After winning three of their four non-conference games to start the season, the Penn State Nittany Lions are coming off a bye and getting ready for conference play. This week, the Nittany Lions head to Bloomington to open Big Ten play against the Indiana Hoosiers, a team that Penn State has never lost to.
However, this year, the Nittany Lions may have their hands full, as Indiana boasts one of the top offenses in the nation
The Hoosiers will be playing their fifth-straight home game to start the year and currently have a record of 2-2. They are led on offense by quarterback Nate Sudfeld, who’s thrown for 1,146 yards and 11 touchdowns. He began the year by throwing four touchdowns in each of the first two games. Indiana leads the Big Ten in passing offense, averaging 348.5 yards a game. That number puts the Hoosiers eighth in the nation.
Running back Tevin Coleman sets the tone on the ground, rushing for 386 yards and six touchdowns. He is joined in the backfield by Stephen Houston, who’s ran for 196 yards this season. Indiana ranks 49th in the country in rushing yards per game.
While the Hoosiers have a great offense that puts up 44.5 points a game, the defense has struggled so far this year. Indiana is giving up 32.8 points a game and is 10th in the Big Ten in total defense.
This game could be interesting for a while, as it has the potential to be a shootout. Penn State is ranked fourth in the conference in total defense and is giving up an impressive 14.5 points a game. However, the Nittany Lions struggled against Central Florida, who’s high-powered offense resembles the Hoosiers.
Although Indiana can put up a lot of points, the Penn State offense has also been very potent. True freshman quarterback Christian Hackenberg has had a phenomenal start to his career and has a great running game and a supply of talented receivers to throw to.
The Nittany Lions should prove to be too much for the Hoosiers to handle as this one goes on. Look for a bounce-back day from Haceknberg after he struggled the last time on the field against Kent State.
A trip to Indiana for the Nittany Lions has always ended on a good note. There’s no reason to think that this year won’t be the same.
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