Written by Sammy Jacobs (@SammyJ108)
The season is creeping ever closer with the latest sign of such being Big Ten Media Day tomorrow. At eleven in the morning festivities will kick off in Chicago as each of the conferences head coaches will preside over a fifteen minute Q&A with the media.
For you Indiana fans, the schedule couldn't have worked out any better as Kevin Wilson is scheduled to speak at 12:15 PM ET, just in time for your "lunch break". While many questions will be lobbed at the Hoosier head man, many of them are comical or scrape the surface when it comes to actual football information, as college media days have become more Super Bowl Media Day, and less press conference.
So we decided to throw out 5 questions that surround the Hoosier football team that we would like to hear Coach Wilson's take on before camp opens.
1. Who is going to start at quarterback? Will it be a two QB system? And will the odd man out redshirt or transfer?
This has to be the number one question on the minds of Hoosier fans. While there is experience across the board, he quarterback position is the biggest question mark on the offensive side of the ball heading into the 2013 season. With the emergence of both Cam Coffman and Nate Sudfeld last year, in addition to the return of a healthy Tre Roberson, last years week one starter, Indiana has three quarterbacks who have experience and garnered some level of success while leading the Hoosiers offense. Coach Wilson did not name a starter after the spring, so the competition rolls on into fall camp and is still wide open. Although unlikely, it would be nice to see Wilson address the quarterback competition with more than just typical coach-speak.
2. Why is Stephen Houston not the number one running back on the depth chart?
This is nothing new for Indiana heading into a season as this is the second consecutive year in which Houston has been “demoted” on the depth chart before the season. Is it purely a motivation tactic? Or was Tevin Coleman really that much better than Houston in the spring ball to force the staffs hand in moving him up the pecking order?
3. Is the defense going to be improved?
This seems to be the question asked every year for the last 15 years by Indiana fans, media, and anyone else with a connection to the program. The defense lost two key starters from the core of last years unit, however as a whole the defense is a very experienced group. In addition there is a plethora of young talent coming in to bolster the depth and talent level overall. However, the biggest question on the defensive side of the ball is how is the loss of co-coordinator Mike Ekeler is going to affect the development and continuity of the defense? What does new co-coordinator William Inge bring to the table that will help improve a defense that without question needs the help?
4. How are the Hoosiers going to improve in the punt game, especially preventing blocked kicks?
This may not be a question on everybody’s mind, but as a former high school punter I have a soft spot for special teams. Over the last few years Indiana has struggled mightily in this aspect of the game. The Hoosiers even had the dubious honor of being on ESPN’s “c’mon man” for having a punt hit a the back of a lineman’s helmet. While special teams might not be sexy, they effect the field position of each and every drive directly correlating to the success of both the offensive and defensive units of the team. For a team that struggles on defense as much as the Hoosiers have in the past, it is important to make the opposing offenses drive as long of a field as possible to help keep points off the board.
5. Is it Bowl Game or bust for this team?
Yes, it may be a obvious question that probably will most likely tiptoed around by Kevin Wilson, but it would be nice to know what the head coach's expectations for the year truly are. We are heading into year three of the Wilson Era, which signals the time that teams need to make a big jump, if they have not already. If that next step is not taken in 2013, it would be fair to start questioning if it ever will. While it would be very easy for Wilson to give a politically correct answer to this question, which is what we are expecting, I believe it would really light a fire under both the team and its supporters if he said that the expectations for the 2013 season were to go bowing.
Here is the full coaches schedule for the Wednesday coaches session at Big Ten Media Days. All coverage can be found on Big Ten Network or BTN2Go.