Hoosier Scoop Sage Take of the Day, Nov. 8, 2012


HOOSIER SCOOP SAGE TAKE OF THE DAY, Nov. 8, 2012
Potential ramifications abound for Indiana’s football program with Saturday’s Leaders Division showdown against Wisconsin.
A win would certainly benefit IU’s program in myriad ways. Even just a highly-competitive game would probably help a bit, given Wisconsin flat-out embarrassed the Hoosiers in the series’ previous two outings by an aggregate 142-27 margin. The Badgers are favored by a touchdown this time.
But regardless of Saturday’s outcome, whether or not wins then ensue at Penn State and at Purdue to keep Hoosier bowl hopes alive, Indiana has already accomplished what was arguably the most important task facing it heading into the season.
The Hoosiers had to show fans, potential recruits and themselves that coach Kevin Wilson’s approach could and would work in Bloomington after Wilson debuted with a 1-11 campaign in 2011.
Done and done. They have ably demonstrated not only that Wilson’s nascent building project is viable but packed with potential, that it constitutes culture change for the long haul that could produce winning big-boy football.
There are all sorts of ways this is manifest, not least of which is the bottom line. IU stands 4-5 but could very readily be over .500, having outscored the opposition 298-260, even having lost its starting quarterback in the second quarter of the second game. The Hoosiers have either led or been within one score in the fourth quarter of every game they’ve lost.
Wilson came to Bloomington with a reputation as an offensive guru, but Hoosier fans have been heartened this season by overt progress from the long-maligned defense.
Omitting the two interceptions returned for opposition touchdowns, one at Navy and another last week by Iowa, Indiana’s defense has now given up just 24, 17 and 14 points in the three successive weeks. It’s accurate to say defense helped key the Hoosiers’ first two-game Big Ten winning streak since 2007.
When was the last time Indiana scored fewer than 25 points and won before last Saturday’s 24-21 victory over Iowa? Over three years ago (a 23-19 decision over Western Michigan on Sept. 12, 2009).
Even while IU defenders haven’t always made the play this fall, they were generally in position to make it, and they have permitted foes far fewer big plays. Last season, IU’s defense surrendered 70 plays of at least 20 yards. This season, with three games left, it has allowed 36.
Wisconsin enters Saturday’s fray off a bye week with a revamped multiple offense coordinated by former IU assistant Matt Canada and featuring a new starting quarterback in Curt Phillips (in place of the injured Joel Stave), but the Badger bread-and-butter is still a ground game buoyed by a big offensive line and great backs such as Montee Ball and James White.
But while IU was susceptible against spread offenses featuring running quarterbacks earlier this season, the Hoosier defense has proven pretty stout against more conventional rushing attacks of the sort Wisconsin has traditionally favored. The Hoosiers held Michigan State standout LaVeon Bell to just 3.3 yards per carry, for example, the same meager mark managed by Iowa’s Damon Bullock last week.
Wilson has described his team as an average one that is getting better day-by-day, and that’s a fair assessment. But he’s also made it clear that he likes the team and appreciates its approach. And it’s pretty clear to everybody, now, that this Indiana team will play hard. And it will usually play well.
And Indiana remains one of the youngest aggregations in the FBS.
So if the Hoosiers stay competitive with, or beat, the Badgers, that augurs well for both the immediate future and beyond.
And the season has already provided ample evidence of progress.
Indiana might actually clear a path to the Big Ten title game if it wins Saturday. A win would also get it within a game of potential bowl eligibility.
But these Hoosiers have already posted perhaps their biggest victory this season, winning over hearts and minds that needed convincing, including their own.

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5 comments:

  • upperarlington #1


    Thursday, November 8, 2012 - 7:43 AM EST

    Great write up Andy. This team is the one that makes you really love them. Ahead of schedule with an attitude of learning to finish games and playing with alot of heart.

  • Aruss #2


    Thursday, November 8, 2012 - 9:44 AM EST

    At the beginning of the year, I said the team was capable of winning at least 6 games and everyone mocked me. I guess history has shown that I’m a bit of a football expert.

