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Indiana University

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Indiana State at Indiana

2012 records: Hoosiers (4-8); Sycamores (7-4)

When: 7 p.m. today

Where: Memorial Stadium, Bloomington

TV: Big Ten Network

Radio: 1250 AM

3 matchups to watch

IU’s run defense vs. ISU running back Shakir Bell : The Hoosiers gave Bell 192 yards and a touchdown on 24 carries in the 2012 opener, which IU won by just seven points. IU coach Kevin Wilson brought in the best recruiting class of his three-year tenure with an emphasis on defensive prospects, many of whom are either on the two-deep or listed as starters. Despite that inexperience, IU has more depth, more athleticism and more talent at all the spots on its defense this season. Today will be a measuring stick for the defense’s improvement. Bell, a 5-foot-8 senior, is regarded as a NFL prospect and ran for 1,475 yards and 11 touchdowns last season, with 5.5 yards per carry.

IU’s running backs vs. ISU’s run defense: The running game has yet to flourish in Wilson’s tenure, and it’s the missing piece in an otherwise high-powered offense. The Hoosiers had the No. 1 passing attack in the Big Ten last season (311.2 yards per game) and were No. 2 in total offense (442.0 yards per game), but they were No. 10 in rushing with just 130.8 yards per game. IU will start sophomore Tevin Coleman and also rely heavily on senior Stephen Houston, last season’s leading rusher. Junior D’Angelo Roberts and freshman Laray Smith will complement the pair.

IU’s quarterbacks vs. IU’s quarterbacks: Redshirt sophomore Tre Roberson, junior Cam Coffman and sophomore Nate Sudfeld are still neck-and-neck in the starting quarterback race, Wilson said, and the starter will be whoever jogs out on the field first today. IU could use one, two or all three of its signal callers against the Sycamores depending on how the flow of the game goes and who performs best.

Prediction: Indiana 34, Indiana State 17

smorrison@jg.net

– Sean Morrison, The Journal Gazette

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