Editor’s note: This is part three of a 12-part series on InsideHilltopperSports.com previewing Western Kentucky football’s 12 opponents for the 2021 season. The third opponent preview is Indiana.
Fresh off a bye week after playing a Week 2 road contest at Army, Western Kentucky will return to the field on Sept. 25 for another tough non-conference matchup as Power Five program Indiana travels to Bowling Green for a night game at Houchens-Smith Stadium.
The Hoosiers are coming off a strong season in 2020 – going 6-2 overall with marquee wins over Penn State, Michigan and Wisconsin, and a tight loss to Ohio State. IU brings back a number of playmakers on both sides of the ball and looks to be a dangerous club coming into the 2021 campaign.
Western Kentucky vs. Indiana
Saturday, September 25 | 7 PM
CBS Sports Network
Penn State – Win, 36-35 (OT)
Rutgers – Win, 37-21
Michigan – Win, 38-21
Michigan State – Win, 24-0
Ohio State – Loss, 42-35
Maryland – Win, 27-11
Wisconsin – Win, 14-6
Ole Miss (Outback Bowl) – Loss, 26-20
Overall: 6-2 | Big Ten Conference: 6-1
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Michael Penix Jr. – Quarterback – Redshirt Junior
Coming into the season, it’s no secret that Indiana will be led by quarterback Michael Penix Jr., who threw for 1,645 yards and 14 touchdowns with just four interceptions a year ago. Now a redshirt junior, Penix Jr. owns a 10-2 record as the Hoosiers’ starter and has tallied 3,258 yards and 25 touchdowns in three seasons in Bloomington.
Ty Fryfogle – Wide Receiver – Fifth-Year Senior
In the receiving category, veteran fifth-year senior wideout Ty Fryfogle – who caught 37 passes for 721 yards and seven touchdowns last season – will be a big weapon for the Hoosiers, and a tough player to handle for WKU’s defense. Fryfogle has made 112 receptions for 1,719 yards and 13 touchdowns over four years with the Hoosiers.
Micah McFadden – Linebacker – Senior
Linebacker Micah McFadden is back for his senior season, and that is huge for IU. McFadden is coming off a strong 2020 campaign in which he made 58 tackles – 44 being solo – to go along with 10.5 tackles for loss, six sacks, three quarterback hurries and two interceptions. He’s a force for the Hoosiers and will be all over the field when IU takes on WKU.
Indiana is going to come to Bowling Green ready to play, and WKU has to be ready to compete with the Hoosiers – who have the pieces needed to have another strong season.
IU’s offense averaged nearly 30 points per game a season ago, while its defense gave up just 20 to opponents, so the Hilltoppers will most certainly have their work cut out for them on both sides of the ball.
With last year’s scheduled matchup being postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Sept. 25 contest will be an exciting one, and it’s being played right on The Hill.
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