  • HairyT #3


    Thursday, November 8, 2012 - 10:13 AM EST

    To summarize today’s “Sage” take – beating Wisconsin would be good. Hmmmm…can’t argue with that one. Now I’m going to embark on my day and try to find something that is nascent.

  • Diane Chambers #4


    Thursday, November 8, 2012 - 11:06 AM EST

    HairyT – are you saying the Sage has merely stated that which is manifest?

  • Mike P. #5


    Thursday, November 8, 2012 - 4:16 PM EST

    Aruss,

    Not everyone mocked you at the beginning of the year. I actually agreed with you and said this team would win 4-6 games. Where you get mocked, and I will mock you on it, is your “I’m a bit of a football expert” statement.

    Please don’t ever confuse yourself with anything remotely resembling an expert about the game of football…..it’s just not true and EVERYONE knows it.

    Hell, I know the game in and out, been around it my whole life and I don’t call myself an expert on the game. I know that I can always learn a more as the game continues to evolve.

    Stay humble, or you might just find yourself being humbled.

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IU vs Rutgers men\'s basketball

Men's Basketball Player Pages

[img src=http://scoop.hoosiershq.com/wp-content/flagallery/mens-basketball-player-pages/thumbs/thumbs_blackmon1.jpg]8550James Blackmon, Jr.
Chris Howell | Herald-Times Indiana University Men's Basketball head shots in Bloomington, Ind., Tuesday, Sept. 9, 2014.Indiana Hoosiers guard James Blackmon Jr. (1)
[img src=http://scoop.hoosiershq.com/wp-content/flagallery/mens-basketball-player-pages/thumbs/thumbs_zeisloft1.jpg]6680Nick Zeisloft
Chris Howell | Herald-Times Indiana University Men's Basketball head shots in Bloomington, Ind., Tuesday, Sept. 9, 2014.Indiana Hoosiers guard Nick Zeisloft (2)
[img src=http://scoop.hoosiershq.com/wp-content/flagallery/mens-basketball-player-pages/thumbs/thumbs_hoetzel1.jpg]5780Max Hoetzel
Chris Howell | Herald-TimesIndiana University Men's Basketball head shots in Bloomington, Ind., Tuesday, Sept. 9, 2014.Indiana Hoosiers forward Max Hoetzel (3)
[img src=http://scoop.hoosiershq.com/wp-content/flagallery/mens-basketball-player-pages/thumbs/thumbs_johnson1.jpg]5300Robert Johnson
Chris Howell | Herald-Times Indiana University Men's Basketball head shots in Bloomington, Ind., Tuesday, Sept. 9, 2014.Indiana Hoosiers guard Robert Johnson (4)
[img src=http://scoop.hoosiershq.com/wp-content/flagallery/mens-basketball-player-pages/thumbs/thumbs_williams1.jpg]4970Troy Williams
Chris Howell | Herald-Times Indiana University Men's Basketball head shots in Bloomington, Ind., Tuesday, Sept. 9, 2014.Indiana Hoosiers forward Troy Williams (5)
