2012 Indiana Hoosiers Football Preview

Indiana Hoosiers
Head Coach: Kevin Wilson
2011 Record: 1-11 overall, 0-8 Big Ten Leaders
Odds to win Big Ten Leaders Division: 20/1
Odds to win Big Ten Championship Game: 65/1
All Odds courtesy of Bovada

Indiana looks to improve on a one win season in 2011 led by running back Stephen Houston.

Last season, former Oklahoma offensive coordinator Kevin Wilson became the head coach of the Indiana Hoosiers football team. Though Indiana and Oklahoma wear uniforms that look a lot alike, the quality of play between the two schools was vastly different than what Wilson was used to seeing in Norman. Indiana was arguably the worst team in the six BCS conferences last year, and might have been the worst team in FBS football. OK, that might be a little bit of an exaggeration, as Indiana wasn’t worse than the other 3 one win teams, New Mexico, Akron, and Florida Atlantic.

Still, it was ugly for the Hoosiers. The only win came against FCS school South Carolina St. The Hoosiers had embarrassing losses to Ball St 27-20 and North Texas 24-21. Aside from those games and close home losses to Virginia, Penn St, and Purdue, every other loss was by 14 points or more. The Hoosiers were drubbed 59-7 by Wisconsin and 55-3 by Michigan St.

A combination of inept offense and terrible defense is never a good thing, and Indiana had both. The Hoosiers averaged only 21.4 points a game, which was 101st out of 120 teams. They allowed 37.3 points a game which was 114th.

The good news for Hoosier fans is you can’t go anywhere but up. Expect some improvement, but this team will still battle Minnesota for worst team in the Big Ten.


Wilson and offensive coordinator Seth Littrell thought they had their quarterback when five star recruit Gunner Kiel committed to the Hoosiers to play for his home state university. However, Kiel decommitted from Indiana after the awful 1-7 start last year. Kiel considered LSU but is now a freshman at Notre Dame competing for that job. Littrell was the offensive coordinator at Arizona last year, and the Wildcats threw the ball way more times than they ran it.

Indiana might have found their quarterback late last season though. Edward Wright-Baker was the starter but he was benched after a terrible performance in the Wisconsin game. True freshman Tre Roberson was named the starter. The offense started playing better under Roberson. Roberson was 81/142 passing (57%) for 937 yards with 3 touchdowns and 6 interceptions. He was also the team’s second leading rusher with 426 yards on 109 carries with 2 touchdowns. He was sacked 12 times last season. Wright-Baker ended up leaving the program, but hasn’t transferred to another school yet. Third string quarterback Dusty Kiel (older brother of Gunner) also left the program but hasn’t transferred yet either. Wright-Baker and Kiel combined for just under 1,500 yards passing with 7 touchdowns and 5 interceptions. Cameron Coffman, a JUCO transfer, will likely be the back-up, but could see some snaps if Roberson struggles. Nathan Sudfeld will be the third string QB.

The Indiana rushing attack averaged 161 yards a game last year. Seven of the top eight rushers return led by junior running back Stephen Houston. Houston had 151 carries for 802 yards with 8 touchdowns. He also had 17 catches for 164 yards. D’Angelo Roberts had 61 carries, 263 yards, and 4 touchdowns. Matt Perez had 58 carries, 195 yards, and 4 touchdowns. Freshman Tevin Coleman and Morehead St transfer Isaiah Roundtree will also get carries, as will Roberson.

Receiver Kofi Hughes had 35 catches last year for 536 yards and 3 touchdowns. He also had 27 carries for 162 rushing yards. Jamonne Chester had 21 catches for 240 yards. Duwyce Wilson had 17 catches, 217 yards, and 3 touchdowns before a knee injury sidelined him. Shane Wynn caught 19 passes for 197 yards. Cody Latimer had 12 catches, 141 yards, and 2 touchdowns. Tight end Ted Bolser had 14 catches, 165 yards, and a touchdown.

The offensive line returns 5 players with starting experience, including center Will Matte and guard Bernard Taylor. The line was a strength last year, and looks to improve as a lot of underclassmen played last year.


The Indiana defense was absolutely awful in almost all facets last year. The only category in which they were almost average was red zone defense and the Hoosiers still were #76 out of 120 teams. In almost every other category they were #107 or lower. Co-coordinators Doug Mallory and Mike Ekeler didn’t have a lot of talent to work with and it showed. Wilson went out and signed 5 JUCO transfers and inserted them into the starting line-up in the spring. We will see if the defense improves, but again you can’t get much worse than last year.

The line will be anchored by tackles Adam Replogle and Larry Black, Jr. who combined for 12.5 tackles for loss last year.  Ryan Phillis and Bobby Richardson will likely start at the ends. JUCO transfer Justin Rayside could push one of those four from the starting line-up. The front seven wasn’t terrible at forcing sacks on blitzes but couldn’t get pressure otherwise. The run defense was awful though, and the line must improve on that no matter who plays.

JUCO transfers Jacarri Alexander and David Cooper will bring a much needed infusion of talent to a linebacking unit that was among the worst in the country. They will start immediately. Sophomore Chase Hoobler made the freshmen All-Big Ten team last year.

Indiana had only 5 interceptions as a team last year. That isn’t good, but it was made even worse by the fact that they gave up 26 passing touchdowns. Safety Mark Murphy and cornerback Greg Heban were second and third on the team in tackling respectively. JUCO transfers Ryan Thompson, Ryan Walters, and Tregg Walters will contribute immediately.

Special Teams

Junior kicker Mitch Ewald made 13 of 16 field goals last year. All of his misses came from over 40 yards. He is a reliable weapon on special teams.

Junior Mitchell Voss takes over as punter from Adam Pines. The Hoosier punting game was average at best any way last year, as Pines averaged only 38.4 yards per punt. Voss is a good directional punter, and if he can average over 40 yards per punt, then it can’t help but be an upgrade.

Shane Wynn averaged 21.1 yards per kick return last year and had a 99 yard touchdown against Illinois. Nick Stoner will return punts, but he only averaged 5.75 yards per return last year.

Indiana must improve their kickoff coverage as they allowed more than 23 yards per return.The Hoosier defense isn’t good enough to give teams a short field like that.


Indiana opens at home against FCS school Indiana St, before traveling to Massachusetts, who just moved up from FCS to FBS this year. The Hoosiers host Ball St and travel to Northwestern. Indiana then hosts Michigan St and Ohio St. Next up are games at Navy and Illinois. The Hoosiers then host Iowa and Wisconsin. Indiana closes at Penn St and rival Purdue.


The offense should be much improved, but it might not matter if the defense doesn’t improve significantly. Based on the schedule, Indiana should win more games in September than they did in all of 2011, but no one thought they would lose to Ball St and North Texas last year either. Even with a soft non-conference schedule, I can’t see more than 3 or 4 wins for this team. However, I think Wilson can turn the program around if he is given enough time.

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