Saturday, October 17, 2009

Clean slate

It's homecoming in Bloomington and the Hoosiers will take on Illinois at 7 p.m.

Many fans likely are more interested in the men's basketball practice underway at the time of this post that is open to the public. But after the last week's debacle at Virginia, the Hoosier football team has a clean slate with six games to go. The team is 3-3 and while the team has looked downright awful at times, and we would like to think the season is over, there still is something to play for.

The Hoosiers could regain some confidence against an Illinois team that has played just as bad this year. The Illini are 1-4 on the season and 0-3 in the Big Ten. Quarterback Juice Williams was benched two weeks ago because of poor play and the team has been in a general disarray. The Illinois offense, its strength coming into the season, has scored more than 17 points in a game only once all year.

Of course, the IU defense has been the cure for many teams' offensive problems. That includes Virginia, which had not done much of anything offensively all season before beating the Hoosiers to a pulp. If the IU team that played Michigan shows up this weekend, they should beat Illinois. If the team that played last week is on the field, it will be another drubbing.

After this weekend, there may be only two winnable games left: at Northwestern next week and against Purdue Nov. 21. That would get the Hoosiers to .500 for the season and at least bowl eligible. Unfortunately, a win at home against Purdue became somewhat less likely this week with the Boilers' win over Ohio State.

Side note: More than 13,000 fans attended the Hoosier Hysteria basketball practice last night. Photos and other information here.

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