[img src=http://scoop.hoosiershq.com/wp-content/flagallery/mens-basketball-player-pages/thumbs/thumbs_burton1.jpg]4750Ryan Burton
Chris Howell | Herald-Times Indiana University Men's Basketball head shots in Bloomington, Ind., Tuesday, Sept. 9, 2014.Indiana Hoosiers forward Ryan Burton (10)
[img src=http://scoop.hoosiershq.com/wp-content/flagallery/mens-basketball-player-pages/thumbs/thumbs_yogi1.jpg]4560Yogi Ferrell
Chris Howell | Herald-TimesIndiana University Men's Basketball head shots in Bloomington, Ind., Tuesday, Sept. 9, 2014.Indiana Hoosiers guard Yogi Ferrell (11)
[img src=http://scoop.hoosiershq.com/wp-content/flagallery/mens-basketball-player-pages/thumbs/thumbs_perea1.jpg]4910Hanner Mosquera-Perea
Chris Howell | Herald-Times Indiana University Men's Basketball head shots in Bloomington, Ind., Tuesday, Sept. 9, 2014.Indiana Hoosiers forward Hanner Mosquera-Perea (12)
[img src=http://scoop.hoosiershq.com/wp-content/flagallery/mens-basketball-player-pages/thumbs/thumbs_robinson1.jpg]4260Stanford Robinson
Chris Howell | Herald-Times Indiana University Men's Basketball head shots in Bloomington, Ind., Tuesday, Sept. 9, 2014.Indiana Hoosiers guard Stanford Robinson (22)
[img src=http://scoop.hoosiershq.com/wp-content/flagallery/mens-basketball-player-pages/thumbs/thumbs_ritchie1.jpg]4250Nate Ritchie
Chris Howell | Herald-Times Indiana University Men's Basketball head shots in Bloomington, Ind., Tuesday, Sept. 9, 2014.Indiana Hoosiers forward Nate Ritchie (23)
[img src=http://scoop.hoosiershq.com/wp-content/flagallery/mens-basketball-player-pages/thumbs/thumbs_holt1.jpg]4690Emmitt Holt
Chris Howell | Herald-Times Indiana University Men's Basketball head shots in Bloomington, Ind., Tuesday, Sept. 9, 2014.Indiana Hoosiers forward Emmitt Holt (25)
[img src=http://scoop.hoosiershq.com/wp-content/flagallery/mens-basketball-player-pages/thumbs/thumbs_hartman1.jpg]5090Collin Hartman
Chris Howell | Herald-Times Indiana University Men's Basketball head shots in Bloomington, Ind., Tuesday, Sept. 9, 2014.Indiana Hoosiers forward Collin Hartman (30)
[img src=http://scoop.hoosiershq.com/wp-content/flagallery/mens-basketball-player-pages/thumbs/thumbs_priller1.jpg]5570Tim Priller
Chris Howell | Herald-Times Indiana University Men's Basketball head shots in Bloomington, Ind., Tuesday, Sept. 9, 2014.Indiana Hoosiers forward Tim Priller (35)
[img src=http://scoop.hoosiershq.com/wp-content/flagallery/mens-basketball-player-pages/thumbs/thumbs_april1.jpg]5820Jeremiah April
Chris Howell | Herald-Times Indiana University Men's Basketball head shots in Bloomington, Ind., Tuesday, Sept. 9, 2014.Indiana Hoosiers center Jeremiah April (44)

