Sunday, September 12, 2010

IU Football -- On Beating Western Kentucky, Stopping Denard Robinson

Are you like me? Did you see Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson destroy Notre Dame’s defense and think, oh no, what’s he gonna do against the Hoosiers?

Granted, you’re not me, and that’s probably a good thing. I’m the only guy in the country who voted Boise State No. 1 this week in the AP poll, and let’s just say I am not popular in Alabama and Ohio, among other places. That’s why I’ve decided to wear a disguise and change my name to some obscure identity like, say, Tiger Woods.

Anyway, Robinson torched the Irish for 505 total yards and three touchdowns. He threw for 244 yards and a TD, and ran for 258 yards and two scores. Not even ex-Hoosier great Antwaan Randle El, as good as he was, put up numbers like that.

IU, meanwhile, struggled to contain Towson quarterback Chris Hart. While the athletic Hart will be hard for anybody to contain (he rushed for 123 yards against IU, threw for 165 more, he’s not in Robinson's league. The guy is suddenly being talked about as a Heisman Trophy favorite.

The good thing is the Hoosiers have plenty of time to prepare for Robinson and the suddenly dangerous Wolverines (2-0), who will be at Memorial Stadium on Oct. 2.

In the meantime there’s 0-2 Western Kentucky to consider. IU (1-0) travels there on Saturday, then hosts Akron in a night game on Sept. 25.

The Hoosiers will have had 16 days between the Towson victory and the Western Kentucky game. They’ve used that time to get a lot of extra work on improving themselves and developing the younger players.

“We’re trying to balance staying in game mode with doing a lot of team reps,” coach Bill Lynch said. “The best thing to do from a conditioning standpoint is to make it like a game, going on long drives of 12 to 14 plays. That taxes the players, particularly the linemen. It is better than just doing wind sprints.

“We’re also doing plenty of individual work where we focus on fundamentals and techniques, particularly with the young kids. We looked at this whole camp, especially these 16 days, to make sure we’re working with the young guys.

“So often this time of year they get banned to the scout team and don’t get much coaching. We’re taking advantage of this break to get a lot of work in with a lot of balance to it.”

The Hoosiers began focusing on Western Kentucky on Saturday. They know they have to play better, especially on defense. With 11 straight weeks of games ahead, with the goal of earning a bowl bid firmly in mind, all things are possible, but only if they defend at a high level.

And if along the way they can figure out a way to shut down Robinson, all the better.

1 comment:

  1. If the Hoosiers can stop Denard Robinson, they could definitely upset Michigan because he is a 1 man team at this point.