If you like points then you like Indiana. The Hoosiers had one of the best offenses in the Conference last season, but also one of the worst defenses. They return 18 starters from that team coming off a five-win season and are looking for more.
The only spot where they’re losing much of anything is at the wide receiver position where Cody LAtimer (1,096 yards, 9 TDs) and a couple others are gone. Shane Wynn (5’7″) returns as the leading receiver, but Isaiah Roundtree and Nick Stoner will find time alongside him. The Hoosiers will likely run their dual-QB act again with Nate Sudfeld and Tre Roberson. Sudfeld is more of a pocket passer, finishing with 2,525 yards, 21 TDs and 9 INTs, while Roberson had 15 passing TDs, 4 INTs and 423 yards on the ground.
Running back Tevin Coleman is expected to be used plenty again and could be one of the best in the Big Ten. He finished with 958 yards, 12 TDs and 7.3 yards per carry despite missing the last few Games of the season. They return everyone from the offensive line so there’s no reason why this offense can’t take a step up from last year.
The only way Indiana’s defense can go from last year is up. They allowed at least 35 points in all but two Games, which makes those five wins somewhat impressive. Head coach Kevin Wilson brought in new coordinator Brian Knorr, who runs more of a 3-4 scheme. The plan is for the Hoosiers to run multiple sets, with the hopes that the nine returning starters can learn the system by the fall.
With so many starters returning and plenty of new talent coming in, this unit should already be better than a year ago, but throw in a new system and the results should be noticeable immediately. At least that’s what the coaches are hoping.
We’ll find out how the defense is in the first Game against Indiana State in a Game they won 73-35 last year. This would not be a bad a Game to take Indiana in, as they could easily win by 50 points if the defense does improve like hoped.
The Hoosiers have a tough road Schedule, but if they want to go to a bowl Game, will have to win at least one of those Games if not two. Their best chances will come at Bowling Green and at Rutgers. Obviously two would be ideal, but if they only win one, that means Indiana will have to win five home Games. Indiana State, Maryland, North Texas and Purdue need to be wins, but the tougher ones come against Michigan State and Penn State.
If this defense improves, that may push this team over the edge and be able to beat a team like Penn State. The Hoosiers could be a top-3 offense in the Big Ten and should give a better fight against the top teams like Ohio State and Michigan than a season ago.
2014 Indiana College Football Schedule
Aug. 30 vs. Indiana State
Sep. 13 at Bowling Green
Sep. 20 at Missouri
Sep. 27 vs. Maryland
Oct. 4 vs. North Texas
Oct. 11 at Iowa
Oct. 18 vs. Michigan State
Nov. 1 at Michigan
Nov. 8 vs. Penn State
Nov. 15 at Rutgers
Nov. 22 at Ohio State
Nov. 29 vs. Purdue