BY JIMMY CAVANAUGH
After a disheartening loss last weekend to the North Texas Mean Green, the Indiana Hoosiers (1-3) return to Bloomington this weekend to begin conference play at home. Their first opponent will be a formidable one.
The Opponent: Penn State Nittany Lions (3-1)
When one thinks Penn State, the mind immediately jumps to two things – physicality and Joe Paterno. Paterno is the program patriarch and, as today’s longest tenured (by far) college coach, is always worth mentioning. The other Nittany Lion hallmark will likely be on display as well, as Penn State boasts an imposing offensive line and a solid ground game led by sophomore back Silas Redd. Paterno has made clear early in the season that he’s unhappy with how the Lions are performing on the ground so far, so it’s fair to assume that Penn State will make a point of running the ball.
The Nittany Lion passing attack has been less than spectacular this season, as sophomore Rob Bolden and junior Matt McGloin have split time to somewhat mixed results. Penn State averages just below 210 yards passing through the air and has thrown only one more touchdown than interception on the year. Both Bolden and McGloin are likely to see time on Saturday, and to this point McGloin has been the more effective of the two.
While PSU’s offense has struggled at times this year, their defense has had no such troubles. They rank top-10 nationally in scoring defense, and have allowed double-digit points only once this season. They boast a stout defensive line and their usual solid crop of linebackers. They seldom need to send extra pressure, as their defensive line gets consistent pressure, and their secondary does a great job of preventing big plays.