1. I agree, NW should be an interesting engagement. The stats I’m looking at in determining my wager:
    -NW leads the Big 10 in 3rd down completion % (48.3%, 7th nationally). IU (38%, 56th nationally) will have to get Kafka off the field & keep Chappell on it more.
    -IU leads the Big 10 in penalty yards (418 yds on 50 flags)& can’t afford to draw more whistles than NW.
    -NW is 2nd in the Big 10 in sacks allowed (17) & leads in resulting yds. lost (-135). Our D should be able to tee off on Kafka.
    -IU is tied with Iowa for the fewest giveaways/game in the Big 10 (1.5/game). NW (2.2/game) can’t be given any gifts (especially late in the game).
    All things considered, I’m guessing 24-20 Cats in a close one. Penalties, inability to hold on 3rd down, and a failed 2-min. drill sink the season for IU.

  2. If the Hoosiers have a hope of playing football in December, it comes with a win at Northwestern. We’ve ALWAYS played Northwestern well (even when DiNardo was coach), but not always come up with results; let’s change that this weekend!

    I appreciate the stats you put up, Chronic. However, the one that I’ll put nothing into is the sack number; we had that stat thrown at us all over the place two weeks ago and it got us nowhere. The major (totally arbitrary) stat that IU needs to look at is points we could have scored…there were six points missing in that Illinois game, and many points missing from our result at Michigan, which would’ve changed the season dramatically.

  3. I agree with H.B. totally. The ONLY stat that matters is our ridiculous performance in the red-zone! It’s downright pathetic. We should have had a good 45 points or more against Michigan.

    Against, Illinois it was the same thing. However, this time it was our “kicker”, and I use that term loosely, who couldn’t hit the broadside of a barn! My question is what happened to our big 4 star recruit Ewald? Or whatever his name is… Are we honestly saying a walk-on beat out one of the top kickers in the nation coming out of high school??? Freeland has proven he can’t hit much over 35 yards, pathetic even for a Freshman. But, his in ability to hit easy chip shots like last Sat. is downright ludicrous! The 2 he missed on Sat. he should have been able to make with his eyes closed, especially the 2nd one! We’ve got an offense that can move the ball so lets just go for it instead of kicking it, period.

  4. Red Zone scoring is pathetic?
    #1 in the nation in red zone efficiency UVA (tied)
    #27 – Northwestern (highest in B10)
    #40 – IU (second in B10)
    #71 – Florida

    As for the kicker, now that’s another issue. Ewald was injured at the beginning of fall practice. Are the coaches convinced he’s 100% healthy? I don’t know. Also, I believe there was some concern about his kicking off. Perhaps the coaches going to use this year to develop his strength and technique so that next year he can do both placement and kick-off.

  5. Red Zone “scoring” includes field goals. Get me IU’s TD percentage in red zone. I bet you’d find IU next to last in the Big 10.

    Yet another reason why rattling off “statistics” can be misleading.

  6. Let me answer my own question.

    Red Zone Touchdowns by team, as of today:

    Wisconsin 20
    Michigan 19
    Penn State 18
    Minnesota 16
    Northwestern 16
    Michigan State 14
    Purdue 14
    Ohio State 14
    Iowa 13
    Indiana 11
    Illinois 8

    A good attempt by the above poster to try to use red zone “scores” to put a positive spin on the Hoosier’s failures. Even coach Lynch would laugh at that one.

    IU also leads the conference in red zone field goals with 11. The second-place team has 7.

  7. H.T.: Right on!!! I was just going to say to Jay that his rankings included field goals. Who gives a squat about rield goals all the time.

    The fact that our # of FG’s and TD’s is equally 11 is ridiculous. 50% TD rate basically and that is NOT going to win a lot of games and we barely won the first two games because of it.

    Jay, I appreciate the attempt at a positive spin. But, I’m as die-hard of a fan as they come and even though we rack up big offense #’s we don’t score the amount of TD’s we should be. It’s frustrating because this team is really pretty good and they’re literally p*ssing away a winning season and bowl unless things get better in the red-zone.

