didn’t look to impressive in their wins. So it wasn’t just an IU thing.

  9. Aruss, disagree with you. Our “real” problem is not with the fans, its with the program. Last Thursday night’s display does not inspire much, if any, confidence or optimism about this season. FACT: We gained 73 yards on 31 carries against a I-AA team – that is indefensible since we have been told consistently that the introduction of the Pistol was going to benefit the running game… However, Doug Wilson’s article of April 19th speaks volumes about a problem that has been plaguing the Hoosiers since last season:
    “But with that No. 1 offensive line on the field Saturday — except for Pagan who is injured — the Cream offense, led by Ben Chappell, had just 42 yards on 23 carries and 158 total yards through three quarters Saturday.”

    We continue to make little appreciable adjustments at halftime. FACT: We did not score in the second half.

    We managed to stop Eastern Kentucky’s early 4th quarter drive (where they would have taken the lead) by causing a fumble at the Indiana 5-yard line. We then had to knock down a Hail Mary in the end zone on the game’s last play to preserve the win.

    Some “bright spots” are Chappell seems to have a solid arm and he has some big, athletic guys to throw it to.

    I am not writing this season off after we start with a season opening “W” – its a W. But, its a W against a I-AA team with all sorts of open questions and concerns surrounding our performance so I think any enthusiasm must be tempered given the facts and circumstances surrounding the win.

  10. Cutter,

    I agree with you that enthusiasm should be tempered as it was not an impressive victory. However, it was a win and not some apocalyptic loss. For bad losses I’d point to UVA, Illinois, OU and Oregon. The IU game falls into a category with the games of Iowa and OSU, where the home team barely won over supposedly inferior competition.

    The season will play itself out and Lynch will be the coach throughout (maybe not after its over), so I think a little bit of hope and optimism isn’t too much to ask (they’re free of charge and available to all).

  11. It will all come out in the wash in a month. Then we will start to see the line become clear between sober realism and naive optimism.

    As I stated, Washington played LSU to within 8 points last night, coming off of an 0-12 season. I’d like to see IU play a team like LSU and keep the defeat under 50 points.

    We lost to the second-worst team in the league by around 50 points last year. Seems like we are picking right up where we left off. In the end, the fans who want Lynch fired and have high expectations for the program will be the ones who help bring about change in the form of a better coach. The Arusses and Girlfriend Daves are a cancer to the fanbase because they lull everyone into sleepy, smiley complacency. They take Tom Crean’s cheesy motto “Because it’s Indiana” and reverse it: we’ll never have a good football team or coach “Because it’s Indiana.”

  12. Having watched the game again, this is what I will say about the running game. Eastern Kentucky SOLD OUT big time to stop the run and make us beat them through the air with a first year starter at QB and a young receiving core.

    Chappell for the most part looked very good. He completed 75% of his passes for 326 yards (9.06 avg.) and a TD. Hard to cal his 2 picks as bad throws, one was an obvious timing route and I don’t know if he or the receiver were off on the route.

    The second was a bullet that was just a little to strong and the coverage was back deep enough to be there. He missed his mark, but the throw really was nice looking.

    My biggest issue was the lack of 2nd half performance yet again.

  13. Husky, You better watch who insult with you vile. I’m not naive and I’m not anybody’s girlfriend. But I assure you, you are an a$$hole. Back off.

