4 storylines for IU’s game vs. Virginia

1. Wet and wild
The latest forecasts show that rain — and lots of it — is a near-certainty for Indiana’s home opener. That’s likely to make for an ugly, messy contest. The passing game that helped IU’s offense zip through last week’s win at Florida International could very well be muted by the deluge. That puts pressure on Indiana’s run game to step up and get the tough yards the Hoosiers will need to keep their offense moving.

2. Ball security
Indiana won the turnover margin last week with three takeaways against only one interception thrown. Saturday’s conditions will make a repeat performance even more valuable. Throughout the offseason, IU coach Tom Allen demanded more takeaways after his Hoosiers failed to seize as many game-changing moments in 2017 as they did in 2016. Given the expected conditions this week, keeping control of the ball will be just as important as taking it away from Virginia.

3. A new-look Virginia offense
This isn’t the same Virginia offense that IU saw during last season’s win in Charlottesville, Va. The Cavaliers have transitioned from a more traditional ball control, pocket passer in Kurt Benkert to dual-threat quarterback Bryce Perkins. The junior college transfer should help the Cavaliers’ running game after UVA struggled mightily in that dimension a year ago. Perkins, who passed for one touchdown and ran for two more last week against Richmond, is an explosive athlete whose mere presence gives Virginia a new offensive identity.

4. Cavaliers accounting for Ramsey
When IU’s offense struggled to get going early in last season’s game at Virginia, Tom Allen didn’t hesitate to pull starter Richard Lagow in favor of then-backup Peyton Ramsey. The move caught Virginia off guard, with coach Bronco Mendenhall admitting later that the Cavaliers weren’t prepared for Ramsey’s dual threat skill set. This year, Virginia is ready for Ramsey — as well as whomever else might line up at the position for IU. How does he respond?

17 comments

  1. Hoosiers just can’t catch a break! Home opener at 7:30 with rain forecast all day. How many “fans” will even come into the stadium for kick-off? Most of the tailgaters will have packed up and gone home by 7:30.

  2. So it’s going to rain tonight. “Part of the issue, Allen said, was the toll that the South Florida heat and humidity took on his players, particularly those up front. Six of IU’s 10 offensive possessions lasting at least nine plays. Left tackle Coy Cronk agreed that the climate was an issue.”

    Aside from the conditioning issue raised by the above, I’m alarmed that Allen himself raised the weather as a problem. How about, “Heat? Humidity? Cronk, we practice in southern Indiana in August, fer cryin’ out loud! Sounds like we need some more wind sprints when we get back to Bloomington.” We all have read about how much love TA showers on his players, but is it tough love? Wilson’s teams certainly showed vastly more fire and toughness than the Lynch teams, and those qualities don’t seem to be as evident in the brief TA era. NO EXCUSES TONIGHT, HOOSIERS!!!!!!!!

    1. There is no comparison between a miserably hot day in southern Indiana with the South Florida climate. You may as well be in different planets.

      We used to joke that the sun was so intense you could hear it. Guys from Oklahoma complained about it.

      1. The heat and humidity there is not just hot but debilitating with physical exertion. Put on a business suit and walk a 1/2 mile at 2:30 in the afternoon. It’ll put your tongue in your watch pocket. No wonder there’s so many bars down there with HAPPY HOUR starting at 11:00 in the mornings.

  3. Didn’t we defeat Virginia on the road last year? Is this really a challenging game? Yippee…We found an equal.
    Don’t simply blame bad attendance on bad weather possibilities/conditions.
    You’ve got to give the fans better games than this….Getting to a bowl via soft non-conference scheduling is taking precedence over attendance and providing the fans with true measures of improvement in our football product. Sorry, I’m not paying BMW prices for an old Chevy that’s parked in a new garage.

  4. Looking at the radar indicates purely miserable conditions including a very high probability of lightning and severe weather. Could this game be cancelled and moved to Sunday?

  5. Ball State @ Notre Dame….Now there’s a game I’d pay money to attend. That’s scheduling! That’s called creating local interest and some fun for the fans.
    Wow…Houston is putting a hurt on Arizona. I thought Arizona had decent football teams?

  6. Tom Allen mentor Chris Creighton has EMU giving PUke all they can handle in West Laughyette. End of the 3rd PUke 12 -EMU 10.

  7. I thought the Brohm was supposed to be ‘da bomb’….?

    And how tough is Northwestern(won @ Purdue last weekend) when they are getting their home field butts handed to them by Duke?

  8. Admit that I’m not qualified to compare Bloomington heat w/Fla. heat (game temp was 85F according to the box score). My point was about the coach buying-in to weather as an excuse. Publicly. I’ve heard tell that it can get cold in Ann Arbor in Nov.

  9. HAHAHAHAHAHA….Purdue 0-2. Let’s hire an experienced head coach. lol. What a horribly undisciplined team. Costly penalties. Dumb and undisciplined just like you’d expect out of Purdon’t.

  10. Under coach Allen IU did well in two games last year played during downpours. The Rutgers game was expecially dominating and I hope IU’s OL dominates VA’s D front letting IU’s offense control the game.

    My wife used to tell me that it couldn’t get much hotter or humid that Northern Indiana in the summer. I tried to explain the difference I felt in Guam and South Florida. Ft Wayne zoo added a tropical forest section, we walked through the air lock going into the area and my wife gasped. I told her she now knew what Southern heat and humidity were like. I love the heat and humidity but I know there is no way a Northern team can be ready for what they face in South Florida during the Summer.

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