Preview 2016

Preview 2016: Indiana & Kevin Wilson Starting To Win


Indiana Hoosiers Preview 2016: Kevin Wilson is proving it’s possible to win at Indiana.


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Among the Power 5 programs, maybe it’s tougher to win big at Purdue. Maybe it’s hard to take a smallish private school like Duke or Vanderbilt and do things at a high level. But when it comes to history, recruiting, and general interest in the sport, it’s just hard to come up with a winner at Indiana.

But Kevin Wilson has done a terrific job of creating a factory for entertaining offenses. When the pieces are there and healthy, the results can be terrific with attacks that can hang with just about anyone.

Tevin Coleman became a decent draft pick, as did Jordan Howard, making IU a place where tough, athletic backs can come up with big numbers behind a strong O line that has a few pro players, too. And that’s what Wilson quickly realized in his tenure that he had to do.

It’s not like the defensive side has been completely blown off, but it’s been years since the Hoosiers had a D that could stop anyone on a consistent basis. So either it’s crank up the offense, or die.

Last year, IU was able to put up 31 points or more nine times and averaged over 500 yards per game. This time around, Wilson has to put the right pieces in place to fit the system with Howard gone along with QB Nate Sudfeld, but he’s got options at quarterback, a talented back in Devine Redding to be the next star up, and one of the best receiving corps in his six years at the helm.

The IU defense is the IU defense. Always blowing through defensive coordinators, the Hoosiers are trying out Mark Hagen to try getting something out of a veteran group with eight starters returning. There’s actual talent to go along with the experience across the board, especially at linebacker and with a better-looking secondary that should show some improvement.

It’s still a process, though. Indiana is still going to have to live with a few dud performances here and there when it’s just not going to have the horses to compete. But considering it took Wilson four years before breaking through and going bowling, and now that the program is settling into a groove, yeah, as it turns out, it’s okay to win football games at Indiana.