4 storylines for Indiana’s game at Wake Forest #iufb

1. Can Indiana jumpstart its pass rush against a poor Wake Forest offensive line?
Here’s a matchup between two units that haven’t consistently performed at an optimal level through three games. The Demon Deacons have a pair of redshirt freshmen at the tackle spots, while the Hoosiers have failed to generate regular pressure into the opposing backfield this season. Two weeks ago against Syracuse, the Wake Forest offensive line was responsible for six quarterback hurries and four sacks. Quarterback John Wolford threw three interceptions — at least one or two of which could be blamed on hurried throws under pressure. Indiana entered the regular season believing it had an improved and aggressive pass rush, but so far, that hasn’t been the case. Perhaps that changes today. To prevent the Deacons from keeping pace, it will have to.

2. Is the Demon Deacon defense for real?
Wake Forest held Elon to three points and 151 total yards in its opener and limited Army’s triple option offense to 186 rushing yards and an average of 3.4 per carry in a last-second win a week ago. In between, the Demon Deacons allowed 30 points to Syracuse, but their defense yielded only four explosive plays — measured as runs of 12 or more yards and passes of 15 yards or more. Led by senior linebacker Brandon Chubb, the Deacons also have senior experience in the linebacking corps and secondary. Indiana, however, brings two totally different dimensions with its balanced, Big-Ten leading offense. The Hoosiers have to cash in on opportunities against a Wake unit that is ranked No. 7 nationally in third down conversion defense and No. 9 in total defense.

3. Do the Hoosiers face a traditional passing attack or a mobile quarterback?
Wake’s first-string quarterback, John Wolford, appears doubtful to start, but coach Dave Clawson hasn’t gone so far as to rule him out. So it’s likely that true freshman Kendall Hinton receives his first career start one week after earning ACC Rookie of the Week honors. Where Wolford is a more natural pocket passer, Hinton brings a dual-threat option that was on display against Army last week. IU saw a mobile quarterback in the season opener and didn’t fare so well, allowing SIU quarterback Mark Iannotti to throw for 411 yards and run for 106 more. That can’t happen again, especially in a road game that Indiana should and needs to win.

4. Are the Hoosiers at a point where they can deal with success?
This remains a hurdle Indiana has yet to clear in limited opportunities under Kevin Wilson. For the latest example, look no further than a year ago this week, when IU returned to Bloomington after an upset win at eventual Southeastern Conference East Division champion Missouri and offered a flat, uninspired effort against an average Maryland outfit. Indiana enters Winston-Salem as the favorite this week, and it’s about time the Hoosiers win the road games they’re supposed to win, especially against Power 5 conference opponents. Forget, for a moment, the fantasies of hosting a popular ESPN program next week. This game is important to the morale of a team looking to enter the conference season with its best start in a quarter century.

One comment

  1. 1. This looks to be the week IU gets its pass rush going. IU was close on a number of stunts to get to the QB last week and should get there on time if coach runs a true 5 man front. If the freshman starts the game I would put a spy on the QB [my fastest surest tackler] to keep him from taking off if pass rush lanes break down.

    2. The Duke defense is a good one but so is our OL and TEs. The Deacons will still have a problem handling the ferocious way Howard runs and will struggle keeping up when IU goes at a fast pace. I would run Ricky Brookins a few times to see if he can hit a couple of break aways. I hope IU continues to use their TEs in the passing game putting pressure on the LBs to help in coverage. Between 245 yards rushing per game and 313 yards passing per game it will be difficult for Wake Forest to stop our offense. Wake Forest averages 140 yards rushing per game and 312 yards passing per game so they will be a challenge for our defense. Thay have only scored 75 points this year which is a 25 point per game average.

    3. IU has some game tape on Hinton so his running shouldn’t be any surprise to our Defense. I hope we have a spy on him so he doesn’t run willd on our front and then shred our inexperienced secondary. The best news if they go with the pocket passer is the OL doesn’t do a good job keeping the pass rush out of his face. Going up against Syracuse, yes I know it had limited reps before getting hurt, he wasn’t taking their secondary apart like he did against Elon.

    4. This team has shown it is different from previous IU teams under Coach Wilson but they still are the worst defense in the country so it is time to step up and say they are better with a few games under their belts. If they can step up and play hard then they will overcome the issues of the past where the team played flat following a good game the week before. I hope they come back home
    4-0, that would be a major improvement for this team as they head into next week’s game.

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