Withstand the Tigers’ pressure up front: Missouri boasts a pair of NFL-caliber rush ends in Shane Ray and Markus Golden. The duo will deal a sizable test to Indiana’s offensive line, which didn’t jump out to a great start through the first quarter and a half of last week’s game at Bowling Green. Ray and Golden have scouts at the next level salivating with their impact potential, of which the Hoosiers could feel the brunt of this afternoon. The two linemen have combined for 14 tackles for loss, on top of nine sacks. When Nate Sudfeld gets into an early rhythm it’s hard to take him out of it. Having Sudfeld settled in and running back Tevin Coleman established early will go a long way toward helping the Hoosiers when the pressure starts coming.
Win the turnover margin: Until the Indiana defense proves it can make necessary and critical stops, the Hoosiers will need a little help from the opposition. Think back to IU’s upset win at No. 24 Oregon a decade ago this month, when the Hoosiers took advantage of seven Ducks turnovers to claim the improbable victory. Indiana very likely requires similar assistance to pull off a win in Columbia. In last year’s meeting, Sudfeld was intercepted three times by the Tigers, digging a deeper hole for an IU squad that could hardly afford a sizable deficit. Indiana will need all the help it can get against Missouri, and a big advantage in the turnover margin is probably the Hoosiers’ best hope of staging an upset.
Contain Mauk: The trouble with a quarterback like Maty Mauk is that he can beat teams in myriad ways. He takes a gunslinger’s mentality into games and isn’t afraid to throw it deep. Mauk posted his fifth-career multi-touchdown game last week against Central Florida and has multiple touchdown passes in all three games this season. He has a trio of fine receivers to target in Bud Sasser, Jimmie Hunt and Darius White, but doesn’t need to rely solely on an aerial game. Mauk also has the ability to turn something out of nothing with his feet. The Hoosiers want to keep him locked into the pocket and take their chances with him through the air. The goal is not necessarily to stop him, but contain him.
4. Short-term memory: Last week’s loss at Bowling Green was a blow to a program that can hardly afford to let winnable games slip away. Beating No. 18 Missouri on the road is understandably a tough task for a Hoosiers squad coming off a defeat in a Mid-American Conference stadium seven days ago. But Indiana can’t allow that loss to linger. The focus has to be centered on moving forward. Even if things go the wrong way early, even if the rematch of last year’s blowout goes in much the same direction, the Hoosiers need to maintain focus and composure.
QUESTION: MODERATOR: Good morning, and welcome to today’s IU sports chat. Hope everyone is doing well. Thanks for being here.
And if you don’t already have the Hoosier Scoop app or blog now’s as a good time.
How are you today? Are you ready to get started?
JEREMY: Ready, willing and able to get this chat going.
MIKE: Doing well. Ready for a weekend in Missouri. Let’s chat.
ANDY: Am watching the excellent Ken Burns series on the Roosevelts this week and recall that FDR liked to “fireside” chat. In that spirit, we shall chat with gusto.
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Indiana guards Yogi Ferrell and Stanford Robinson have entered into a pretrial diversion program stemming from their April arrests for consumption of an alcoholic beverage by a minor and possession of a false identification.
Monroe County Chief Deputy Prosecutor Bob Miller said the cases against Ferrell and Robinson will be dismissed provided they have no other run-ins with the law in the coming year. Ferrell and Robinson will be required to attend alcohol education classes and will need to complete a set amount of community service hours.
Ferrell, a junior, and Robinson, a sophomore, were arrested by Indiana State Excise Police early on the morning of April 25 after allegedly attempting to enter Kilroy’s Sports Bar using fake IDs. They were issued summonses and released.
1. HOOSIERS HQ
A Missouri defense that might be better than last year’s awaits Indiana, Mike writes.
Two CBS games round out the men’s basketball TV schedule, and IU women’s soccer lost at No. 22 Illinois Thursday, we reported.
2. IT’S INDIANA
Missouri QB Maty Mauk will be the focus of the Indiana defense on Saturday, Sam Beishuizen of the Indiana Daily Student writes.
A Q-and-A on IU football with Indianapolis Star writer David Woods, from Tod Palmer of the Kansas City Star.
3. ONE FOR THE ROAD
Speaking of Mauk (mach?), how about “The Speed of Sound” by Coldplay?
We’ll be here on Friday at 11 a.m.