2. KEYS TO THE SEASON
Biggest Key To The Indiana Offense
The downfield passing has to show up – and that should happen under new offensive coordinator Kalen DeBoer. The receiving weapons are there, and Peyton Ramsey – as well as a few other good options – are in place at quarterback. Now the Hoosiers have to start pushing the passing attack more, and they need more yards after the catch.
The passing game worked – going for over 3,000 yards with 20 scores – but it averaged under ten yards per completion. By comparison, the IU O threw for over 14 yards per completion in 2015, 13.5 yards in 2016, and averaged 10.4 yards on every grab in 2017. Now, with tweaks to the attack, get ready for most shots down the field.
Biggest Key To The Indiana Defense
Get off the field. The IU defense wasn’t all that bad, but it wasn’t anything special on third downs. On the year, the Hoosiers allowed teams to convert 42% of their tries, and only four teams were under the 40% mark. How bad was this? IU’s D allowed teams to convert fewer than 30% of their third down tries in 2018.
The defense was even worse on fourth downs. Opposing offenses only tried 19 fourth down attempts, and Indiana had a hard time stopping anyone of them, allowing a second-worst-in-nation 74% of the conversions.
Key Player To A Successful Season
DT Jerome Johnson, Jr.
The Hoosiers have just enough good parts returning up front to be okay, but there aren’t a whole lot of killers on the inside. That’s where the 6-3, 294-pound Johnson comes in, While he’s not necessarily a top pass rusher, he came up with a team-high 3.5 sacks and was just good enough against the run to make 32 tackles. He’s strong, quick, and has the upside to serve as an anchor.
Key Game To The Indiana Season
at Purdue, Nov. 30
For the fifth straight season, get ready for Indiana to be in a win-or-season-over game against Purdue. In 2014 and 2015, wins over the Boilermakers led to bowl appearances – and losses. In 2017 and 2018, it was an elimination game for both teams, and IU dropped them both. For the future of the program – assuming it comes down to this game – it will be a make or break moment.
– Indiana Schedule Breakdown & Analysis
2018 Indiana Fun Stats
– 4th Down Conversions: Opponents 14-of-19 (74%) – Indiana 14-of-29 (48%)
– Yards Per Catch: Opponents 12.8 – Indiana 9.8
– Time of Possession: Opponents 31:12 – Indiana 28:48