Written By Sammy Jacobs (@sammyj108)
It’s that time of year again. July is coming to a close and there is just a small hint of college football in the air. That’s right it is time for Big Ten Media Days in Chicago! For me this is when the season is really just around the corner. So Hoosier fans, here is a little summer reading that can be done at the beach, lake, or where your summer fun takes you. Let’s look into some questions facing the Hoosier football team heading into media days.
1. Will having one quarterback playing lead the offense to a more consistent year in 2014?
Head Coach Kevin Wilson can finally announce a winner for the starting quarterback job. It may not but in the most conventional way, but there are no two ways around that this is Nate Sudfeld’s team going forward. After the departures of Cam Coffman and Tre Roberson, the Hoosiers are looking at heading into the season without a quarterback controversy for the first time in Wilson’s tenure. The offense should be better because of it as well. The Hoosiers offense was very good last year, there is no question there, but were they elite? The answer to that is a definitive no. IU lit up the scoreboard and probably blew through Fred Glass’s fireworks budget a little faster than predicted, but too often drives lasted under a minute and resulted in a punt or turnover on downs. In 2013 it seemed as if the starting quarterback, whether it be Roberson or Sudfeld, would be looking over their shoulder at the first sign of distress. With no one behind him Sudfeld will be able to get into a rhythm with this offense. Will the Hoosiers be perfect on offense? Probably not, however they will be able to control the ball and the pace of the game much better with just Sudfeld at the helm.
2. Will Brian Knorr fix the defense?
This really is the question every year in one form or another? The good news for Hoosier fans is that I believe they found a competent coach that has a track record for putting together solid defenses with less than elite talent. The better news is that there is a ton of talent on the defensive roster. Knorr brings in a new scheme and the Hoosiers will begin to transition to a 3-4 defense. This allows the Hoosiers to be more multiple, as we will see a combination of three and four man fronts. The 3-4 will permit the Hoosier to be more aggressive and to get some of the talented linebackers on the field. The Hoosier defensive line, easily the most talented of the position groups, features play makers like Ralph Green, David Kenney, and Darius Latham amongst others. The IU defense does not have to become elite for the Hoosiers to succeed, they just need to be average or just below average. Knorr has his work cut out for him, but he is the guy to do it based on his career at Wake Forest.
3. Is Tevin Coleman ready to take on a bigger role in the run game?
Junior running back Tevin Coleman had a break out season in 2013 scoring 12 touchdowns while falling just short of becoming the first Hoosier back to run for 1,000 yards since 2001. There is no question he will be the starter when IU kicks off on August 30th, however there are still issues to be dealt with. Coleman only carried the ball 131 times last season, breaking the 20-carry mark just once. Not to mention he did miss the final three games due to an ankle injury. Coleman will be thrust into an even bigger role this season with the graduation of Stephen Houston, with whom he split time. Coleman is a bigger back and can handle the beating that is the Big Ten. He should carry the ball a minimum 20 times a game, however Wilson has a tendency to split the carries among the stable of runners available.
You can follow the Big Ten Media Days right here at Hoosierhuddle.com. We will be in Chicago to keep Hoosier Nation updated on everything IU football.