Indiana Football vs Northwestern: 3 keys to the game

Indiana Football (Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images)
Indiana Football (Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images) /
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Aaron Casey, Indiana Football
Indiana Football (Photo by Bobby Ellis/Getty Images) /

1. Don’t let Northwestern offense get in a rhythm

To say that Northwestern’s offense is struggling would be a massive understatement. The Wildcats scored 30 points in their win against UNLV and just 45 in their six losses including just 13 in their last three games combined.

They were shutout by Iowa last weekend and scored just three the weekend before against Ohio State. Both teams have good defenses but Northwestern just hasn’t been able to get anything going all year. Their breakout game was in the second game of the year against UNLV, but they are not a good football team.

For a team struggling to move the ball and score the last thing you want to do is allow them to get in a rhythm and stay on the field. The Hoosiers must force them into quick possessions early and bring that doubt back up. The more they can frustrate the Wildcats early the more likely they are to continue to struggle on that side of the ball.

Aidan Smith has taken the bulk of the snaps at quarterback lately, but Hunter Johnson has also played a lot this year. Johnson has been out since Wisconsin because of a knee injury and some family health issues. Johnson has played a little better than Smith as the offense has really struggled with Smith being the main guy.

Northwestern does best when they can play quickly with their quarterback being mobile. Part of keeping the Wildcats off rhythm is containing whoever is behind center for the Wildcats. If the Hoosiers can do that they should be able to control the game.