College Football News Preview 2020: Indiana Hoosiers Keys To The Season
Biggest Key To The Indiana Hoosiers Offense
It was this simple for the Hoosiers, at least last year – run well, win football games. Being able to run for any relatively arbitrary number wouldn’t have mattered in losses to Ohio State and Michigan, but IU was 8-0 last season when it ran for 100 yards, and 0-5 when it didn’t.
How much does 100 rushing yards matter to the Hoosiers? November 3rd, 2012. That was the last time they won when going under the mark, beating Iowa 24-21. They’re 0-23 since then when the ground game doesn’t hit triple-digits.
For a team that finished seventh in the nation in time of possession, run well, rely on your accurate passer to move the chains, control the tempo.
Biggest Key To The Indiana Hoosiers Defense
More big plays would be nice. Helped by an offense that kept the chains moving and stayed on the field, the defense was able to do just enough to stay in most games. There’s enough experience returning, though, to start turning games around.
The pass rush was okay, but hardly anything special, especially in Big Ten play. The Hoosiers failed to generate more than one sack in five of the last nine games, and 14 of the 27 sacks overall came against Ball State, Eastern Illinois, UConn and Rutgers.
Partly because of the lack of steady pressure, the interceptions didn’t come with just seven on the season and three in the first nine games.
Key Indiana Hoosiers Player To A Successful Season
PK Charles Campbell, Soph.
Rutgers transfer Jared Smolar has a big leg and will get his shot at the starting placekicking gig, but it should be Campbell’s to lose.
Campbell hit both of his field goal attempts last season, and now he should be the difference one way or another in at least two games.
It’s his job to try replacing All-Big Ten banger Logan Justus, who had a few problems against Purdue with three misses, but nailed 17 of his other 18 field goal attempts. The other miss, though, was the 52-yarder in the Gator Bowl loss to Tennessee.
Campbell came through with a 41-yarder in the 44-41 win over the Boilermakers.
Key Game To The Indiana Hoosiers Season
Michigan State, Oct. 24
It would be fantastic to take down Wisconsin in Camp Randall in the season opener, but that’s an interdivisional battle that might not matter all that much. The next five games should be relative layups for IU if all goes according to plan, and then comes the fun.
The November road games at Ohio State and Michigan come after facing Penn State. Before all that, Michigan State comes to Bloomington.
The Spartan offense was awful last year, but it managed to go off in the 40-31 win last year. IU has lost the last three in the series and ten of the last 11.
2019 Indiana Fun Stats
– Time of Possession: Indiana 33:44 – Opponents 26:16
– First Quarter Scoring: Indiana 130 – Opponents 65
– Punt Return Average: Opponents 9.1 yards – Indiana 4.0 yards