Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Indiana Hoosiers 2010 Review

Indiana Review by Matt Chandik

2010 Record: 5-7 (1-7), 11th Big 10
2010 Bowl Game: None
2010 Schedule/Results
Towson, W 51-17
@ Western Kentucky, W 38-21
Akron, W 35-20
Michigan, L 42-35
@ Ohio State, L 38-10
Arkansas State, W 36-34
@ Illinois, L 43-13
Northwestern, L 20-17
Iowa, L 18-13
@ Wisconsin, L 83-20
Penn State, L 41-24
@ Purdue, W 34-31



Senior quarterback Ben Chappell returned for his second full season as a starter, and he certainly didn’t disappoint. Chappell completed 62.8 percent of his passes and threw for 24 touchdowns against only nine interceptions. The hometown boy finished ninth nationally in passes attempted and passes completed, including a 64-pass effort against Michigan’s “defense”. Chappell shredded the Wolverines for 480 (seriously, you read that right) yards and a hat trick of touchdowns, but was ultimately let down by a porous Hoosier defense (this will be a recurring theme) in a 42-35 loss. While Chappell had gaudy numbers as a whole, his stats are definitely a case of fool’s gold as he struggled mightily against good teams. Against Wisconsin and Ohio State, the two teams that were ranked when Indiana played them, Chappell was 24-for-40, 171 yards (4.3 ypa), one touchdown and a pair of interceptions. Additionally, Chappell struggled quite a bit once the Hoosiers hit the meat of the Big 10 schedule. In conference play, Chappel’s numbers took a free fall as he completed 59.8 percent of his passes and nearly matched his touchdown totals (11) with his interception totals (9).

Part of the reason why Indiana threw the ball so much was that the running game was about as much of a failure as Ohio State’s compliance department. Trea Burgess, a 6-1, 226-pound bowling ball of a running back, led the Hoosiers with 352 yards on the ground (3.38 per) and three touchdowns. That’s pathetic. No team should ever be led by a player with less than 400 yards on the ground. As a team, the Hoosiers had only three more rushing yards than Michigan State’s Edwin Baker, who finished third in the Big 10 in rushing. Yes, that’s correct. Five quarterbacks (Michigan’s Denard Robinson, Illinois’ Nathan Scheelhaase, Ohio State’s Terrelle Pryor, Purdue’s Rob Henry and Northwestern’s Dan Persa) finished with more rushing yards than Burgess. New head coach Kevin Wilson will have his hands full in restoring the Hoosier running game.

The wide receivers were the stars of the offense. Damarlo Belcher led the team with 832 receiving yards and also added four touchdowns while Tandon Doss paced the team with seven touchdowns. Doss will best be remembered for branding “Property of Tandon Doss” on Michigan’s defense, as he scorched the Wolverines for 221 yards on 15 catches. It’s to be considered a moral victory for Rich Rodriguez that his team held Doss out of the end zone. Unfortunately for Indiana, Doss declared for the NFL draft and the Hoosiers also lose their third wideout in Terrance Turner (67-681-3). It’s not all bad on the departing front, though. Belcher returns and figures to be the team’s top weapon while sophomores-to-be Duwyce Wilson and tight end Ted Bolser should ensure that the Hoosiers light up the scoreboard. The two freshmen combined for 895 yards and eight touchdowns.

On the offensive line, the Hoosiers will need to find someone to adequately replace departing senior James Brewer. The hulking 6-8, 330-pound tackle was IU’s best lineman a year and figures to be a middle-round pick in this year’s NFL draft.


They all sucked equal amounts. The end. No, really. If it weren’t for Michigan’s “defense”, this would be the worst defense in the conference. IU finished 10th in the Big 10 in scoring defense at 34 points per game, but that looks better than the bloodshed that was the Big 10 schedule. Non-conference patsies aside, the Indiana defense gave up 39.5 points per game in the Big 10. Like, holy hell, man. I’m pretty sure air and 11 pylons could do better. The team gave up 35 or more points to six Big 10 opponents, including 83 against Wisconsin where it seemed like the Badgers were playing NCAA ’11 on “Junior Varsity”. The run defense was eighth in the Big 10 as the Hoosiers surrendered 171.83 yards per game on the ground. In conference play, that number jumped to 183.75 yards per game and only Northwestern gave up more yards per carry in Big 10 play (5.48 to 5.21). IU gave up more than 200 rushing yards to Towson (227. Yes, really), Michigan (297 at 10.61 ypc- 217 yards and two touchdowns to Denard Robinson) and Wisconsin (both James White and Montee Ball had more than 140 yards and a pair of touchdowns each with John Clay out of the lineup). Only Arkansas State and Purdue failed to muster 130 yards upon that Swiss cheese defense.

In case you’re wondering, it doesn’t get much prettier through the air. IU ranked ninth in the conference in passing yards per game and yards per pass, 10th in completion percentage and last in passer rating, touchdowns surrendered and intercepted passes. It’s enough to make former IU coach Bill Lynch sprint down the sideline and chuck another piece of gum farther than even Ben Chappell can throw it.

Junior linebacker Leon Beckum was the best of the terribles. Beckum made 69 tackles, 10 of which were behind the line of scrimmage, and sacked the quarterback three times. Tyler Replogle led the team in tackles with 87 (six of them behind the LOS). Safety Mitchell Evans led the team in interceptions with three.

One of IU’s biggest problems (Honestly, there were a lot. Pick one.) was the inability to get off the field. The Hoosiers ranked 10th in the conference in third-down efficiency, allowing 43.79 percent conversions. In Big 10 play, that number spiked to 46.08 percent.

Bottom line, this was a historically bad defense.

Special Teams

Freshman kicker Mitch Ewald was a pleasant surprise. Ewald nailed 16 of his 19 field goal attempts and made all 33 of his extra point attempts. He also handled kickoffs and had three touchbacks.

At punter, Chris Hagerup and Adam Pines split the job. The problem, though, is that neither one was particularly good. Hagerup averaged a shade under 40 yards per punt at 39.44, while Pines averaged 40.17 per. Neither of those averages were good enough for a top-five spot in Big 10 punting.

Punt returns were a disaster. IU only returned nine punts all season and merely averaged 6.78 yards per return. That was bad enough for ninth in the Big 10. Kick returns were much better, though. Indiana ranked third in the conference at 23.06 yards per return.

Good luck with the team, Kevin Wilson. You’re going to need it.

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