4 storylines for Indiana’s game against Ohio State

1. Which version of Richard Lagow appears?
Is it the quarterback who played poorly in the Foster Farms Bowl and looked uneven during IU’s spring game? Or is it the one who appeared more comfortable and confident during Indiana’s fall camp? We’re about to find out. IU players and coaches have offered glowing reviews of Lagow this month, but the same was true leading into last season’s bowl game and again throughout spring practice. So which is it? Although Lagow has demonstrated an ability to make dazzling, next-level throws, he has also shown a propensity for forcing passes and commiting turnovers. After Lagow threw 17 interceptions last season, Indiana needs more consistency from the senior this fall. Is he ready to meet the challenge?

2. Does Simmie Cobbs see the field?
During his weekly press conference, IU coach Tom Allen didn’t offer any clues on Cobbs’ playing status against Ohio State. Cobbs was arrested in July on misdemeanor charges of failure to identify and resisting law enforcement after he allegedly failed to clear an aisle during a Jason Aldean concert at Klipsch Music Center. What kind of punishment does that deserve? A full-game suspension? A half? An offensive series or two? Losing Cobbs, IU’s most talented receiver, for any stretch against the Buckeyes would be a significant blow. It’s up to Allen and company to determine what kind of punishment, if any, fits.

3. Which Indiana running back stands out?
After three consecutive years with at least one 1,000-yard rusher, Indiana will use a running back-by-committee approach to begin the 2017 season. Junior Mike Majette is in line for the start, presenting the most well-rounded skill set of the bunch. Redshirt freshman Cole Gest may be the most explosive, while redshirt sophomore Devonte Williams gives IU a dynamic scat back and sophomore Tyler Natee gives the Hoosiers a battering ram in short-yardage situations. Keep an eye on true freshman Morgan Ellison, who has been compared favorably to former Hoosier and current Chicago Bear running back Jordan Howard.

4. How does IU’s offensive line stack up?
The Hoosiers’ play up front could very well be the key to any potential IU upset. Ohio State boasts NFL-caliber talent across its defensive line, which might make for a long, difficult night for an unproven Indiana O-line. The Hoosier linemen not only need to keep Lagow upright, they need to keep him from throwing under duress all game. That’s when mistakes tend to happen. Indiana has big, talented bodies up front, but with only two returning starters in left tackle Coy Cronk and left guard Wes Martin, are they ready for what could be their most significant challenge of the season? To earn the upset, they better be.

8 comments

  1. Question #1 and #4 are the key to the entire seasons. Personally I cannot see Lagow changing, just hope that he can limits the number of “INT” and that the “INT” are not in game changing situations. The offensive line will improve as the seasons goes on. hopefully tonight is a very competitive game and the Hoosier and the Buckeyes come out injury free…..Let’s have a good game and GO HOOSIER!!

  2. I have a #5. As a fan who missed exactly ZERO games during my time in Bloomington, who’s watched or listened to 99% of them since I left, I can’t help but be filled with dread that we’re going to get pasted tonight by a team with guys on it who will make more money playing in the NFL in one game than our Hoosiers collectively in history. It’s built into my DNA that there will some gigantic, embarrassing letdown.

    But, that doesn’t really matter. I’m just happy that we genuinely have something to root for. Gameday coming to Bloomington, with Corso coming home, is just super fun. I haven’t seen anyone this excited about football in Bloomington in a long time. Win or lose, there just seems to be a different vibe around the program now. Progress might be small, but at least it is something.

  3. What’s that tune that Dandy Don used to sing….?

    As a fan who came very close to attending exactly ZERO games during my time in Bloomington, may Dandy Don and the Hoosier Football Anthem rest in peace….

    Turn out the lights
    The party’s over
    They say that all
    Good things must end
    Call it a night
    The party’s over
    And tomorrow starts
    The same old thing again.

  4. For those betting on the game: 100 to 1 says that Wilson(a.k.a. “The Hoosier Riverboat Gambler”) will not bring any chips to a 4th down table.
    Oddly enough, there will be just as many punts by OSU tonight as Wilson averaged per game while coaching IU.(somewhere between 0-2) Punters don’t need much work on an OSU or IU offense. This would be known as “No Need” vs. “Nothing to Lose.”

  5. IU79, why do you doubt Lagow can change? It would be abnormal for him not to change, or put another way, to not improve his performance over last season. Experience matters a lot. Just look at Peyton Manning’s performance in his first NFL season vs those that followed. It’s a bit irrational for anyone to expect a player not to improve from his first season to his second, so I’m curious why you question that.

    OSU is a 21.5 point favorite. If IU can beat the spread while scoring some points of their own, they will have had a successful game. I expect OSU to try to run the ball down IU’s throat, and limit their passing game. Why show too much of the offense to your future (better) opponents than is absolutely necessary in a game that they expect to win handily. And on that point, let’s hope OSU is forced to throw a lot of passes in this game.

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