Saturday, August 14, 2010
Big Ten 2010-Indiana Hoosiers
2009 Record: 4-8 (1-7)
Head Coach: Bill Lynch (14-23, 4th season...95-90-3 overall)
Offensive Coordinator: Matt Canada (4th season)
Defensive Coordinator: Brian George (6th season) and Joe Palcic (6th season)
2009 Bowl Game: Not a shot
Offense: 8 starters return from a unit that ranked 35th nationally passing, but only managed to rank 96th in rushing. That is going to have to balance out in 2010 for the Hoosiers. Ben Chappell is a solid QB,maybe one of the best on the conference when everything is clicking. He is a very smart passer that is very good at shifting in the pocket and finding throws even when routes break down. He will rely heavily on sophomore RB Darius Willis to pick up the load in the running game, as that will help open up the passing game. Willis missed three games last season, but still rushed for 607 yards...not bad, but not great. He needs to go over 1000 this season to be considered productive given that IU will stay with the Pistol offense. All three WRs return from last season with Terrance Turner, Demario Belcher, and Tandon Doss forming up the starting corps. That group alone contributed 173 receptions in 2010. There will be new starters at LT and RG, but there is depth on the line.
Defense: There is trouble on this front. Only 4 starters return from a group that gave up 401 yards per game in 2010 and ranked 88th, which means the Hoosiers are starting over here. SS Mitchell Evans and CB Matt Ernest will both be new starters, but both are former WRs...not good news. Laary Black and Adam Repogle will return to man the DT spots, but will have to be more productive against the run, and teasm ran against IU at a 159.1 yards per game clip. The entire secondary is new, which is also bad news, and Tyler Repogle is the lone returnee at LB.
Special Teams: Nick Freeland returns as the PK, and Chris Hagerup returns at P. The main story for both of these kickers is consistancy. Both had issues with that, but with Hagerup it was due to recovery from knee surgery. He still managed an average of just over 40 yards per punt in 2009. Freeland barely managed to make just over 50% of his kicks as a redshirt freshman.
Wins: 9/2 Towson, 9/18 @ Western Kentucky, 9/25 Akron, 10/16 Arkansas State
Toss Up Games: 10/23 @ Illinois, 10/2 Michigan, 11/27 @ Purdue
Losses: 10/9 @ Ohio State, 10/30 Northwestern, 11/6 Iowa, 11/13 @ Wisconsin, 11/20 Penn State
I see 5 guaranteed losses, and the Hoosiers will have to take all 3 toss games just to qualify for a bowl in 2010. Towson will not count as they are a 1-AA squad, but beware...IU has struggled mightily with 1-AA teams in the last decade. Towson is not a good team though, so IU should coast through that game.
Outlook: Not great, but it could be worse. The defense has a ton of issues and will depend heavily on 3 JC transfers to shore up open spots. Big Ten schools are not really known for being JC havens, so Bill Lynch must be desperate. If IU gets to a bowl, it would be a miracle, but not on the level of Illinois getting to one.