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CONFERENCES COACHING CHANGES TRANSACTIONS GAMING MATCHUP CURRENT ODDS
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, October 10th, 3:30 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Scott Stadium (61,500) -- Charlottesville, Virginia. Television:ESPN360. Home Record: Indiana 2-1, Virginia 0-2. Away Record: Indiana 1-1, Virginia 1-1. Neutral Record: Indiana 0-0, Virginia 0-0. Conference Record: Indiana 0-2, Virginia 1-0. Series Record: First-ever meeting.
GAME NOTES: The Indians Hoosiers and Virginia Cavaliers are set for their first-ever meeting on the gridiron, as they collide at Scott Stadium in Charlottesville this weekend. This is the last non-conference game of the regular season for both teams and that is bad news for one and good news for the other.
Indiana is 3-0 in non-league games as opposed to Virginia, which is 0-3 versus non-conference opponents. Unfortunately, the Hoosiers had to jump into Big Ten play a few weeks ago and now bring a two-game slide into the bout. The team opened conference play with a narrow loss to Michigan (36-33) before suffering a 33-14 setback last weekend against an Ohio State club ranked in the Top 10.
Virginia, on the other hand, finally notched its first win and it came in the team's ACC opener, a 16-3 triumph at North Carolina last weekend. It was a much needed win for the Cavs, who began the year with a shocking 26-14 loss at home to William & Mary, a FCS program.
Facing Ohio State's stingy defense, Indiana put forth its worst offensive performance of the year, gaining only 228 total yards with three turnovers. The Hoosiers managed only 18 rushing yards, well below their season average of 131.0 ypg, and they converted just 3-of-14 third down attempts. Quarterback Ben Chappell paced the team in defeat by throwing for 210 yards and two scores, although he was also picked twice. On the season, Chappell has done a good job in completing 63.4 percent of his tosses for 1,115 yards, but he has thrown just five touchdowns against six interceptions, clearly a negative ratio. His main outlet has been Tandon Doss, who heads the team with 32 catches and 470 receiving yards. Doss was one of the few players that produced last weekend, as he hauled in six balls for 96 yards and his first touchdown.
The Hoosiers weren't able to slow down Ohio State's rush attack, as they allowed 219 yards behind 4.7 yards per carry. The Buckeyes gained 29 first downs and held the ball for over 34 minutes due to Indiana's inability to stop the run. It was an obvious letdown for a unit that is giving up just 119.2 rushing ypg on the season. The Hoosiers though, tried to counter some of the rushing yards allowed by forcing a pair of turnovers and recording three sacks. Indiana has excelled at bringing down opposing quarterbacks and has now posted 14 sacks on the year. Jammie Kirlew has played a big part in the pass rush and he leads the team with 9.5 TFLs, 3.5 sacks and three forced fumbles. Last weekend, he had a forced fumble and sack to go with five stops.
The Cavs have done little on offense for the most part this season and last weekend was no exception. Despite prevailing over UNC, Virginia managed only 254 yards of total offense, which is below its already low average of 272.2 total ypg. The offense however, did enough to win the game and was led by Mikell Simpson, who ran for 100 yards and the game-clinching touchdown on 20 carries. It was clearly the best performance of the year for Simpson, who had rushed for just 64 yards through the first three games. Quarterback Jameel Sewell wasn't all that impressive last weekend, throwing for 136 yards, but he helped manage the offense, which had no turnovers after committing 10 in the first three games. Sewell has struggled with turnovers, throwing five picks, but he can be effective at times and has seven total touchdowns (four passing) to his credit. Still, this offense lacks explosiveness, as the group has only a handful of plays that have gone for 30 or more yards on the campaign.
Virginia turned in an outstanding performance on defense last weekend, holding UNC to only nine first downs and a field goal. The unit, which is allowing just 301.8 total ypg on the year, limited UNC to a mere 174 total yards, including 39 rushing on 23 attempts. The Cavs recorded three turnovers to bring their season total to eight and they also came up with a pair of sacks, raising that total to seven for the year. Redshirt freshman Steve Greer guided the defense with seven stops, including two for losses last weekend and he still leads the team in tackles, with 31 for the season.
The Cavs came up with a big win last weekend, but they faced a UNC squad that lacks an offensive punch unlike Indiana. The Hoosiers have enough weapons to move the ball against Virginia and their defense should also be able to hold their own in a victory this weekend.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Indiana 27, Virginia 17
10/07 10:33:36 ET