7 p.m. Saturday at Memorial Stadium in Bloomington, Ind.
Big Ten Network; KMBZ (980 AM, 98.1 FM)
Indiana leads 6-2-2
Missouri by 3
MIZZOU (2-0, 0-0 SEC) What’s at stake
A 3-0 start, which historically has signaled great things for Missouri. The Tigers have started a season 3-0 seven times since coach Gary Pinkel’s arrival in 2001. Most recently, Missouri zoomed to a 3-0 start in 2010 on the way to a Big 12 North Division title and a 10-3 record. The Tigers also would be in great shape for a bowl game with a victory.Cheers if
Missouri’s defense can slow down Indiana’s potent offensive attack. The Hoosiers average 50 points per game and rank eighth in the nation averaging 571.3 yards of total offense, including 339 yards through the air. If the Tigers can keep Indiana under 30 points, it would be a tremendous achievement.Jeers if
Missouri’s ground game doesn’t gain traction. Indiana’s defense is giving up 237 rushing yards per game. Those numbers are skewed by the 444 yards Navy rolled up in a 41-35 win, but it’s still safe to say defending the run in a weak point for the Hoosiers. It’s one Henry Josey and company need to exploit.Three things about Indiana
1 Indiana has one winning season since 1994 and has cycled through five coaches now during Gary Pinkel’s 13-year tenure at Missouri. The Hoosiers have been to only nine bowl games in the 126-year history of the program.
2 Defensively, Indiana hasn’t been great, allowing more than 400 yards and 28 points per game. However, the Hoosiers’ third-down defense has been relatively strong, allowing opponents to convert only 31.9 percent of the time.
3 Indiana lost the first two meetings in its series against Missouri, dropping close games in 1953 and 1954. Since then, the Hoosiers are 6-0-2 against the Tigers, including a 4-0 mark at home. Of course, the teams haven’t played since 1992.Key matchup
Missouri’s secondary vs. Indiana’s receivers:
The Hoosiers have four pass catchers with at least 1,000 career receiving yards for the first time. Junior wide receiver Shane Wynn joined the 1,000-yard club during last week’s win against Bowling Green, while senior wide receiver Kofi Hughes, junior wide receiver Cody Latimer and senior tight end Ted Bolser were already in the club. The Tigers’ secondary can’t afford any careless moments against a such a seasoned crew of pass catchers.
|Aug. 31||Murray State||W, 58-14|
|Sept. 7||Toledo||W, 38-23|
|Saturday||at Indiana||7 p.m.|
|Sept. 28||Arkansas State||6:30 p.m.|
|Oct. 5||at Vanderbilt||TBA|
|Oct. 12||at Georgia||TBA|
|Oct. 26||South Carolina||TBA|
|Nov. 9||at Kentucky||TBA|
|Nov. 23||at Mississippi||TBA|
|Nov. 30||Texas A||TBA|
INDIANA (2-1, 0-0 Big Ten)
|Aug. 29||Indiana State||W, 73-35|
|Sept. 7||Navy||L, 41-35|
|Sept. 14||Bowling Green||W, 42-10|
|Oct. 5||Penn State||TBA|
|Oct. 12||at Michigan State||11 a.m.|
|Oct. 19||at Michigan||2:30 p.m.|
|Nov. 2||Minnesota||2:30 p.m.|
|Nov. 16||at Wisconsin||TBA|
|Nov. 23||at Ohio State||TBA|
Indiana has a potent offense, so this game is going to be a high-scoring affair. Ultimately, though, Missouri’s defense is better and will come up with a few more stops. Now healthy, Tigers senior quarterback James Franklin has been steady and dynamic. He should be better equipped to avoid the big mistake a sophomore, like Hoosiers quarterback Nate Sudfeld, might make.
| Tod Palmer, email@example.com