Indiana Hoosiers 2016 College Football Preview, Schedule, Prediction, Depth Chart, Outlook
Indiana Hoosiers 2016 Preview
Odds to Win National Championship 275-1
The Indiana Hoosiers aren’t used to dealing with expectations around their football team, but head coach Kevin Wilson certainly has them in attempting to return to a bowl game in 2016. Wilson has the framework down for another Indiana bowl run this year, but he’ll have to contend with some key departures on both sides of the football. The school has shown faith in Wilson with an offseason contract extension, and now it’s time for him to return the favor.
Offense: The Hoosiers offense took a couple of big hits after 2015 with school-record-setting QB Nate Sudfeld (3573 yards; 27 TD) and prolific RB Jordan Howard (1213 yards; nine TD) moving on. Fortunately for Indiana, they’ll have Devine Redding stepping into the lead role at RB, and the team has a couple of solid arms as options to take over for Sudfeld’s vacancy. Look for walk-on Danny Cameron or hot-throwing transfer Richard Lagow to emerge with the keys to the offense when the season begins. Indiana has a nice mixture of talent at WR as well, which should make things easier on the new quarterback. Simmie Cobbs will serve as the team’s deep threat and is coming off 1035 yards with four touchdowns as a sophomore last season.
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Defense: New defensive coordinator Tom Allen will have to earn his stripes in 2016; he’s fresh off a stint with USF. Allen will likely turn to the linebacker corps—a strength for Indiana last year with stout names like Marcus Oliver, T.J. Simmons and Clyde Newton—as the leaders here, but may have some trouble buttoning down the secondary. The Hoosiers allowed 313.8 passing yards per game last season, but if safety Jonathan Crawford can take another step forward (four interceptions in 2015) we should see some improvement in that area.
Special Teams: A controversial missed field goal in last year’s Pinstripe Bowl game sealed Indiana’s ultimate fate, but reigning Big Ten Kicker of the Year Griffin Oakes shouldn’t have any problem picking up where he left off. Oakes was 6-of-8 from 40 yards or greater in 2015. Taking over the punting duties from Erich Toth should be Joseph Gedeon, who possesses some considerable placement talent with his foot.
Outlook: The Indiana Hoosiers haven’t been to back-to-back bowl games in 25 years, but that is certainly the expectation in 2016. The team has several winnable looks on the schedule, but will need to shore things up on defense in order to qualify for another bowl bid and continued steps in the right direction within the Big Ten.
September 1 @ FIU GOLDEN PANTHERS Miami FL (FIU Stadium)
September 10 vs. BALL STATE CARDINALS Bloomington IN (Memorial Stadium)
September 24 vs. WAKE FOREST DEMON DEACONS Bloomington IN (Memorial Stadium)
October 1 vs. MICHIGAN STATE SPARTANS Bloomington IN (Memorial Stadium)
October 8 @ OHIO STATE BUCKEYES Columbus OH (Ohio Stadium)
October 15 vs. NEBRASKA CORNHUSKERS Bloomington IN (Memorial Stadium)
October 22 @ NORTHWESTERN WILDCATS Evanston IL (Ryan Field)
October 29 vs. MARYLAND TERRAPINS Bloomington IN (Memorial Stadium)
November 5 @ RUTGERS SCARLET KNIGHTS Piscataway, NJ (High Point Solutions Stadium)
November 12 vs. PENN STATE NITTANY LIONS Bloomington IN (Memorial Stadium)
November 19 @ MICHIGAN WOLVERINES Ann Arbor MI (Michigan Stadium)
November 26 vs. PURDUE BOILERMAKERS Bloomington IN (Memorial Stadium)