#50 Indiana Football 2014 Preview

Indiana Hoosiers

Overall Rank: #50
#8 Big Ten

Indiana Team Page#50 Indiana Football 2014 PreviewBuy Indiana Football Tickets

As it turned out, Indiana failed to reach a bowl game in 2013 because of their loss to Navy in the second game of the season. That was the one they could have won. After that, the Hoosiers beat the teams they should have beaten and lost to everybody else. The slate this year is a bit more friendly thanks to the addition of Maryland and Rutgers to the Big Ten. The Hoosiers have seven seemingly winnable games on the schedule and the offense is good enough to give some of the big boys in the Big Ten a run for their money.

2013 Record: 5-7, 3-5
2013 Bowl: None
Coach: Kevin Wilson (10-26 at Indiana, 10-26 overall)
Offensive Coordinator: Kevin Johns
Defensive Coordinator: Brian Knorr

Returning Leaders:
Rushing: Tevin Coleman, RB, 958 yards
Passing: Nate Sudfeld, QB, 2,523 yards
Receiving: Shane Wynn, WR, 633 yards
Tackles: David Cooper, LB, 85
Sacks: Nick Mangieri, LB, 3.0
Interceptions: Mark Murphy, S, 1; Tim Bennett, CB, 1; Nick Mangieri, LB, 1

Other Key Returnees: RB D’Angelo Roberts, LB T.J. Simmons

Key Losses: QB Tre Roberson, RB Stephen Houston, WR Cody Latimer, WR Kofi Hughes, TE Ted Bolser, DL John Laihinen, K Mitch Ewald

Coach Kevin Wilson has quickly turned this into a fun and potent offense. This time around the Hoosiers will likely play just one quarterback. Tre Roberson has transferred after throwing for 1,128 yards and 15 touchdowns. With his absence the Hoosiers lose his dynamic running ability, but Nate Sudfeld is the player who can make bigger plays with his arm. Sudfeld threw for 2,523 yards and 21 touchdowns and will greatly benefit from taking all the first team snaps leading up to opening day. The biggest issue is at wide receiver where Cody Latimer and Kofi Hughes are gone after combining for 119 catches for 1,835 yards and 16 touchdowns. Experience may be lacking, but there is still talent. Senior Shane Wynn will be the new leader of the unit after catching 46 passes for 633 yards and 11 scores. Isaiah Roundtree and Nick Stoner are seniors who saw some action last year. But the biggest expectations may be on freshman Dominique Booth. Also gone is tight end Ted Bolser. He was always a great option in the red zone. No matter who emerges as the second and third options behind Wynn, Sudfeld will get them the ball and the passing game will be the most dangerous in the Big Ten. The fact that Tevin Coleman can consistently move the ball on the ground and Indiana has a bevy of experience on the line will lead to big things for Sudfeld.

With nine starters back, the hope is the awful Indiana defense will take a significant step forward. But as bad as they were in 2013, it is hard to imagine any amount of experience will do them too much good. The improvement, if any, will come from new defensive coordinator Brian Knorr, who prefers to run a 3-4 scheme and the potential new depth brought in by Coach Wilson. The Hoosiers will likely show multiple formations for now and if the freshmen prove to be a better fit, they will make an immediate impact. But the nine returning starters are not going to give up their jobs easily. The front four will build around Nick Mangieri, who has the ability to play the rush linebacker when the Hoosiers are in a 3-4 alignment, and Bobby Richardson. Nose guard Ralph Green had a very promising freshman season and he could be in for a big year. At linebacker, David Cooper, the team’s leading tackler in 2013, Forisse Hardin and T.J. Simmons will step back into the starting lineup. The lone loss in the secondary is playmaker Greg Heban. He accounted for three of the team’s seven interceptions. Strong safety Mark Murphy will step into the leadership role in the secondary and corners Tim Bennett and Michael Hunter at least have some starting experience under their belt now.

The Bottom Line:
With so many starters returning and an easier schedule, Indiana has a very good chance of reaching their first bowl game since 2007 and their second since 1993. Reaching six wins is not going to be easy and every game tends to be a battle for the Hoosiers, but with a few breaks, a potent offense and an improved defense, Indiana can get the job done.

Projected Bowl: Pinstripe Bowl

2013 Team Stats:
Rushing Offense: 201.8 (30th in nation, 4th in conference)
Passing Offense: 306.7 (17, 1)
Total Offense: 508.5 (9, 2)
Scoring Offense: 38.4 (16, 2)
Rushing Defense: 237.8 (115, 11)
Pass Defense: 290.2 (118, 12)
Total Defense: 527.9 (120, 12)
Scoring Defense: 38.8 (114, 12)
Turnover Margin: -0.3 (79, 9)
Sacks: 1.67 (87, 9)
Sacks Allowed: 1.50 (35, 5)


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