BG football team looks to contain Indiana explosiveness, prevail in rematch

Around this time one year ago the Falcons held a 10-7 lead in the second quarter at Indiana University.

Then, the Hoosiers scored 35 unanswered points on the Falcons to earn a week 3 win 42-10.

The Falcons went into that game thinking they were the better team, but the explosive Hoosiers with three NFL players on that roster proved to be too much for them to handle.

“It was an embarrassing feeling, it left a sour taste in our mouths the whole year,” redshirt junior Alex Huettel said. “Even after winning the MAC [Mid-American Conference you still think about the losses. That was probably one of the most embarrassing losses of the season.”

In that loss the Hoosier offense ran for 266 yards and passed for 335 on a Falcon defense that was ranked as one of the top ten defenses in the country at the end of the year.

“From the 11 starters from last year [on defense] we have four guys back who are going to play,” head coach Dino Babers said. “Their runningback Tevin Coleman is an NFL guy, we have a huge task in front of us. ”

The Hoosiers had three other “NFL guys” on last year’s team that played well against the Falcons: receiver Cody Latimer who had six receptions for 137 yards and one touchdown, receiver Kofi Hughes who had 34 yards and one touchdown and runningback Steven Houston who ran for 155 yards.

With the loss of Houston, Tevin Coleman has become the number one back in the Hoosier offense. In their week 1 game against Indiana State he ran for 247 yards and two touchdowns.

“When you go against an NFL tailback you’ll figure out how good your rushing defense is,” Babers said.

The Falcons defense has prepared all spring and summer against an offense that has played at a high tempo. The defense won’t have a problem with the Hoosiers tempo, Babers said.

“It’s just the athletes they have and the space they can create with their offense that’s going to be the most difficult thing,” Babers said.” I don’t think we will have an issue on getting lined up, but with their football players there is going to be some issues.”

Despite the Hoosiers’ skill players, the offensive line might be the strength of this team and they have combined for 135 starts among ten players.

“I couldn’t add up all the starts they have … They are a very complete offense,” Babers said.

The Falcon defense is hurting with injuries across the board but the coaching staff as of Wednesday afternoon was still waiting for some medical information to come back, Babers said. The Falcons aren’t waiting for those players though. The players are embracing the “Next Man Up” philosophy the staff is telling them.

“There will be times where a guy is out one or two or three weeks and the opponent you’re playing doesn’t have that hurt about those guys not playing,” Babers said. “What you need is a team of guys where somebody else is going to step up and make up the points and tackles somebody would lose on defense. I think we have a team and a family. I believe that if one guy doesn’t play another guy will step up.”

As for the offense, the Falcons will look to build on the game against VMI. Along with that, they will need to be a physical group, Huettel said.

“It’s going to be a battle for 60 minutes … There is no weak line in their defense that we’ve noticed yet,” Huettel said. “I don’t think we have any weak links in our offense either though.”

When the ball kicks off Saturday at noon, Indiana will be the first Big Ten to play at the Doyt since The University of Minnesota came in 2008.

“It really is something special to have a Big Ten team coming in here to the Doyt,” Babers said. “It’s outstanding for the community and great for the players to play a game like this in front of their family.”