Veteran Hoosiers Prepare to Execute Against Ohio State Saturday

Written by Amanda Pavelka (@AmandaPavelka3)

The competition has ramped up for Indiana football quicker than usual going into week three. The Hoosiers will go from facing the lowest-ranked opponent on the 2019 season to the most difficult—the No. 6 ranked Ohio State Buckeyes.

While producing a massive 52-0 victory over Eastern Illinois last Saturday, Indiana displayed a promising offense, and improved defense—talented enough to shutout the Panthers completely. 

“Overall it was a confidence booster to go out there, clean up stuff, and produce a shutout which is very hard to do, no matter who you’re playing,” senior linebacker Reakwon Jones told the media Monday. 

Saturday’s true test is against an elite defensive line that unlike Eastern Illinois, boasts guys more than qualified for the job— seven of 11 top defensive linemen returning from 2018’s Big Ten and Rose Bowl Champion squad. 

“Going into this game, we always know they have a stout defensive line of athletic guys, big guys,” senior offensive lineman Simon Stepaniak said, “so just preparing this week at practice and taking everything seriously and making sure our craft is in tip-top shape for this game is crucial.”

In his third game as quarterback one, there’s a heavy weight placed on redshirt freshman Michael Penix’s shoulders to be the difference-maker in IU’s 26-game losing streak to the Buckeyes. Ohio State is known for their pass rushing game, and for Penix, it’s not the main focus going into Saturday’s game. 

“I trust my offensive line, believe in everything with the offense, that Coach DeBoer’s going to put us in the right situations,” Penix told the media on Monday, “I feel like that’s not something we’re worried about right now, we’re just worried about what we need to execute on the offensive side of the ball.”

Ohio State’s stacked depth won their battle last year. IU ran out of steam on both sides of the ball and fell out of the game after halftime, succumbing to the Buckeyes 49-26. 

Penix prepares for the biggest game of his college career so far with the 1-0 mentality:

“Every single day we work hard, not because of who it is, but because it’s our next game, our next opportunity to get better and show the world that Indiana is on the rise.”

Coy Cronk, Reakwon Jones and Nick Westbrook to Represent Indiana at Big Ten Media Days

Coy Cronk, Reakwon Jones and Nick Westbrook to Represent Indiana at Big Ten Media Days

Written by Sammy Jacobs (@Hoosier_Huddle)

Conference media days are the unofficial start of the college football pre-season. The Big Ten conference will hold their annual media days in Chicago on July 18th and 19th. As hundreds of Big Ten reporters pour into the Windy City 42 athletes will be representing the 14 teams in the conference.

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Spring Preview- It's Time for the Young Pups to Become the Big Dogs at Linebacker

Spring Preview- It's Time for the Young Pups to Become the Big Dogs at Linebacker

Written by: TJ Inman (@TJHoosierHuddle)

Spring practice is set to begin soon and Hoosier Huddle is previewing the upcoming camp with positional breakdowns and much more. Today’s preview is a look at the middle of Indiana’s 4-2-5 defense, the linebackers. We’ll start with a brief profile of each player in the position group, proceed with a few things we’ll be looking for in the spring and then wrap up with a projection of the depth chart for the 2019 season.

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Spring Practice 2018 Position Preview: Linebackers

Spring Practice 2018 Position Preview: Linebackers

Written by: TJ Inman (@TJHoosierHuddle)

After a few seasons of absolute certainty at linebacker, the Indiana Hoosiers are mostly starting over at the position. One of the best defensive players to ever play in Bloomington, Tegray Scales, will be playing on Sundays and the athletic Chris Covington will likely be joining him. The Hoosiers are not without talent but experience will be in short supply and questions abound. There’s no doubt this is one of the more intriguing positions entering the offseason.

In an effort to be completely transparent, I will let you know that I wanted to have a projection but there’s just no sense in making a wild guess based on no information. I’ll make a projection on how I believe the depth chart will look at kick off of the first game during the “position battle” article but for now, we’ll just take a look at each player in the group. There is going to be whole lot of fluidity and there are way more questions than answers at this position.

We’ll begin this preview by taking a look at the returning “veterans”. No one on the depth chart has much actual playing experience but these players have at least been through the program and know what to expect from a Big Ten schedule.

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Spearheaded by an All-American, Indiana's Linebackers Should be Great Again in 2017

Spearheaded by an All-American, Indiana's Linebackers Should be Great Again in 2017

Written By Alex Compton (@Alexncompton)

Last season was marked by the incredible defensive turnaround under then defensive coordinator Tom Allen. The switch to a 4-2-5 scheme with an aggressive mentality paid off in the biggest possible way for the Hoosiers, as they were able to see the defense climb all the way to 31st best in the nation according to S&P+. Many of the players have talked about the desire to end the year in the top 25 this season, and that is a very attainable goal. Indiana returns just over 96% of its defensive production from last season this year, and that is tops in the nation. Just about every starter is back, but one of the few holes to plug is at linebacker, the unit we will look at today.

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Countdown to IUFB Kickoff: 40 Days (Reakwon Jones)

Countdown to IUFB Kickoff: 40 Days (Reakwon Jones)

By David Sugarman (@David_Sugarman2)

#40

40 days away, that’s it. We’re now 60 percent of the way through the countdown and only 40 days stand between us and Indiana Football opening the season August 31st against Ohio State. In the meantime let’s take a look at linebacker Reakwon Jones.

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2016 Linebacker Preview: The Anchors of The IU Defensive Ship

2016 Linebacker Preview: The Anchors of The IU Defensive Ship

In another disappointing season for the Indiana defense, the one bright spot was the growth and production of the linebacking corps. In 2016, a majority of the unit will be back and ready for more. Before we dive into the guys that will make up the “2” of the 4-2-5 defense this year, keep in mind that the husky position will function much like an outside linebacker or striker would. Those guys have been left out of this preview, as we will only focus on the traditional linebackers to avoid confusion.

Over the last few seasons, Coach Wilson has very quietly been assembling one of the league’s most talented units at linebacker. The production was expected, yet absent in the recent past. However, 2015 proved to be the breakout season for the unit if you will. The top three guys last year combined to total 249 tackles to go along with a mess of sacks, PBUs, forced fumbles and recoveries. The unit was a bright spot on a very underwhelming defense, and many of the same guys are back to help the defense take a major jump under new defensive coordinator Tom Allen. 

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2016 Spring Preview: Linebackers

2016 Spring Preview: Linebackers

Last season’s defense was far from acceptable, and there were very few solid areas of the unit. While they were prone to give up big plays, the linebackers were generally considered to be the “strength” of the defense last season. The 2016 group will be almost identical to one in 2015, which is either a good or bad thing depending on your viewpoint. While the defense hasn’t been good, it doesn’t mean it can’t improve this season. 

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Redshirt Preview: LB Reakwon Jones

Redshirt Preview: LB Reakwon Jones

Reakwon Jones
6’2”/218 lbs/LB Lynn Haven, FL

Reakwon Jones was recruited to Indiana as part of the 2015 signing class as a three-star inside linebacker from Lynn Haven, Fla. He was a first team Class 5A All-State selection and won the Bay County Defensive Player of the Year when he recorded 124 tackles, 13 tackles for loss, five sacks, along with two interceptions and six forced fumbles during his senior season in 2014. He led A. Crawford Mosley H.S. to its first postseason appearance since 2006. Last season Jones garnered plenty of praise on the scout team defense winning Scout Team Player of the Week six times.

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