Indiana Football: Staff Predictions – Missouri


In the lead up to Indiana vs. Missouri, the Hoosier State of Mind staff answered some questions about the game and offered their predictions. I’d also like to give a warm welcome to the newest member of the HSOM team, Jessica Hunt!

Question: What’s the main thing IU has to improve on from last week?

Kyle Grand: Special Teams. The third phase of the game has been a trainwreck so far. Two missed field goals. Averaging 29.2 yards per punt. These things just can’t happen. These plays matter. Against a team like Missouri, to have any shot at winning, special teams has to be perfect. Perfect. Anything less won’t do. I know the defense has been bad, but you can definitely argue the special teams has been worse.

Will Logan: The main thing to improve on is attitude. A hundred times, attitude. Indiana has done everything to improve the program, except embrace a winning mentality. Linebacker Marcus Oliver talked about stepping on opponents’ throats and safety Chase Dutra discussed punching people in the mouth this week in interviews. The players are starting to talk right, now they just need to tranfer that mentality to the field.

Jessica Hunt: The Hoosiers will be hard-pressed and futile in their attempts to overcome obvious talent shortcomings, particularly on the defensive end.  That said, the Hoosiers are always in control of mental mistakes and turnovers. This team had an uncharacteristic 11 penalties called, resulting in 143 yards and seven first downs awarded to Bowling Green. In a one possession games those first downs are crucial in sustaining drives and putting points on the board, and the Hoosiers essentially sign, sealed, and yes, delivered an entire field and a half to the Falcons. Tevin Coleman had an incredible game (190 yards, 3 TDs), however, IU may have won had he not fumbled. The Falcons scored on their next possession, suggesting as much as a 14-point swing had the Hoosiers converted and the Falcons not had the opportunity to capitalize on the turnover. Coleman would be a Heisman favorite if he were producing similar numbers on many a team, but he still needs to take care of the ball.  If the Hoosiers hadn’t committed half of those penalties and Coleman hadn’t dropped the ball (literally), the Hoosiers would be sitting at 2-0 and would have had favorable 85-to-1 odds to run the table in the Big Ten and head straight into the inaugural College Football Playoff.

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Q: How can the Hoosiers stop Maty Mauk?

Grand: I’m not sure Indiana can stop him, as he’s playing as well as any QB in nation (647 yards, 12 TDs, 3 INTs in three games) He’s definitely a sleeper Heisman candidate. So, the Hoosiers may not be able to completely stop him, but they can try to slow him down. Obviously, it all starts up front with the pass rush. There doesn’t need to be a barrage of sacks (although it’d be nice), there just needs to be pressure. Make him uncomfortable. Get him off his spot. Try some blitzes, anything to get bodies in his face Also, the secondary needs to be tough on Mauk’s receivers. Try some bump and run, especially when a blitz is called.

Sep 13, 2014; Columbia, MO, USA; Missouri Tigers quarterback Maty Mauk (7) throws a pass during the second half against the UCF Knights at Faurot Field. The Tigers won 38-10. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Logan: Apply pressure. The best defense Mauk has faced this year was UCF (ranked 89th in the country). He’s averaging an interception per game against that competition, so if Indiana can find its pass rush again (What happened against Bowling Green?), it could force the QB into some bad decisions.

Hunt: How can the Hoosiers stop Maty Mauk?  Well, considering last week there were no signs of life from the pass rush, which is complimented by a substandard secondary…The IU defense allowed 63 plays, 375 yards — and if the first two numbers weren’t depressing enough for you — five touchdowns in the second half alone to Bowling Green.  Yes.  Five.  The question is not so much a matter of “how can they stop?” but “can they stop?”  No, they cannot.


Grand: Indiana 27, Missouri 49 — Missouri is at home and has Mauk. This is not ideal for the Hoosiers. Yes, Indiana can score and Tevin Coleman should be able to have a big day, but the Hoosiers haven’t shown they can get a stop when they need it, and I fear that Mauk will have all day to throw, which again is not ideal for IU.

Logan: Indiana 28, Missouri 24 — By now my #endlessoptimism should be apparent (Hoosiers Following Missou’s Blueprint, Game Preview). This is the program-altering, mindset-changing win we’ve all been waiting for…and it won’t be the firefight everyone is expecting.

Hunt: 38-31 Missouri, but the Tigers won’t cover, so take the points and take the under.