Indiana Hoosiers 2009 NCAA Football Preview

<?xml:namespace prefix = st1 />Indiana Hoosiers

Big Ten Conference


2008 Record: (3-9, 1-7)

2008 Bowl: none

Coach: Bill Lynch (10-15 at Indiana, 91-82-3 overall)

Offensive Coordinator: Matt Canada

Defensive Coordinator: Brian George and Joe Palcic


Returning Leaders

Rushing: Bryan Payton, RB, 339 yards

Passing: Ben Chappell, QB, 1,001 yards

Receiving: Ray Fisher, WR, 373 yards

Tackles: Matt Mayberry, LB, 89

Sacks: Jammie Kirlew, DE, 10.5

Interceptions: Austin Thomas, S, 2


Other Key Returnees: CB Chris Adkins, G Cody Faulkner, CB Ray Fisher, DT Deonte Mack, DE Greg Middleton, LB Will Patterson, S Nick Polk, OT Rodger Saffold, C Pete Saxon, WR Terrance Turner, TE Troy Wagner

Key Losses: DT Greg Brown, LB Geno Johnson, S Joe Kleinsmith, QB Kellen Lewis, WR Andrew Means, CB Christopher Phillips, K Austin Starr, RB Marcus Thigpen


Indiana has gone through a lot of changes lately. The stadium will finally look finished, but whether or not more than two people actually sit in the new seats in the end zone will depend on if this team can do better than 1-7 in conference play this time around. The Hoosiers also lost a lot of talent, including Kellen Lewis, who led the team in passing yards and was second in rushing.



With the dismissal of Lewis, the starting quarterback job goes to Ben Chappell. Chappell threw for over 1,000 yards last season and, unlike Lewis, Chappell threw more touchdowns than interceptions. Andrew Means, the team’s leading receiver is gone and Ray Fisher was the team’s second leading receiver and now he is a cornerback. So just who is Chappell going to throw the ball to? Terrance Turner is an effective pass catcher, but the Hoosiers will really need him to step up and turn into a consistent receiver. The news on the ground game is not much better. Marcus Thigpen is gone, but senior Bryan Payton is ready to shoulder the load and redshirt freshman Darius Willis has been impressive throughout the spring. If the offensive line, which returns plenty of experience, can keep Chappell on his feet, the IU offense could at least be halfway decent.



The defense returns eight starters, but they were easily the worst defense in the Big Ten in 2008. Will that experience turn into results? Jammie Kirlew and Greg Middleton are a capable force on the ends. Kirlew tallied 10.5 sacks last year and Middleton has the potential to be a great pass rusher despite his disappointing 2008 season. With tackle Deonta Mack back to clog the middle, there is no reason for the rush defense to be as bad as they were last year. But there was not much reason for it to be that bad last year either. The secondary might be the more interesting unit to keep an eye on this season. Joe Kleinsmith was third on the team in tackles and will sorely be missed. The absence of Christopher Phillips makes things even more intriguing. Will Fisher be the answer and can Chris Adkins cover some of the best receivers in the Big Ten?


The Bottom Line:

Indiana took a big step backwards last year and their only win against a division I opponent was a home game against Northwestern. The Hoosiers never even came close to beating anybody else in the Big Ten. If things do not change quickly, Indiana could be looking at another season with double digit losses.


2008 Team Stats:

Rushing Offense: 166.92 (42nd in nation, 6th in conference)

Passing Offense: 181.25 (91, 9)

Total Offense: 348.17 (71, 7)

Scoring Offense: 20.50 (97, 10)

Rushing Defense: 171.67 (91, 10)

Pass Defense: 260.50 (105, 11)

Total Defense: 432.17 (107, 11)

Scoring Defense: 35.25 (108, 11)

Turnover Margin: .08 (55, 6)

Sacks: 2.50 (26, 5)

Sacks Allowed: 2.33 (94, 11)