Big Ten Leaders Division 2011 Spring Breakdown: Indiana
The countdown to the Cardinal and White game is now down to a meager 4 days and as much of Wisconsin digs out from snow and in some cases record amounts we take a look at the Indiana Hoosiers. The Hoosiers already had their Spring game, so I will have a much more in depth look at what has been going on in the Hoosiers program so far.
2010 Record: 5-7(1-7) 11th in Big Ten
- No Postseason
Head Coach: Kevin Wilson(1st year at Indiana and Overall)
2011 Spring Game: 27-24 Hoosiers over Indiana
Returning Starters: 15(7 offense, 6 defense, & 2 Special Teams)
Looking at 2011: Indiana swung for the fences with their new HC hire of Kevin Wilson. The man was the OC at Oklahoma last year and has been a talented and highly sought after Offensive mind in college football for the past 5 years or so. On that side of the ball Wilson has some talent to work with, led by the most underrated WR in the Big Ten, Damarlo Belcher(78rec, 832yds, 4 TD's in 2010). The biggest question mark of the 2011 Spring has been who will replace QB Ben Chappell(3,295yds and 24TD's). After the game two guys seemed to emerge as leading candidates in Dusty Kiel(14-27, 196yds, & 2TD's in game) and Ed Wright-Baker(8-10, 82yds). Just watching the replay this past weekend I was impressed with Kiel the most, but still have questions about his arm while playing against top notch DB's. It may be a bit on the weak side. The other big challenge, something that was hammered home by Wilson in the post-game presser, is the need for stronger play from the Running Back's. The only RB that really stood out in the game was Redshirt freshman Matt Perez(12 carries, 46yds, 1TD). What was more glaring is that the offensive line looks like it needs the most talent upgrade on the team, which will go a long way to helping a RB like Perez who is still gaining weight and figuring out how to be a back in the Big Ten. Overall Wilson thought that there was a lot of things to work on offensively, highlighting a need to get stronger overall at RB and working with the WR's without the ball in their hands. On the defensive side of the ball HC Wilson stated that "I liked the effort, especially late with the pick six and turnover that lead to the winning score." The D will be led by play-making DE Darius Johnson(65tkls & 4.5sacks in 2010) and looks like the secondary is making the biggest strides of the spring with their Pick Six in the Spring Game and overall solid play. After looking at this game I'd say there were many more positive steps taken for a program that needs a shot in the arm than negatives. It wouldn't surprise me to see them win at least 2 or 3 games in the new Big Ten. Look below for a nice highlight package from the Big Ten Network or check out here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TxUnuQoIEK8&feature=player_embedded In a few short years this team could be something to watch out for, but the 2011 season will be all about laying a solid foundation with a young core for the Hoosiers. Keep an eye out for them to not repeat the butt kicking we gave them last season that's for sure, and as always... ON WISCONSIN!!