Tradition • Character • Service

Tradition • Character • Service

Friday, September 18, 2009 Tony Nicolette's Weekly Column (Post #777, better be lucky)

Indianapolis (0-2, 1-2) at Hillsdale (1-1, 2-1)

True to form, the Greyhounds have played tough thus far despite a pair of losses. As for Hillsdale, while my theory of them being the league "dark horse" might still have some legs the early returns are that their defense is no where near where I would have thought and my prediction may soon look pretty crummy.

UIndy Keys:
- Drop the Bomb - QB Rob Doyle had his best passing game as a collegian last week. The Hillsdale secondary has been prone to giving up some big plays (especially on third downs and key situations), and the UIndy passing game appears poised to exploit this.
- Stop the Bomb - While UIndy's pass game is coming along, Hillsdale's has been stellar all season. HC QB Troy Weatherhead is averaging more than 320 yards a game via the air and UIndy can't afford to get into a track meet with Hillsdale at Muddy Waters. They must slow the Chargers down.

Hillsdale Keys:
- Secondary must get the Stops - While HC isn't giving up tons of yardage, they're not making plays at key times. This is especially true against the pass where the Chargers are near the bottom of the league in terms of pass efficiency defense. That means opposing QB's are completing a high percentage when they do throw, and the Hillsdale D is yielding more big plays than they are making (given up five TD passes and made no interceptions in two league games). This must be fixed.
- Control the Clock - Keeping their defense off the field is a good idea considering some of the struggles its had, and Hillsdale can do this by establishing its offensive rhythm - especially on the ground. UIndy has given up 175 rushing yards per game the last two weeks, so look for HC RB Vinnie Panizzi to have a big day.

Prediction - The Greyhounds have played pretty decent thus far and I'm willing to bet they will here and take this one down to the wire. The last few years, it seems like a lot of Hillsdale's games are close (the last two weeks being prime examples) so another nail-biter wouldn't be a surprise. I'll take the Chargers and their offense at home, but it could easily be another high-scoring adventure. Hillsdale 40, UIndy 38.

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