Women's Basketball Player Pages

[img src=http://scoop.hoosiershq.com/wp-content/flagallery/womens-basketball-player-pages/thumbs/thumbs_walter1.jpg]6200Jess Walter
Chris Howell | Herald-TimesIndiana University women's basketball portraits at Assembly Hall in Bloomington, Ind., Thursday, October 23, 2014.Indiana Hoosiers guard Jess Walter (2)
[img src=http://scoop.hoosiershq.com/wp-content/flagallery/womens-basketball-player-pages/thumbs/thumbs_buss1.jpg]14030Tyra Buss
Chris Howell | Herald-TimesIndiana University women's basketball portraits at Assembly Hall in Bloomington, Ind., Thursday, October 23, 2014.Indiana Hoosiers guard Tyra Buss (3)
[img src=http://scoop.hoosiershq.com/wp-content/flagallery/womens-basketball-player-pages/thumbs/thumbs_brooks1.jpg]8050Larryn Brooks
Chris Howell | Herald-TimesIndiana University women's basketball portraits at Assembly Hall in Bloomington, Ind., Thursday, October 23, 2014.Indiana Hoosiers guard Larryn Brooks (5)
[img src=http://scoop.hoosiershq.com/wp-content/flagallery/womens-basketball-player-pages/thumbs/thumbs_agler1.jpg]6790Taylor Agler
Chris Howell | Herald-TimesIndiana University women's basketball portraits at Assembly Hall in Bloomington, Ind., Thursday, October 23, 2014.Indiana Hoosiers guard Taylor Agler (10)
[img src=http://scoop.hoosiershq.com/wp-content/flagallery/womens-basketball-player-pages/thumbs/thumbs_bell2.jpg]5290Nicole Bell
Chris Howell | Herald-TimesIndiana University women's basketball portraits at Assembly Hall in Bloomington, Ind., Thursday, October 23, 2014.Indiana Hoosiers guard Nicole Bell (12)
[img src=http://scoop.hoosiershq.com/wp-content/flagallery/womens-basketball-player-pages/thumbs/thumbs_stratman1.jpg]5010Liz Stratman
Chris Howell | Herald-TimesIndiana University women's basketball portraits at Assembly Hall in Bloomington, Ind., Thursday, October 23, 2014.
[img src=http://scoop.hoosiershq.com/wp-content/flagallery/womens-basketball-player-pages/thumbs/thumbs_hulls1.jpg]5090Kaila Hulls
Chris Howell | Herald-TimesIndiana University women's basketball portraits at Assembly Hall in Bloomington, Ind., Thursday, October 23, 2014.Indiana Hoosiers guard/forward Kaila Hulls (15)
[img src=http://scoop.hoosiershq.com/wp-content/flagallery/womens-basketball-player-pages/thumbs/thumbs_mcbride1.jpg]4390Karlee McBride
Chris Howell | Herald-TimesIndiana University women's basketball portraits at Assembly Hall in Bloomington, Ind., Thursday, October 23, 2014.Indiana Hoosiers guard Karlee McBride (21)
[img src=http://scoop.hoosiershq.com/wp-content/flagallery/womens-basketball-player-pages/thumbs/thumbs_gassion1.jpg]3960Alexis Gassion
Chris Howell | Herald-TimesIndiana University women's basketball portraits at Assembly Hall in Bloomington, Ind., Thursday, October 23, 2014.Indiana Hoosiers guard Alexis Gassion (23)
[img src=http://scoop.hoosiershq.com/wp-content/flagallery/womens-basketball-player-pages/thumbs/thumbs_muensterman1.jpg]5060Maura Meunsterman
Chris Howell | Herald-TimesIndiana University women's basketball portraits at Assembly Hall in Bloomington, Ind., Thursday, October 23, 2014.Indiana Hoosiers guard Maura Muensterman (31)
[img src=http://scoop.hoosiershq.com/wp-content/flagallery/womens-basketball-player-pages/thumbs/thumbs_mize1.jpg]4590Andrea Mize
Chris Howell | Herald-TimesIndiana University women's basketball portraits at Assembly Hall in Bloomington, Ind., Thursday, October 23, 2014.Indiana Hoosiers guard Andrea Mize (32)
[img src=http://scoop.hoosiershq.com/wp-content/flagallery/womens-basketball-player-pages/thumbs/thumbs_cahill1.jpg]4380Amanda Cahill
Chris Howell | Herald-TimesIndiana University women's basketball portraits at Assembly Hall in Bloomington, Ind., Thursday, October 23, 2014.Indiana Hoosiers forward Amanda Cahill (33)
[img src=http://scoop.hoosiershq.com/wp-content/flagallery/womens-basketball-player-pages/thumbs/thumbs_jakubicek1.jpg]4500Claire Jakubicek
Chris Howell | Herald-TimesIndiana University women's basketball portraits at Assembly Hall in Bloomington, Ind., Thursday, October 23, 2014.Indiana Hoosiers forward Claire Jakubicek (34)
[img src=http://scoop.hoosiershq.com/wp-content/flagallery/womens-basketball-player-pages/thumbs/thumbs_leikem1.jpg]4220Lyndsay Leikem
Chris Howell | Herald-TimesIndiana University women's basketball portraits at Assembly Hall in Bloomington, Ind., Thursday, October 23, 2014.Indiana Hoosiers forward Lyndsay Leikem (40)
[img src=http://scoop.hoosiershq.com/wp-content/flagallery/womens-basketball-player-pages/thumbs/thumbs_anderson1.jpg]4150Jenn Anderson
Chris Howell | Herald-TimesIndiana University women's basketball portraits at Assembly Hall in Bloomington, Ind., Thursday, October 23, 2014.Indiana Hoosiers center Jenn Anderson (43)
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