Who needs Tre Roberson? - Mark L. Baer-US PRESSWIRE
With Homecoming this Saturday against Indiana we figured now would be the best time to find out about this team they call the "Hoosiers." Like, is Gene Hackman still coaching the team?
Hey, look, it's our first Q&A with a fellow SB Nation blog. We're popping our cherry over here with John M. from The Crimson Quarry, and we'd like to thank John for being so gentle and caring for our first time. He looked deep into our eyes the entire time and let us know that he cared.
(My responses to John's questions can be read here)
1. Now that he's over halfway into his second year running the program, what are your feelings about Kevin Wilson and where he's taking Indiana football?
I still feel pretty good about Wilson. I really liked his resume, his background working for Bob Stoops and as the offensive coordinator for Northwestern's 2000 Big Ten title team, when he was hired and I think he has put a quality staff together. He is recruiting very well, and the offense has looked good this season. As my post-Navy posts indicate, I am a bit worn down by the close losses. Still, this is a very young team and the team is meaningfully better than last year's team. If that trend continues into the future, then he will be fine.
Yes. I am impressed with the way Coffman and true freshman Nate Sudfeld have played in place of Roberson. The development of Roberson as a passer during the limited time in which we saw him, as well as the way the two new guys have played, speaks well of the staff in terms of recruiting and player development. I do think this team would be better off with Roberson because of his ability to run the ball, but Coffman and Sudfeld have done a nice job, and it will make next spring and fall very interesting.
3. Obviously with Kevin Wilson's offense, the run game is more of a complimentary aspect than a focus. However, Stephen Houston is a pretty good running back. Would you like to see Houston get more than the 12 carries per game he's averaging?
I think that number is skewed a bit by some early season games in which Houston didn't play all that much. I think a strong running game is always nice to have, and it would have been very useful if IU had been able to run out the clock with a lead against Navy last week, but it's hard for me to complain too much about a very productive offense.
4. The Hoosiers defense has not performed well against the run this season. What, if anything, do you think the Hoosiers could do to change that this season?
Stop playing Navy, for one. In all seriousness, I'm not sure there is much that can be done at this point. Like every other unit, the defense is young, and recruiting is going well. I think better players and more experience for the current guys are the only obvious solutions.
5. Indiana hasn't won a Big Ten game since November 27,2010. Illinois hasn't won a Big Ten game since October 8, 2011 -- against Indiana of all teams. Which one of these teams is finally going to win another damned Big Ten game?
Unfortunately, from my perspective, I think it's going to be Illinois. My fear is that IU will be worn down by all of the close losses and will lay an egg in Champaign, a place where the Hoosiers have won only once since 1979. My suspicion is that it won't be close either way. I think it's possible that IU will finally pull everything together for 60 minutes and blow the Illini out. On the other hand, I think it's more likely that after several weeks of playing hard and well without a win, IU will have a subpar performance in a game where a solid performance would yield a win. I hope I'm wrong, but that's my outlook.
I hope you're right.