Hoosiers Expectations Higher Than They’ve Been in Many Years
In year number three under coach Kevin Wilson, the Hoosiers can finally start thinking about getting to a bowl game. The Hoosiers have the talent and schedule to make a bowl game. But the question is…will they make it happen? Coach Wilson has faced some scrutiny in his time in Bloomington, but it appears he now has the Hoosiers in a position to start winning football games. Wilson has won just 5 games total in his first 2 seasons but he should at least double that in 2013.
Indiana is always a difficult place to recruit. Their football facilities are mediocre compared to other Big-10 schools. And, let’s face it, football is merely a way for Hoosier fans to pass the time by until basketball season starts. Wilson is trying to change that culture but he’s probably fighting a losing battle. Still, Indiana should have a respectable football team in 2013…for a change.
The Hoosiers Offense
Wilson Building Depth and Speed
The reason Indiana is on the rise is because they have built some depth on offense. Proof of that depth is the quarterback play from last year. When dual-threat quarterback Tre Roberson went down with a season ending injury, Wilson substituted in the combination of Cam Coffman and Nate Studfeld the rest of the season. The result? Indiana still led the conference in passing and were second in total offense. That’s a true testament to the depth Coach Wilson has built.
Because of the success Coffman and Studfeld had, Indiana does have a bit of a quarterback controversy. But Wilson has been adamant about giving the job back to Roberson because of his mobility. Regardless, the Hoosiers should feel confident with any quarterback they put behind center. They should also feel confident with the receivers those quarterbacks are throwing to – especially Kofi Hughes. Running back is another area of strength for this Hoosier offense. Stephen Houston and Tevin Coleman are big backs with good enough speed. Houston rushed or more than 100 yards 3 times in Big-10 play. Isaiah Roundtree, a transfer, should also factor into the mix at tailback. This is arguably the most talented and deep Indiana offense in more than a decade…if not longer. All credit goes to the recruiting and player development of the Indiana coaching staff.
The Hoosiers Defense
Some Things Never Change as Hoosiers Continue to Lack Star Power on Defense
There is no secret – Indiana doesn’t have much talent on defense. Their problem is a lack of size and speed. Plus, they aren’t the most disciplined defense around. This has been a problem for many years at Indiana and it’s one of the main reasons the Hoosiers are rarely competitive in the conference. Even back in the days of Antwan Randle El, the Hoosiers would score a lot of points, but give up a few more. Times haven’t changed much in terms of defensive talent. Indiana is still lacking any star power on this side of the ball.
The Hoosiers gave up more yards and more points than any team in the Big-10 last season. If they’re going to get to a bowl game, they don’t have to field a dominating defense. But they better improve upon those rankings. Expect Indiana to give every opportunity to start to 3 freshmen – Darius Latham (defensive tackle), David Kenney (defensive end), and Antonio Allen (cornerback). They were all 4-star prospects and should be key contributors immediately. At any other Big-10 school, these players probably wouldn’t be thrown into competition right away. But Indiana is in desperate need for talented defensive players.
A Final Look at the 2013 Indiana Hoosiers
A successful season will be one that ends with a bowl game. And, yes, a bowl game is attainable. They’ll lose some games because of their defense and win some games because of their offense. If the Hoosiers are going to get back to a bowl game, they can’t afford to slip up against any of their first 3 opponents (Indiana State, Navy, Bowling Green). And they had better take care of business against Purdue and Minnesota.