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2017 Indiana Hoosiers Football Outlook

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The first year of the Tom Allen era opens in a B1G way

Foster Farms Bowl - Utah v Indiana Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images

Man, it feels really late in the summer for this. Are we sure this is Indiana Week?

........

We are? Cool. Let’s do this thing.

About Last Season

#TeamChaos lived up (and down) to its label in 2016. Breaking in a JUCO QB, breaking in a new defensive coordinator, and breaking the hearts of its fans (early and often) was the name of the game for the Hoosiers. Bright spots included reclaiming the Old Brass Spittoon and FINALLY beating Rutgers; low spots included blowing golden opportunities against a handful of ranked teams, and whatever the hell happened against Wake Forest. Oh, and also Kevin Wilson getting fired for being a injury-shaming jerk, but he’s Ohio State’s problem now.

Offense

The good news is that most of Indiana’s offense from last year returns, and continuity is generally a good thing. The major loss is offensive lineman Dan Feeney, who graduated to the NFL, and leaves behind a position with no clear heir apparent. Devine Redding also made the jump, and will likely be replaced by some combination of Mike Majette, Alex Rodriguez, and Tyler Natee, with possible contributions from Camion Patrick. (In other words, there’s some flux, but it’s a lot easier to pick out who might replace him than Feeney.)

The bad news is, said offense produced over 40 points in exactly one game last season, and scored over 30 just four times, which doesn’t usually lead to a lot of wins for Indiana. Something will have to change from 2016 if Indiana is to return to their previous position as the most prolific offense in the Big Ten, a circumstance that might very well be necessary to have another bowl trip to end the year.

Defense

For the first time in approximately millenia (note: might only be a decade), Indiana had a fairly good defense playing football for them. Led by Tegray Scales and Rashard Fant, Indiana managed to actually keep some good teams out of the end zone for large stretches of games, and kept the Hoosiers in a couple of games until the bitter end. It will largely be on those two and Marcelino Ball to keep the positive momentum going for the defense, particularly if a much younger defensive line takes more time to jell than the offseason provides.

Tom Allen brought some much needed change to the defense as last year’s new coordinator; time will tell if the defense can continue making plays for their new head coach.

Special Teams

Joseph Gedeon returns as Indiana’s punter, though with two others listed on the roster, there might be some competition for his spot. Griffin Oakes is also the presumed kicker, but as with Gedeon, there are two backups just waiting for an opportunity, and should Oakes not return to his 2015 form, that opportunity might be taken.

Coaching

There’s been some turnover on this front, with the two most notable changes (in my opinion) being the promotion of Tom Allen to head coach, and the familiar to some new running backs coach Mike Hart. Other sources are likely better informed than me on the rest of the changes, but suffice to say, things will both be the same and different.

The Schedule

Indiana Football Schedule

Date Opponent
Date Opponent
Thursday, August 31st Ohio State at Indiana
Saturday, September 9th Indiana at Virginia
Saturday, September 16th Florida International at Indiana
Saturday, September 23rd Georgia Southern at Indiana
Saturday, September 30th Indiana at Penn State
Saturday, October 14th Michigan at Indiana
Saturday, October 21st Indiana at Michigan State
Saturday, October 28th Indiana at Maryland
Saturday, November 4th Wisconsin at Indiana
Saturday, November 11th Indiana at Illinois
Saturday, November 18th Rutgers at Indiana
Saturday, November 25th Indiana at Purdue

WELP.

Sure is nice to open with Ohio State. You know, that team we haven’t beaten in (almost) 30 years. A likely 3-1 start will probably lead to a 4-4 record heading into November. The Hoosiers are gonna have to be very good late in the season if they want their season to extend past the Old Oaken Bucket game for a third straight year. It’s gonna be another rough one, and that’s if things go well. If they don’t....well, 3-9 is probably the floor assuming no major injuries, but anything less than 4-8 would be an utter failure regardless.

When Talking to a Hoosiers Fan, Don’t Mention:

How the Kevin Wilson era ended; how awesome moral victories are; how full the tailgating fields look compared to how full the stadium will; anything disparaging about basketball if you value your life

Do Mention:

How Tegray Scales not making All-Big Ten first team last year was a travesty; how Archie Miller is the coach Indiana needs to hang another banner; pretty much anything that doesn’t make you sound like an uneducated moron, basically, since most Indiana fans are fairly laid back about most things

B1G 2017: Indiana Week

Monday I Season Preview (You Are Here)

Tuesday I Big Man on Campus

Wednesday I Visiting Bloomington

Thursday I Content TBD

Friday I Haters Gonna Hate, Hate, Hate

ALL DAY ERRY DAY I Potlucks