Indiana Football: Spring Practice Storylines That Matter

    Indiana football spring practice is here. The storylines that matter, what’s the big deal, what to worry about, and what’s all set.

    September 24, 2016

    Indiana football spring practice is here; let’s take a look at the storylines that matter – what’s the big deal, what to worry about, and what’s all set.

    Now that the program knows it can get to a bowl …

    Getting to a postseason game isn’t the norm for Indiana, so being able to survive its way in the Big Ten East and being more than just competitive last year was a big deal. So how do the Hoosiers keep this all rolling? How do they use spring ball to build on what head coach Kevin Wilson has been able to set in motion and start being a player in one of the toughest divisions in football?

    IU has the offensive system that works when the right parts stay healthy, and it’s never going to have a killer defense – it’s Indiana; it just isn’t. So how can the team go from beating the Wake Forests and Maryland on the schedule – like it did last year – to actually finishing the drill against a Michigan or Ohio State? With six starters back on offense and eight back on defense, there’s enough experience returning to hope for at least a repeat of last year’s success.

    Keep the offense rolling, improve the defense a bit, and win all the winnable games and come up with an upset or three. Sounds simple enough.

    No one is worried about …

    The secondary – sort of. The Hoosiers had one of the nation’s worst pass defenses, getting torched for 314 yards per game and having problems time and again against anyone with a decent quarterback – and a lot of teams without one. But part of the problem was youth, starting four underclassmen late in the season and letting them figure it out. Now, linebacker Zack Shaw is done, but the rest of the back eight returns and the defensive backfield is all back full. The pass rush was in place, but now the defensive backs have to come through.

    Extra attention must be given to …

    The offensive backfield. The Hoosiers caught a huge break last year getting UAB running back Jordan Howard to step in to replace Tevin Coleman, and quarterback Nate Sudfeld returned after being injured late in 2014. This spring, Howard is off early to the NFL and Sudfeld is done, but there’s hope. Zander Diamont might be a jack-of-all-trades weapon for the offense, while JUCO transfer and former Oklahoma State Cowboy Richard Lagow needs to take over the starting quarterback gig by the horns. He’s 6-6 and 240 pounds with pure passing skills, and now this might be his team. Devine Redding has just enough experience to be a decent back to take over right away.

    MORE: Five Keys To Indiana Football’s 2016 Schedule


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