College Football Preview: The 2014 Indiana Hoosiers
Indiana looks for their defense to step up to support an explosive offense.
2014 College Football Preview
The Indiana Hoosiers look for improved defense to compliment their explosive attack in 2014.
Overview: The Hoosiers numbers tell the story in 2013; all offense and no defense. Shootouts were common and if the offense couldn't score it was game over. Kevin Wilson brought in new DC Brian Knorr from Wake Forest to instill some backbone in a unit that had none and give the scoreboard operator less to do.
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Offense: Indiana used two quarterbacks in 2013 with Nate Sudfeld throwing for 2,523 yards and Tre Roberson tossing for another 1,128 yards. The difference was the latter added another 433 yards on the ground to give the offense a true duel threat as Sudfeld was strictly a passer. With four of the top five receivers gone Shane Wynn (46-633) becomes the top target with a number of current and former three star recruits getting a shot to impress. Tevin Coleman led the rushing attack with 958 yards on 131 totes for an unworldly 7.3 yard average and will get more opportunities with Stephen Houston (112-753) gone. The offensive line returns everybody with six proven starters and four others with starting experience providing superb depth.
Defense: The defense has plenty of experience and we'll see if that helps along with Knorr running the show with his 3-4 formation. The defensive line returns four of the top five and seven of ten overall with some hefty tackles to help clog the middle. The top seven linebackers also are back so the front seven has potential to improve if they can transition from their 4-3 alignment of 2013. The secondary gets back five of seven with numerous youngsters looking to break in to the mix. Expect that to happen with opposing passing attacks able to connect far to often against this group a year ago. Corner Tim Bennett was tops in the country with 20 passes defensed and a pick (could that mean he was being picked on?).
Special Teams: Erich Toth averaged 40.6 yards per punt but Indiana needs a placekicker. Shane Wynn will handle all return duties but punt coverage was well below average.
Outlook: Even though the receiving corps appears to be a weak link I don't expect Indiana to have trouble finding the endzone. Opponents will score as well but probably not as much as in 2013. I believe the Hoosiers have enough to become Bowl eligible but I hesitate to predict much more until I see the defense play.