2012 Record: 4-8 (2-6 in Big Ten)
Head Coach: Kevin Wilson (5-19 at Indiana, 2-14 in Big Ten)
Last Bowl Game: 2007 Insight Bowl: lost to Oklahoma State 49-33
Stadium: Memorial Stadium in Bloomington, IN (capacity = 52,929)
Home Field Advantage: ranked 58th out of 69 BCS teams
Out of Conference: 8/29 vs Indiana St, 9/7 vs Navy, 9/14 vs Bowling Green, 9/21 vs Missouri
Toughest Home Game: 10/5 vs Penn State
Toughest Road Games: 10/12 at Michigan State, 10/19 at Michigan, 11/16 at Wisconsin, 11/23 at Ohio State
Stat to Fear: only caused 13 turnovers in 2012 (last in B1G), gave up 213 plays of over 10 yards (last in B1G)
Stats to Cheer: scored TDs on 66.67% of red zone trips (tied for 2nd in B1G), only allowed 17 sacks (2nd in B1G)
Advanced Stats (Football Outsiders 2012 FEI Ranking): 71st out of 124 teams
Phil Steele's Returning Starters: Offense: 10, Defense: 9, Special Teams: 2
Key Defensive Returnees: S Greg Heban (91 tackles), LB David Cooper (86 tackles), S Mark Murphy (70 tackles)
Key Offensive Returnees: RB Stephen Houston (749 yds rush, 12 TD, 37 rec), WR Shane Wynn (67 rec), WR Cody Latimer (51 rec)
After coming over from Oklahoma, Kevin Wilson got a rude awakening in his first season as the Hoosiers went 0-8 in B1G play and finished with just one win. Last year, the Hoosiers moved up in the world winning four games and two conference games. Can they continue to improve in 2013 as Wilson gets his pieces in place?
It's always interesting when you look at a respected preview magazine (Athlon) and the QBs that they list as #1 and #2 on the depth chart are not the same person that another respected magazine (Phil Steele) lists as the probable starter. For Indiana this could be a good problem as they have three candidates for their starting QB job. If you look purely at stats then Nat Sudfeld (62.2% completions, 7 TD vs 1 INT) could be the guy. If you want experience (407 pass attempts in 2012) then junior Cameron Coffman could get the rock. If you want versatility then junior Tre Roberson (11.27 ypc, 3 rush TD) might be the guy. At RB, Indiana knows who their guy is and it's Stephen Houston (749 yds rush) and his three primary back-ups also return. At receiver, the Hoosiers return everybody who caught a pass last season. Indiana returns a ton of talent on offense and they also return 73 career OL starts so they should be good along the line of scrimmage. Last year, Indiana went from scoring 21.4 ppg to 30.8 ppg. We should see continued improvement from this unit.
On defense, the Hoosiers will miss some departed talent on the line (Adam Replogle and Larry Black Jr) but the back seven will stay in tact. The defense gave up 35 ppg last year so this is still the primary weaknesses when you look at the offensive vs defensive units for the Hoosiers. They did show improvement on third downs (49.09% in 2011 vs 39.89% in 2012) but they still struggled in the red zone (worst TD ratio in the conference), they continued to give up too many big plays and did not take the ball away from their opponent (just 13 turnovers gained in 2012).
The out of conference schedule will be challenging as they face Indiana State, Navy, a good Bowling Green squad and Missouri. None of those teams are Top 25 caliber but the later three will all be very tough games for the Hoosiers. The good news for Indiana is that they have a lot of winnable conference games at home this year. They get Penn State, Minnesota, Indiana and Purdue at home and it would be very possible for Indiana to come out of that schedule with three wins. They should hope they do because the road schedule (Michigan State, Michigan, Wisconsin and Ohio State) is a bear. Look for Indiana to continue to improve this season and I think they will be a handful for B1G defenses. That being said, the defense has to catch up to the offensive improvement and I just don't see that happening this season so they won't quite be ready to go bowling.
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