Following Indiana’s week one win which saw them score 73 points the markets were quite bullish on Hoosiers. This week was not as kind to the Indiana Football Stock Market as a whole. There were some things to be expected, a natural regression to the mean, a considerably tougher opponent would mean less gaudy numbers. However, there were things that no one prognosticated such as the Hoosiers offense struggling in the first quarter, interesting coaching decisions and a defense that looked as if it didn’t know that Navy was going to be running the triple option.
Remember investors, it is best to buy low, so what better time than now to dive in and start diversifying your portfolio with stocks that others around the nation are shaking their head at right now. While the Hoosiers were defeated in regrettable fashion in week two, there were still some bright spots, especially on the offensive side. It surely was not the 38-point victory we witnessed in week one that was promising and turned some heads throughout the conference. We said last week that there were some very encouraging things. However, we also said that we saw some things that could go from “that didn’t look great”, to “holy crap that’s a big freakin’ problem, in the coming weeks.”
Your less than cheery Stock Market Report follows:
Blue Chip Stocks:
Receiving Corps: The receivers were far from perfect Saturday as there were big drops that potentially changed the game. However, this is arguably the deepest position on the entire team, and they would give any other set of receivers in the Big Ten, and potentially the nation a run for their money. Kofi Hughes once again led the way on Saturday with 102 yards receiving and a touchdown while averaging 17 yards per catch. Shane Wynn who is always a danger to take the ball to the house did so again this weekend as part of his 58-yard performance. As a team the Hoosiers averaged nearly twelve yards per reception.
Nate Sudfeld, QB: Once again Sudfeld didn’t start, but he was the quarterback who played the majority of the game. While coming in defeat the sophomore put together another strong performance completing 31 of his 42 passes for 363 yards and three TDs. Without his strong play in the pocket this game could have been even uglier. He rallied his offense to make it a one possession game in the final minutes but special teams and defense failed him as he never got back on the field.
Ted Bolser, TE: We told you to buy him last week, and he answered our calls. Teddy Touchdown had much to celebrate personally on Saturday, as he was able to get into the end zone twice. Overall for the game Bolser had 5 receptions for 56 yards. He has become an exceptional red zone target for Nate Sudfeld and we don’t see that changing any time soon. If you have not bought stock of the senior tight end yet, do so now, and if you have already buy more!
Third Down: Well not the down per say, but the way the Hoosiers offense plays when it is third down. They were exceptional for the most part in such situations against Navy this week. The Hoosiers only punted once, it should have been twice, but more on that later. Overall Indiana converted 8 of their 12 third down opportunities. If you look even further, of the four that they failed to convert, the coaching staff decided to go for it on fourth down three times, and ended up moving the chains on two of them. Yes, yes, we are going to talk about that other one…
Coaching Decisions: The biggest gaff of the night had to be on the second drive of the game, see I told you we were getting to it. With the Hoosiers offense stalled out at their own 38-yard line, the coaching staff quickly signaled in that the offense should remain on the field and go for it on fourth down. They were stopped short of the marker and turned the ball over on downs. Navy turned that decision and lack of execution into a 14-0 lead three minutes and forty-five seconds later.
That was not the only decision to be questioned from Saturday, as the started quarterback situation needs to be addressed. The Hoosiers decided to start Tre Roberson for the second straight game. While I think everyone likes Tre, and wants to see him succeed, the fact of the matter is that Nate Sudfeld outplayed him in week one, and likely deserved the start. In addition, generally speaking if you are going to start Roberson, that typically means you have some sort of confidence in him heading into that weekend. If that is the case, then why is he being pulled after just a few series in each game? The way these quarterbacks have been handled doesn’t make to much sense to me, and I think it is to the detriment of the team.
Big Plays on Defense: It is to easy to call the Indiana defense as a whole this week a junk bond. However, while the defense were allowing yards to be gained as if they were going out of style, they did not even step up to make the big play that could have potentially changed the outcome of this game. The Hoosiers had just one sack, and remember this is a team that has the quarterback running the ball all the time, so a tackle behind the line of scrimmage would count. In addition they did not snag an interception, which was due to the offense they played, but they also didn’t force a fumble from a team that ran the ball 69 times. If this defense is going to be this bad on an every down basis, then they at least need to gamble and make the big play. I mean your not stopping them anyway!
Buy | Mitch Ewald K: Yes, this is what it has come to. Sure I could have gone with Sudfeld or Hughes, but we already talked about them in our blue chip stocks, so you know that I am high on them and think you should buy. The kicking position is one that doesn’t get all that much love, but with a lack of good things going on it’s his time. Ewald is perfect so far this year. While he has only had one field goal attempt, and it was from just 26 yards, he did convert it. More impressively, through two weeks he is 15-for-15 when it comes to extra-point attempts. Sure, most of that has to do with the offense, but he is still perfect even with a tired leg from all that PATing.
Sell | Cody Latimer WR: The Hoosiers’ leading receiver from 2012 has been an afterthought so far this season. While it is only two games, he doesn’t have more than three catches in either. For the season he has just 73 receiving yards and even more worrisome is the fact that he has not gotten into the end zone at all.
You might respond by saying, didn’t you say earlier the best time to buy is when a stock is low? Yes, I did, however there are so many other receiving targets becoming more pronounced and comfortable in the passing game. With each passing week Latimer looks more and more like a secondary option in the Hoosiers attack.
Hold | Tevin Coleman RB: He had a monster game in week one and it looked as if Kevin Wilson’s superlatives weren’t just smoke. However, week two saw a regression. Part of it was due to the quick lead that Navy jumped out to and the resulting even more pass-dominated offense than usual. However, if you watched Coleman run when he did get his opportunities he didn’t seize them. He didn’t hit the holes the way he did against the Sycamores, and lacked the aggressiveness that takes his game to the next level. On the bright side, he did show some skill catching the ball out of the backfield this weekend. Coleman didn’t have a great game against Navy, but don’t sell just yet.