Defenses get no luxury of concentrating on one phase of the Oklahoma State
offensive attack. The Cowboys rank ninth nationally in both total offensive
yards and rushing yards. That means they spread it out well as evidenced by the
closeness of the team's total passing yards (2,859) and rushing yards (2,950) on
Like Indiana, the Cowboys will feature a spread attack. The option is
probably more of weapon for the Big 12 team and that could spell trouble for
Indiana which struggled midseason against that weapon (see Illinois game).
Like Kellen Lewis, Zac Robinson can run the ball (6.2 yds/carry) but he is
nearly 30 pounds and a couple inches bigger than the Hoosier sophomore.
"In the option aspect, they are similar to Illinois," said Tracy Porter
yesterday. "Once they spread out and throw the ball, I think they're
definitely closer to a Northwestern, because they have big guys on the perimeter
that can run and catch the ball. They have a running back that can hurt you with
the option as well as running between. If I could compare them, I would
definitely say they are a combination of Illinois and Northwestern."
The ability of the 5-foot-11, 185-pound Porter and 5-foot-9, 168-pound Leslie
Majors to handle 6-foot-4, 220-pound Adarius Bowman is obviously part
of what the senior corner was referring to. The veteran corners can cover
well but like their own James Hardy does to opponents, Bowman still can make the
catch with smaller defenders on him. But Bowman has the added dimension of
being big and explosive enough to shed tacklers. That is why his often
mentioned as a potential first round NFL pick next April.
Speaking of size in receivers, Indiana also has to worry about 6-foot-6,
250-pound tight end Brandon Pettigrew. The Cowboys throw to the
junior about three times per game and his 15.7 yards per catch is quite
impressive for a tight end. That is one reason he is getting some mention
as someone who could jump to the NFL a year early.
Pettigrew might be better known for his fine blocking abilities and the
Cowboys are especially tough when they line him up on the left side with
6-foot-5, 295-pound guard David Koenig and 6-foot-5, 290-pound tackle Russell
Okung. The senior Koenig was a Rivals.com first team All-Big 12
selection and despite being just a sophomore, Okung was named honorable mention
Big 12 by the Associate Press and other media outlets.
Of course the guy who takes advantage most of those fine blockers is senior
tailback Dantrell Savage. The former juco is just 5-9 and
195-pounds but has averaged over six yards a carry since arriving in Stillwater.
He runs the ball on average 20 times per game.
Sun Devil Stadium seats 73,752 and most of the seats are expected to full
tonight. Indiana sold in the vicinity of 10,000 themselves and the game is
well attended by Phoenix area fans. Since we have been here it has been
obvious that the game is well promoted. Another thing noticeable was the
frequent number of Indiana fans around Sun Devil Stadium and Tempe yesterday.
You know fans are enthusiastic about a game when they come by the day before to
check out the surroundings.
Unfortunately many Hoosier fans back home won't be able to catch the game on
television unless they head out to an establishment with DirecTV or Dish
Network. That is because the game is being broadcast by the NFL Network which
like the Big Ten Network is mostly available only to small dish consumers.
Central Indiana fans did get good news recently when Indianapolis Fox affiliate
WXIN (Channel 59) worked out a deal with the NFL Network to air the game live.
If you can't get the game at home, be sure to check out our
Watch IU page for locations near you that are likely to have the broadcast.
You can also check out our
Game Day forum
tonight for in-game play updates and fan commentary on the action.