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September 17, 2010
Winning Ways- Indiana
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The first Big Ten team to play at WKU, albeit a weak one. Much of the load will be on running back Bobby Rainey, who's fourth in the FBS in rushing. Will this be the long-awaited win for the Tops? Each week, InsideHilltopperSports.com will compile the three biggest keys on each side of the ball to keep WKU in the game:
Spread The Ball Around More :
It's been said different ways the past few weeks, but WKU has some speedsters that need to get more touches. Guys like wide receivers Willie McNeal and Marcus Vasquez and tight end Jack Doyle have the ability to come up with some big plays and it will be on the Toppers to at least give them some opportunities..
Ride the Rainey train:
While other guys need to get involved, the offense still revolves around Rainey. It's no secret he'll get the ball at least 20 times and the success still hinges on what he can do with those carries. Rainey will also need to get some swing passes and catches in the flat, in order to really take advantage of his open-field abilities.
Cut down the mistakes:
For everything WKU would like to have done over the past two games, the Toppers haven't been able to do what they'd have liked thanks to far too many mistakes, mostly in the form of penalties. While the offense has done a good job opening up holes for Rainey, they also need to be smart and not pick up any penalties that would negate any big offensive play.
Tackle, tackle, tackle:
This point is recycled from last week, but it still rings plenty true. The Toppers all agree that the tackling improved, but that doesn't mean it's anywhere close to where it needs to be. The form looks like it's improved, but guys are still missing assignments. Too many times, there's been blown coverages and big plays have ensued. But it all comes back to the basic fundamental of soundly tackling.
Be aware of the aerial attack:
The past two weeks, WKU has faced run-oriented teams in Nebraska and Kentucky. While Indiana should be pretty balanced, the Hoosiers do favor the pass. With a heady quarterback in Ben Chappell and some big-play receivers like Tandon Doss, who will be back in action, WKU defenders have to be aware of the Hoosiers through the air. They certainly have the potential to break some big plays in the passing game.
Get More Push Up Front:
Indiana going more to the passing game will open up more chances to come up with some sacks, as Chappell will drop back more. The Toppers have to make him feel the pressure and not get time to go through his reads. Even if WKU can't get to Chappell for the sack, they have to get some knockdowns, hurries and pressures and not make anything easy for Chappell.
We'll be on the sideline for all the action and after the game, catch InsideHilltopperSports.com's extensive post-game, with a full game wrap and audio from coach Willie Taggart
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