  14. With all the common sense speculation of “you get what you pay for” (IU head FB coach salary). You would have to believe IU is also deficient by Big 10 standards in what it compensates their assistant coaches. Coach Lynch is well respected in the high school coaching community (Ind., Oh., Mich. and to some in Ill., Wis., Ga., Fl.). They don’t want their players lied to and Coach Lynch remains honest with them. His interaction with them is near impeccable. Possibly IU would be better served fiscally to upgrade to more skilled, higher quality BCS assistants by paying more money for each respective position. Because Coach Lynch is well liked, he appears to be an acceptable organizer by running a clean program and over the past 2 years has identified the need for recruiting a more talented student/athlete are reasons to keep that continuity. Surround him with high caliber assistants for an immediate impact on the field. Looking farther ahead 1 or 2 of the new assistants should be evaluated, identified and hired as having head coaching skills for the future. Entice Coach Lynch to take a responsible position in the AD’s department at the end of his coaching contract. It certainly would make for a more positive transition if the top assistant could take over in full stride, by keeping the team together, retaining recruiting relationships, and would save a whole lot of money along the way. It is being done similarly at Florida State and most recently done at (forgive me) Purdue. I am an “old timer” for in a few months I will be entering my 7th decade as a follower, fan and supporter of IU FB and BB. I just as Fred Glass believe a contract should mean something and why shouldn’t it when near every Hoosier I ever met has believed his own handshake was symbolic for “rock solid”. A contract should mean no less. The business we all do every day is done through relationships. That is why the continuity of one man with integrity introducing a new man who will build his relationship on integrity with those high school coaches is paramount. The “tried and true” method of changing coaches (hire one-fire him-hire another-so on and so on) has rarely been successful for us. In the history I remember it happened once with any longevity, Coach Mallory and that took 3-4 years before it was seen on the field. Coach Lynch has shown some positive actions we should enhance on to build a high flying FB program. With a smoother, more transparent and less expensive changing of the guard we can see solid results during the first 2 years.

    years.

  15. Settle down there Dave, it’s a friggin’ blogroom. Grow some skin. If you can’t deal with petty words on a screen from a blowhard that you don’t even know, you may very well end up as someone’s girlfriend.

  16. I repeat Husky, you are on a$$hole. You want to spew this personal crap, but I have to settle down? Rich.

    You’re right about one thing though, you are a know-it-all blowhard. If only they’d put you in charge, of well, Kinkos might be a good fit for you.

  17. @GFDave re: September 6th, 2009 at 2:43 pm comments. I do not disagree with your assessment (I think we’re saying the same basic thing, you are just a more optimistic writer!).

  18. Someday, whether it’s this season or not, IU has to get lucky. There are programs in every conference that do not make the alumni happy. How are programs turned around?
    West Virginia was about at IU’s level before it hired Don Nehlen (149-93-4) in 1979. Rich Rodrigeuz (60-26) followed Nehlen. The Stewart experiment is already under scrutiny there. Wisconsin hired Alvarez, who hand picked Bielema, who is being watched.
    Are there coaches out there? You bet!
    The turnover of president, ad and head coach has not helped.
    By the way, if someone were to check, I think IU only sold out a couple of games in 1967. The fan support has never been great.
    I tend to listen to people like Bill Mallory. What bloggers have to say is not really important, including my thoughts.

  19. Forcier and “Shoelace” Robinson definitely provided the added spark needed to efficiently run Michigan’s offense, but I wouldn’t go as far to say that Sheridan provided much of a positive. An interception thrown in the endzone falls a bit short of exceeding last year’s performance.

    Forcier looked like anything but a true freshman, and Robinson has the speed to play anywhere on the field for Michigan, not just quarterback.

    Hope everyone is doing well, its been a few months.

  20. So I guess Iowa should give up I-A football as well. They had to come from behind to beat a I-AA team at home and needed two blocked FGs in the last ten seconds to preserve their victory.

    Both Duke and VIrginia were handled at home by FCS teams.

  21. GFDave, surprised you let him get to you. You bugged me out a while back with something you wrote and I got a little defensive. You called him an a$$hole twice man. Take a small break from the blog, just trying to help. That is what I do when someone pisses me off on here. It is hard not to take things personally sometimes, especially when deep down you know there is a little truth to what someone writes…maybe right? I disagree with the way Husky said what he did in calling 2 people out but he reads the blog and knows who wants to give this coaching staff time, but he is like me in the fact that he wants to win NOW and will not accept anything less!

    IU did not do squat in the second half and a pee wee coach could have had better clock management at the end, no excuse that not one person on the staff picked up on that. I will be there next week at 12:00

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