Breaking Down The Hoosier Opponents – Indiana Travels To Face The Hilltoppers by jwmindysports

By John Miller

The Western Kentucky Mascot, Big Red

After a week off, Indiana (1-0, 0-0) will travel to Bowling Green, Kentucky to take on the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers (0-2, 0-0). Western Kentucky was once a very good Division 1-AA team as they won the National Championship in 2002.  In 2006, they made the move to the Division 1 Bowl Subdivision and is now part of the Sun Belt Conference.  They will host the Hoosiers at Houchens Industries-L.T. Smith Stadium which for the size of the school holds a respectable 22,223 fans.  This will be the first time in history Western Kentucky will host a Big 10 opponent.

The Hilltoppers have started off their 2010 season playing two solid opponents in Nebraska and Kentucky and did not fair well in either game as they lost by 39 and 35 respectively.  In fact, the Hilltoppers have not won a game in their last 22 attempts dating back to September 20, 2008 when they beat Murray State.  They will hope to change that against an Indiana team who looked shaky at times in their opening game against Towson.  Western Kentucky is coached by Willie Taggert, who is coaching his alma mater in first season.  He was an offensive coordinator on the team that won the Division 1-AA National Championship and likes to run an NFL style West Coast Offense.  He spent last season coaching the offensive at Stanford under Jim Harbaugh.  A West Coast attack is usually balanced but look for the Hilltoppers to favor the run because of their star player, Bobby Rainey.

Bobby Rainey is currently ranked fourth in the nation in rushing yards and has rushed for at least 150 yards and a touchdown in both of Western Kentucky’s first two games.  In week one he shred a Nebraska defense that was ranked in the top 10 in rushing defense last season, however, the departure of Ndamukong Suh will make a large difference for them this season.  Rainey will get many attempts against IU and the Hoosier defense better be ready.  He could be primed for a huge game because the run defense looked lackluster at best against Towson. The starting quarterback for Western Kentucky is Kawaun Jakes who has had a mild season so far, mostly because of the strong running attack. In all, the Hilltoppers return nine starters from their 2009 season.

Much like the offense, Western Kentucky is returning nine starters on the defensive side of the ball.  The defensive unit has been extremely disappointing so far and has had 112 points scored on them in just two games.  We know Indiana can move the ball, so things most likely won’t improve for them this week.  However, things cannot get much worse and if they can build some momentum early, they may be able to ride the home crowd as a twelfth man.

Overall, this is another game in which the Hoosiers should win by a large margin.  The keys to this game will be their ability to stop Bobby Rainey and overcome an early rowdy home crowd who has never hosted an opponent the size of the Hoosiers.  If IU can build an early lead, look for this game to get ugly.  Indiana will get star wide out Tandon Doss back which will make their passing attack even better.  Darius Willis should also be able to continue his solid week one performance and rack up some rushing yards of his own.  Indiana should bounce off their bye week and head into their home matchup against Akron at 2-0.

Boomer’s Prediction:        Hoosiers – 51    Western Kentucky – 27

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Breaking Down the Hoosier Opponents – Towson Stepping Into the Rock by jwmindysports

By: John Miller

Jermon Bushrod, the pride of Towson football

The Hoosiers officially kick off the season September 2 when the mighty Towson Tigers (0-0) step into Memorial Stadium for the first time in history.  The Tigers made the jump to Division 1-AA for the 1987 season and before that spent ten years as a Division III team (1969-1978) and eight years as a Division II team (1979-1986).  The Tigers, located in Towson, Maryland, are a part of the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA).  Towson has produced one player currently in the NFL, Jermon Bushrod, who to the dismay to many Colts fans was a starting tackle for the Superbowl winning New Orleans Saints.

Towson finished their 2009 campaign with a 2-9 record and was 1-7 within their conference.  The Tigers are coached by Rob Ambrose, who was hired prior to the 2009 season.  Ambrose was the offensive coordinator at UCONN for seven years before being hired by his Alma Mater.  He coached players such as Donald Brown, who led the nation in rushing at UCONN in 2008 before being drafted by the Indianapolis Colts.  Ambrose loves to run the ball, so look for Towson to limit possessions by pounding the rock.

The Tiger offense is led by RB Tremayne Dameron.  “TD” led Towson in 2009 with eight touchdowns.  Look for him to get a bulk of the carries early and then share the load with sophomore Dominique Booker and others down the stretch.  Speedy WR HaKeem Moore is the Tiger’s all everything.  Moore has compiled over 1,000 all purpose yards in each of the past two seasons.  He will return both kickoffs and punts for Towson.

The Towson defense comes into Memorial Stadium with returning cornerback starters Jeremy Gardner and Ollie Thomas. The two players head a unit that is returning eight starters in all. Sophomore Romale Tucker is a transfer from Syracuse who is making the transition from linebacker to defensive end and will be relied upon for pressure on the outside.  This defensive side of the ball should be much improved after a year of experience under their belt in the new system.

Overall, the Towson game will be a glorified scrimmage for the Hoosiers.  Look for them to run a few new sets to see how effective they work against an unknowing opponent.  There will be nothing flashy in this game and IU will not expose anything that they may need towards the end of the season.  There will be a lot of rushes and a lot of playing time from players who may not see the field much later in the season.  Edward Wright Baker will most likely get some looks in the wild cat and the Hoosiers will continue to work on their Pistol Offense.  Look for star in the making Darius Willis to have a huge day.  Lastly, look for new WR addition Duwyce Wilson to get a lot of passes thrown his way.  Hoosier fans, get ready to march!

Boomer’s Prediction:     Towson – 10    Hoosiers – 41

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