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Sunday, December 21, 2014

Know your foe: Week 4, Indiana

Indiana’s defense was one of the worst in the country last season.

2013 Record: 5-7 (3-5)

Series History: 6-3-2 (IND)

Last Meeting: Missouri won 45-28 (2013)

Player to Watch: Indiana quarterback Nate Sudfeld

2014 Projection: 5-7 (2-6)

The Indiana Hoosiers might have the ugliest uniforms in all of college football. But the candy cane chrome helmets were not the only Indiana product that looked bad on the field a year ago.

Last season, the Hoosier defense allowed a paltry 38.8 points per game, good for 117th in the nation. In fact, when Missouri visited Indiana in Bloomington last September, the Hoosiers surrendered 45 points and 623 total yards en route to an early season defeat.

Offensively, things are not looking much better. Senior quarterback Tre Roberson announced his transfer from the school during the offseason. This coming on the heels of star wide receiver Cody Latimer declaring for the NFL Draft after his junior season.

This leaves a struggling Indiana squad with only one promising offensive option to speak of: junior quarterback Nate Sudfeld. Sudfeld threw for 2,532 yards and 21 touchdowns last season. However, injuries hampered his performance as the season wore on and he saw limited action toward the end of the season.

The Hoosiers return only one of their top five receivers and might lack the experience to be competitive on the road.

Mizzou sophomore quarterback Maty Mauk could have his first breakthrough performance of the season against a woeful Hoosier defense.

On the other side of the ball, the Tigers’ young secondary will gain some valuable experience against a depleted Hoosier receiving corps. The Hoosiers’ lack of offensive options should provide plenty of opportunities for senior Markus Golden and junior Shane Ray to pressure Sudfeld into making some costly mistakes.

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