"That's a good place. I've been there before,'' Stewart said of the 92,400-seat Tiger Stadium. "I'll tell you, it's going to be fun, it's going to be challenging. You just go down there and play your game. That field's still a hundred yards long and 10-yard end zones and 52 yards wide [actually, 531/3]. I'm just going to tell our guys to stay the course.''
Aside from the Hoosiers reference, Stewart also likes that he has on his side a quarterback who seems built for the challenge. Geno Smith is just a sophomore and has made just three starts, but he also played part of that fourth quarter at Auburn last season, as well as the entire second half of the Gator Bowl.
"He's a cool customer. He's been in big arenas,'' Stewart said of Smith, who was named the Big East's offensive player of the week after his four-touchdown performance against Maryland. "The kid doesn't rattle too bad. He's a pretty good guy. And he doesn't walk around and say, 'Oh, look at what I just did,' beating his chest. He just goes through the motions. He's very cool and very calm.
"And I appreciate how he handles himself and how he carries himself. After these last couple games, he just said, 'What's the big deal? We've got a long season, I've got great teammates. I just get the ball out there and they make the plays.'
"So to have a quarterback with that kind of mentality, it's pretty special this day and age for a youngster to be that grounded. I'm glad he's our quarterback and I'm sure no matter what arena we go in, he'll try to be just him and play the best he can.''
This, though, is a different arena and Stewart and everyone else involved know that.
"It's a different environment,'' said sophomore wide receiver Tavon Austin. "I think we're all pumped up to see what I can do and what the team can do. It's going to be something down there.''
"It'll be loud and it'll be fun,'' Stewart said. "They know we just have to hang together and play football.''
Reach Dave Hickman at 304-348-1734 or dphickm...@aol.com.