Preview 2018: Previewing and looking ahead to the Indiana Hoosiers season with what you need to know.
Preview 2018: Indiana Hoosiers
– What You Need To Know: Offense | Defense
– Top Players, Key Game, Fun Stats
– What Will Happen & Win Total Prediction
– Recruiting Class Analysis | Schedule Analysis
– Indiana Previews 2017 | 2016 | 2015
Indiana is past the point of moral victories now.
It might not seem like much, but even after a 5-7 season, and with just 17 wins over the last three years, this has been the strongest era of Hoosier football since the early 1990s. It took a while to get here, but there has to be so much more to come. Indiana football needs to do a lot more, and head man Tom Allen has to prove he’s the one to do it.
How does that happen? How can IU generate a buzz? How about coming up with a winning season?
For all of the positives under recent head coaches, and for all the gains made, 2007 has only winning season since 1994.
The last time Indiana beat a team that finished with a winning record? It was early in the 2015 season with a victory over Western Kentucky. That was 35 games ago, but that’s okay. No one’s expecting Big Ten East titles, but just go bowling again for the third time in four years.
Just beat Purdue.
This is a tough time, though, for the Hoosiers to try making a whole lot of noise in the Big Ten East. Ohio State, Michigan, Michigan State and Penn State are still who they are, Maryland is quickly improving, and even Rutgers might be a sneaky-good thing this year.
The Hoosiers were right there in losses to Michigan, Michigan State, Maryland and Purdue, but whatever. Maybe the 2003 or 2010 Indiana teams would’ve taken solace in close call losses, but those aren’t okay now.
This is when the success has to be sustainable. One loss to Purdue at the end of last year isn’t a referendum on the state of the program, or Allen. But after Kevin Wilson was able to come up with victories over the Boilermakers in the final weekends of the 2015 and 2016 seasons to go bowling, yeah, this is a big year for Allen.
Go bowling this time around, and the reasonable success really might be sustainable.
This year’s offense should be far better. The young receiving corps gets back a star in Nick Westbrook after he missed all of last year with a torn ACL. The line comes back full, the running backs are talented, and the addition of Arizona grad transfer Brandon Dawkins and dynamic new recruit Michael Penix upgraded the quarterback situation.
The defense that was so terrific – for the most part – last season loses seven starters, but there’s more speed now, more athleticism, and enough promise to expect the production to stay at a relatively decent level. There have to be more takeaways, and the pass rush has to keep on coming, but this is a good enough group to win with – as long as the offense is doing its job.
This is going to be a good, smart, solid team that will be a tough out every week. If that sounds like the equivalent of “… but he/she has a good personality,” that’s exactly what it is.
Tom Allen, make Indiana football more beautiful.