- Associated Press - Friday, September 12, 2014

BOWLING GREEN, Ohio (AP) - Some say bad things happen in threes.

If that’s true, Indiana might want to look out when it travels to Bowling Green on Saturday.

“They talk about the MAC has awesome success as was evident last week,” said Hoosiers coach Kevin Wilson. “I think the Mid-American won two games against the Big Ten and had a third one in hand and didn’t close it out. Those teams always play well.”

While Indiana was enjoying a bye week on Saturday, Northern Illinois stunned Northwestern 23-15 and Central Michigan trampled Purdue, 38-17. The MAC’s Ball State also had Iowa on the ropes on the road but ended up falling short, 17-13.

The Hoosiers (1-0) opened the season with a 28-10 win over FCS Indiana State before not having to play last week. The Falcons (1-1) lost at Western Kentucky 59-31 and then turned around and beat up on another FCS team, Virginia Military Institute, 48-7, last Saturday to give coach Dino Babers his first win on the Falcons sideline.

Here are some things to watch in the matchup:

CARRY THE FLAG: Wilson said he wants to uphold the honor of the Big Ten - or, at least, what’s left of it after high-profile losses by Michigan, Michigan State and Ohio State last week. But he’s mostly concerned about building a beachhead with his own program.

“We’ve got to carry the Big Ten banner because we’re a Big Ten team,” he said. “But my only concern is always about us.”

IU ROAD WOES: The Hoosiers are just 2-14 away from home in Wilson’s first three seasons as head coach, including 0-4 a year ago. This will be their first road test of the new season.

They’ll bus to Bowling Green.

“We’ll have a quick team meeting,” Wilson said. “We do not do a lot of last-minute Friday night work with the team. I think that shows a lot of stress. I think that shows a lot of worry.”

STOPPING THE POINTS: Babers said he’s most concerned about Indiana’s offense, under the direction of QB Nate Sudfeld.

In the Hoosiers’ 42-10 win at home last year against Bowling Green, Sudfeld completed 17 of 26 passes for 335 yards and two touchdowns.

“There’s no doubt that coach Wilson has been running that style of offense for a long time,” Babers said. “It’s an excellent, uptempo offense, and the quarterback fits it very well. You can tell that they’re on the same page and have had the advantage of being together for over two years.”

NOT A FLUNKIE: Bowling Green has gone to bowl games the last two seasons and won 10 games a year ago. But it lost starting QB Matt Johnson to a season-ending hip injury in the loss to Western Kentucky. James Knapke took over for him and performed well in the win over VMI.

“They’re a winning program with winning habits,” Wilson said. “It’s one of the ‘haves’ of the MAC. Always has been, always will be.”

RARE APPEARANCE: It’s a big deal for a MAC school whenever a Big Ten team comes to town because it happens so seldom. Bowling Green hasn’t welcomed a Big Ten team to Doyt Perry Stadium since 2008, a loss to Minnesota.

In other words, it’s always special to get a chance to knock off your neighboring big brothers.

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