Hey, remember when IU went 4-0 and we all realized that they only needed two games to be bowl eligible? Then, that one friend that EVERY sports fan has decided to lay down the classic, “Haha, watch IU not win another game the rest of the season.”
Classic THAT guy right?
Well, I think I speak for everyone when I say, initially, we were able to shake that comment off. The Hoosiers were looking strong and confident going into the week facing number one ranked Ohio State. IU had the number one rusher in the nation, and hell, Bloomington was even considered for College GameDay (this is neither the time nor place for that conversation). After a long and incredibly competitive game versus Ohio State, the Hoosiers finally took an ‘L’.
But it was different, few people were downtrodden despite Nate Sudfeld and Jordan Howard suffering injuries. So naturally, seeing as IU was still playing well, THAT guy came flying back into your life with a comment like, “Haha SEE they’re (IU) going to lose every game now,” or as if he forgot his previous “hilarious” joke, repeats the exact same one.
Well, one week, two quarterbacks, and five running backs later, if that same friend tries to make that joke again, you stop them! You stop them right now!
It wasn’t rough enough that Sudfeld and Howard remained out last week versus Penn State, but we also saw Zander “Tha Gawd” Diamont go down with an apparent shoulder/head injury and saw IU play four (yes, that number that comes after three and before five) different running backs in one game. One single game, four running backs.
As poorly as IU appeared to play against Penn State last week, the bottom line is the Nittany Lions just beat up on IU’s 3rd string offense. Now, that’s not to say that there weren’t poor performances from IU last week. For example, the offensive line did not play up to the potential we have seen the past few weeks.
Despite giving up 34 points and 29 points the last two weeks, the defense has seemed to be much improved. With a still largely positive turnover margin on the season and four sacks this past weekend, I think it’s safe to say the defense is doing all they can. However, it’s hard for a defense to avoid giving up 25 or more points when they are on the field for 85% of the game.
Bottom line at this point? The team needs to get healthy.
Luckily for the Hoosier faithful, according to Kevin Wilson’s press conference Nate Sudfeld and Jordan Howard both participated in practice this past week. Coach Wilson also went on to say, “…Nate could of played, he just wasn’t very mobile. We just had to see how many plays they (Sudfeld and Howard) could withstand and see if they could protect themselves.”
As an economics major, it sounds like this past week Coach Wilson put into place a simple cost-benefit analysis. If sitting Sudfeld and Howard last week is the price the Hoosiers pay for future wins this season (yes wins, plural) then I’d say the benefit is worth it.