    Of course, some of this is idiotic play calling by Matt Canada. A lot of people get on Bill, but really its primarily Matt that needs to be fired, not Bill.

    Anyway…..let’s hope that they raise that red-zone TD rate up to 70% at least the rest of the season. If so, 6 or 7 wins is guaranteed (Yes, I think we can beat Iowa or Wisconsin, along with Northwestern and Purdue).

    Thanks again for aiding me in making the point I was trying to make earlier, H.T. You were right on as to my thinking!

  8. Glad I made your day! As for my reference to red-zone statistics I am sorry, I can only please one person a day. Today was not your day. Tomorrow is probably not looking good either.

  9. Everybody can agree that not getting into the end zone when inside the 20 has been an issue. It cost us the game at Michigan. But summarily dismissing the stats Jay presented ignores the fact that we are doing a really good job of putting ourselves in position to score points. That’s a good thing, no matter how you look at it.

    I think this game is going to be closely contested by two evenly matched teams. We need to be able to bring pressure from the D line and hopefully control the clock with the run. I don’t like the idea of giving them time and opportunity against our DBs.

  10. How does Iowa go undefeated in the Big 10 Conference but yet rank near the bottom in Red Zone offensive and defensive statistics? Only 13 total TD’s scored on offense and they give up points 93.3% of the time when defending the Red Zone..

    Answer: 1. Iowa blows everyone away on turnover margins(+11). 2. Though opponents have scored with relative ease against Iowa once in the Red Zone, Iowa rarely has to defend it…Opposing teams just don’t get inside the 20-yard line very often against the Hawkeyes…Iowa must also be very stubborn on giving up big plays…Though teams have scored 93.3% of the time inside their Red Zone(8 touch downs), Iowa has only given up a total of 12 touchdowns for the entire season.

    At the end of the day, could it be just as easily argued that turnover margin, special teams, and not giving up the big play TD points(which start from outside a team’s Red Zone)can partially offset a team’s deficiencies in offensive production inside the Red Zone?

  11. H.T.
    You made the statement that IU’s red-zone statistics were pathetic. I answered, I didn’t call you out and I did not spin anything. Then you felt compelled to tell me that red-zone numbers include field goals. Well, thank you for insight. But, I already knew that, no?
    Then you change your statement to narrow the discussion to TDs only. Who’s spinning?

  12. Jay- My name isn’t Mike W. He made the ‘pathetic’ comment, not me. Put your reading glasses on.

  13. I also might point out that a touchdown is worth 6 points, a field goal 3. That should be present in any discussion of red zone scoring.

  14. Ok…… Lets break this down to specifically the Michigan game.

    Tandon Doss’s 25 yd run, the missed field goal of 42 yds and Darius Willis’s 85 yd run were not in the red-zone and have been excluded.

    So, that leaves us with 6 red-zone trips and ONLY 1 TD to show for it! Apparently, some are happy that we only scored 1 TD in the red-zone in that game?! It means only 17% of the trips resulted in a TD?! We should be happy about that?! Come on……seriously?

    Lest you also not forget that the closest 2 field goals kicked were of 20 yds and 24 yds. Meaning the ball was on the 3 yd line and the 7 yd line. The other 2 field goals were of 30 and 32 yds. On one of the 4 field goals we had 4th and 1 and didn’t go for it! A team that couldn’t stop us all day we didn’t go for the first down. But, that’s a debate for another time.

    In the end the fact that we only scored a TD once is 6 trips is mind boggling. Do you realize if we only scored 1 more TD (adding +4 points) instead of a FG we still win 37-36? Even that’s only 33%, but TD’s equal wins….FG’s equal moral victories.

  15. H.T. Thanks, for correcting Jay.

    Jay, I used pathetic and in my previous post I demonstrated how not scoring TD’s against Michigan was critical in our loss. It also supports that my comment is completely accurate….. 1 of 6 RZ trips = about 17% TD rate = Pathetic…..

