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Initial Thoughts: Indiana

Indiana heads to Winston to take on the Deacs on Saturday. Here is a precursory glance at the Hoosiers.

Marc Lebryk-USA TODAY Sports

The Indiana Hoosiers head south from Bloomington to take on our beloved Demon Deacons on Saturday at 12:30 in Winston-Salem. Coach Kevin Wilson has his squad at 3-0 after a high-scoring 38-35 win over the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers. A victory on Saturday would produce the first 4-0 start since 1990 for the Hoosiers.

While I am not sure Indiana is of the stature yet to fall into a "trap" game, there is potential this weekend because in two Saturdays they face THE Ohio State Buckeyes. A 4-0 start would produce one of the bigger games that Indiana has had at home in quite some time should they defeat the Deacs.

While that win over Western Kentucky may not sound overly impressive,  they actually have one of the better quarterbacks in the country in Brandon Doughty. The Hilltoppers knocked off Vanderbilt and Louisiana Tech in weeks one and two before falling on Saturday.

Indiana also has one of the more underrated quarterbacks in the Big Ten, if not the country, in Nate Sudfeld. The senior quarterback out of Modesto, CA is 58.92 on the year with 5 touchdowns and only 1 interception. As if that wasn't enough talent in the backfield, the Hoosiers also boast UAB transfer Jordan Howard, who through three games leads the country in rushing yards by 31 at 507 on the year. That means he has more yards than Dalvin Cook, Nick Chuubb, or Leonard Fournette.

Howard's 169 YPG is second to only Fournette's 193.50. This is no surprise to anybody that followed college football closely though. Howard ran for 1587 yards on 306 carries last year for the now (and soon to be active again) defunct UAB Blazers.

At the receiving position, Ricky Jone sranks 8th nationally in yards, with 16 catches for 368 yards through three games.

The Indiana offense vs the Wake Forest defense is truly a strength vs. strength matchup in the early season. The Hoosiers offense ranks 12th in the country in total offense, while the Deacon defense ranks 6th in total defense.

The same cannot be said about the reverse of the two sectors. We all know the struggles the Deacs have had on offense, not to mention we won't know until later today anything on the status of QB John Wolford.

Despite the offensive production that has resulted in a 3-0 start, defense is a major problem for the Hoosiers. Not only is it a young team, they have had a fair amount of injuries, especially afflicting them in a 48-47 win over FCS Southern Illinois to begin the year.

Nobody is exactly flaunting the Hoosiers after three modest wins over SIU, Florida International, and Western Kentucky, but I am guessing that coming off of a 4-8 year last season, especially when they had stud running back Tevin Coleman depart for the NFL, most people probably thought this would be another so-so year.

Oh and let us not forget that Coach Kevin Wilson also had some strong words about the Deacs in the offseason at a fan event. While it was likely said in jest/as a joke, it is still bulletin board material that I am sure Coach Clawson and staff will use to motivate the guys on Saturday.