GoldandBlack - First look: Indiana
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First look: Indiana

Indiana has never been in this position, but it is not where it wants to be. The Hoosiers find themselves a three-touchdown favorite over the Boilermakers for this Saturday's game in Bloomington, and that has never happened before in the history of the series.
Yes, in the early 90s when the Boilermakers were reeling in the days of Coaches Leon Burtnett, Fred Akers and the first days of JIm Colletto, the Hoosiers were favored by as many as 15. But those were good Indiana teams with post-season aspirations under Coach Bill Mallory.
Kevin Wilson's squad has one of the better offenses in the Big Ten, it just hasn't shown it enough the past two weeks, scoring just 17 points in a 51-3 loss at Wisconsin and a 42-14 defeat at Ohio State. will have much more on the Hoosiers throughout the week, but here's a quick First Look.
In some ways it is the same story two weeks running. While Purdue has struggled mightily on defense, Indiana has been been even worse, allowing 566.6 yards in conference play, 94 more than the Boilermakers are yielding.
Statistically, IU has one of the worst defenses in college football, ranked 120th out of 123. Purdue is 100th. indiana has allowed 35 or more points in nine of their 11 games. Yet, when you compare the five common opponents between the two schools, there isn't much of one. The Hoosiers beat Indiana State by 32 more points than the Boilermakers; beat Penn State by 20 when Purdue lost by 24; beat Illinois by 17 when the Boilermakers were beaten last week by four; and played Ohio State 28 points closer than Purdue, and away from Bloomington to boot. The only team the Boilermakers played closer, and this is relative, is Wisconsin as the Badgers beat the Hoosiers by 17 more points.
The Hoosier offense is dangerous, and has been so against eveyone with the exception of Wisconsin. Even in Saturday's contest when the Hoosiers trailed OSU by as much a 42-0, IU consistently moved the ball. It had possession in Ohio State territory seven times before it scored and gained 442. Yet, in the Hoosier's no-huddle attack, it only managed 4.8 yards per play.
It is hard for Hoosier followers to explain the 125-minute drought the IU offense suffered, not reaching the endzone from for nearly two games, and there is concern that injuries on the offensive line are starting to take their toll, especially against the top-flight competition of the past two weeks.
The Hoosiers have used an effective two-quarterback passing system with {db]Nate Sudfeld[/db] and Tre Roberson. Sudfeld is more the traditional drop-back passer with the big-arm, while Roberson is a dual-threat speed guy who causes defenses to have to adjust to a very different look. It was Roberson who got the Hoosiers moving late against Ohio State, gaining 79 yards rushing and passing for 96 more.
The strength of the Hoosiers' offense has been its receivers. The trio of wideouts including Kofi Hughes, Cody Latimer and Shane Wynn can stack up with anyone in the Big Ten. Latimer is a deep threat, Hughes makes the acrobatic highlight-reel catches and the diminutive Wynn is dangerous as a receiver and in the return game.
The rush attack took a hit with the recent ankle injury to Tevin Coleman. He has missed the last two games, but could be back this weekend. Coleman, a sophomore, has 958 yards and 12 touchdowns on 131 carries this season. That's the most by an Indiana running back since 2001. He is one of the tops in the country in long rushes for scrimmage. In six of his nine games this year, he has a rush of more than 40 yards and has scored at least one rushing touchdown in all nine games he has appeared.
Indiana really needs a win to salvage what has been a season that fell short of expectations.
And the fact the Hoosiers have only beaten Purdue three times since the turn of the century will serve as added incentive. In Bloomington, talk has turned from bowl games to the Bucket battle being IU's bowl game.
Wilson was hoping for much better results. With a schedule that included eight home games, many predicted the Hoosiers to earn bowl eligibility for the first time in 2007. But home losses to Navy and Minnesota derailed the Hoosiers' post-season hopes. And the way IU lost to the Gophers, battling back from a 35-13 third quarter deficit to have the game in hand, only to lose 42-39 is hard for the IU faithful to swallow.
And Wilson's sometime gruff exterior hasn't always endeared himself to the IU faithful. The offense has been fun, but the defense under coordinator Doug Mallory has come under fire.
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