  16. H.T.
    I apologize. It’s just that you and Mike look soooo much alike.
    I don’t wear reading glasses, maybe I should look into that.
    You guys have a nice day.

  17. Ok, Jay and H.T. RETRACT…….

    I just realized I accidentally still included the missed FG in my previous calcs.

    It should have been 1 of 5 trips = 20% = Pathetic still……… One more TD would have made it 40% and would have won the game. 40% still sucks for a TD rate. But, that extra 4pts, assuming Freeland makes the extra point, wins the game by 1, 37-36. You cannot overlook that glaring hole in our offense.

  18. Like I said before, I think everybody agrees that we need more TDs from the red zone. But ignoring that we are getting to the red zone a lot is overlooking a strength of the offense. Nevertheless, we need to do better converting our chances.

    I watched highlights of NU and MSU. Something the MSU D did in the second half worked pretty well. They brought a slightly delayed Mike blitz straight at Kafka. As soon as the center committed to blocking a tackle the Mike linebacker came. Kafka did not do well avoiding this rush.

  19. These are the IU Red Zone Stats(Offense)from The Big Ten Official Athletic Site….22-26 84.6 11(TD) 6/5(R/P) 11-13(FG) 1/ 0/ 1/ 0

    Overall: 11 TD’s/26 RZ Trips

    TD Ratio = 42.4%

    Opponent First Downs:

    IU ranks last in giving up 1st Downs 157! Completely dismal…That number jumped out and nearly knocked me over…Very telling(71 rushing, 67passing, and 19 from penalties!)


    REPEAT: 19 First Downs off of penalties given to the opposition! That particular stat blows away the rest of the Big 10.

    IU ranks next to last in Total Penalties with 50 ..REPEAT: 50 Penalties!! (Iowa 29, Penn St 32, Ohio St 37, Michigan 39) The only reason Illinois(40) comes in last is due to yardage.

    Why is Red Zone efficiency even being discussed? I don’t care if you’re perfect in the Red Zone on offense…when you’re giving away that much of the field/game in penalties, you’re assured of losing…A very damning number on how well a team is coached.

    Note: the above rant was from yours truly.

  20. Thanks D, good stats. I am impressed by the fact that basketball nostalgia (and Crean hatred) has turned you into a respectable football contributor here.

    How do you feel about Cutler these days? He’s putting up decent numbers, but throwing quite a few picks. Hate to say it, but Orton is…a little bit better.

    GF Dave- your are right, IU is at least getting to the red zone a lot. They are also making lots of ‘big plays’ for TDs which don’t show up in the red zone scoring stats, even though they achieve the same effect.

  21. Hail Mary!!! There’s my old Husky…his cream is finally coming to the top.

    Season is young…Cutler will deliver..Losing Urlacher has been a big blow to the Bears …Couldn’t have been a more devastating loss to the defense… Against the Falcons they were confused and not ready during quick counts…Poor communication and vulnerable in the gaps that Urlacher can quickly fill in passes dumped across the short middle(under the secondary)…I’m trying to act like I know what I’m talking about..Did that sound like appropriate football jargon? I love the Bears team..fun to watch with so much speed..Johnny Knox…Devin Hester…Danieal Manning..And I’m very impressed with Greg Olsen- the guy is a huge beast with great hands..Soon to be one of the best tight ends in the NFL…I just plain enjoy watching the Bears this year..win, or lose. I’m worried about the Bengals on the road…talk about a team that has turned it around.

    Give Orton a few more weeks…He’ll self-destruct. He has a very good receiving crew that has turned many of his under-thrown passes into completions and big plays(on most teams they would have been picks)…His weak arm will catch up to the Broncos in due time.

    hmmm?…Forever deep in Crimson…Now with Crean, the Hoosiers rise again to the top.

    How does that work for a T-shirt slogan? Too long?
    Maybe an ad campaign..

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