This week Ohio State takes on the Hoosiers from Indiana who played incredibly tough against the Spartans last week… this could be an interesting game for the Buckeyes. For some insight on the Hoosiers, we welcome back John M. from www.crimsonquarry.com to answer some questions from our panel. Here’s what John has to say:
1. Indiana took Michigan State to the wire last Saturday. Did you expect that this team would be able to put up such a good fight against the Big Ten runners up from last year?
No, I really didn’t expect it. I think the second half looked much how I feared the first half would look when IU’s offense tried to take on MSU’s defense. As it stood, IU was able to put up some points against the MSU defense in the first half, and the defense played well, too, forcing MSU to punt on 7 of its first 10 possessions before finally collapsing. I wouldn’t have expected IU to be in the game without a dramatic turnover advantage, but it happened.
2. How do you feel about the work Kevin Wilson has done at Indiana so far? Are the Hoosiers moving in the right direction?
I like Wilson. I like his resume and the staff he has put together. Obviously, at some point the wins will have to come, but I do think this team is meaningfully better than last year’s team, which is better than the alternative.
3. What does Indiana like to do offensively that has made them suddenly so dangerous? Which players are the vital cogs that make the offense work so well?
IU has been running a very fast-paced offense that is somewhat similar to what would have been seen at Texas Tech under Mike Leach. IU OC Seth Littrell is a Leach protégé. I’ve been very impressed with all three quarterbacks that IU has used this year, and as always seems to be the case, IU has some respectable pieces at the offensive skill positions: Stephen Houston and Tevin Coleman at RB, Kofi Hughes, Cody Latimer, Nick Stoner, and Duwyce Wilson at WR, Ted Bolser at TE. I do think IU’s offensive numbers are a bit deceiving. IU has been productive, but in all three losses IU has had extended periods of close to zero offensive production: the second half against MSU, the first half against Northwestern, the third quarter against Ball State. IU’s defense is improving, but IU won’t win another game if the offense continues to take entire quarters and halves off.
4. How do you see the Hoosier’s defense adjusting from attacking Michigan State’s power running game to Ohio State’s spread look? Read More
Tim checks in again looking at the guy behind the guy behind the guy across the B1G
Throwing the forward pass is a big question mark for the majority of Big Ten quarterbacks. Their athleticism, though, is not.
Many of the 2012 Big Ten starting quarterbacks are doing everything they can to fight the stereotype of “game manager.” For a conference usually classified by others as boring, I see only four of the 12 projected starters as “pro-style” quarterbacks; the rest can be classified as “dual-threats” or “athletes.”
With that said, I give to you my 2012 Big Ten quarterback rankings.
12. Matt McGloin (Penn State): McGloin has started ten games in his Nittany Lion career, but just hasn’t gotten any better. However, he’s far and away PSU’s best option at quarterback. Last year, McGloin threw for 1,571 yards with 8 touchdowns and 5 interceptions. With the Penn State program in such turmoil, it would be nice if they had a savior at quarterback. Matt McGloin is not that.
11. Tre Roberson (Indiana): Although he was just a true freshman, Roberson struggled as Indiana’s starting quarterback last year. His rushing ability can make him a dangerous player for defense to account for. And in Roberson’s defense, he plays for Indiana.
10. Andrew Maxwell (Michigan State): Maxwell sat behind Kirk Cousins for two seasons, not getting many opportunities to show off his talent. Inexperience is the reason why I have Maxwell ranked where I do. He’s got the physical skills, but just simply hasn’t played in enough games yet for me to rate him any higher than ten.
9. Kain Colter (Northwestern): Colter may not be the best natural quarterback for the Wildcats, but he’s definitely their best athlete. In addition to quarterback, he also spent time playing running back and wide receiver for Northwestern. In 2011, Colter threw for 673 yards and six touchdowns, ran for 654 yards and nine touchdowns and caught 43 passes for 466 yards and three touchdowns. For Northwestern, it is simple: Get him the damn ball.
8. Caleb TerBush (Purdue): From everything I’ve heard, Purdue doesn’t even know who its starting quarterback is going to be. It’s a race between TerBush and Robert Marve, who has been playing college football for about fifteen years now. My guess is the Boilermakers will go with TerBush, who threw for nearly 2,000 yards and 13 touchdowns last year.
7. MarQueis Gray (Minnesota): Gray has all of the physical tools to be an All-Big Ten selection. The 6’4” 240 quarterback has a deadly combination of size and speed, but he hasn’t lived up to all of his hype—now entering his senior season. He did take major strides last season, though, under coach Jerry Kill. Gray threw for nearly 1,500 yards last season and ran for 966, scoring 14 total touchdowns. But, like Roberson, Gray does not have much help as he plays for a team that finished 3-9 last season.
6. Nathan Scheelhaase (Illinois): Illini fans were left wanting more from Scheelhaase in 2011. After a very promising freshman campaign in which he threw for over 1,800 yards, ran for 868 yards and scored 22 total touchdowns, Scheelhaase showed little improvement in h is sophomore season. In fact, many Illinois supporters say he took a step backwards during his sophomore campaign. He threw for just 13 touchdowns and ran for 624 yards. Losing superstar wide receiver A.J. Jenkins won’t make things easier for him either, but Scheelhaase is another dual-threat quarterback that has the ability to drive opposing coaches crazy.
Based on the results of the game this past weekend, the answer to that question may be more up in the air than an Ohio State fan would like to admit.
Regardless of the answer, one thing seems certain: Ohio State’s struggles passing the ball are here to stay despite everyone’s hope to see improvement (particularly against the hapless Hoosiers- things will only get more difficult moving forward).
If it makes anyone feel better (it shouldn’t), every week the problems have less and less to do with the players on the field and more and more to do with the coaching staff (and I question how much the problems had to do with the players from the beginning).
The youth and inexperience angle may have explained the problems at the start of the season, but we are now entering week 9 and my tolerance for such excuses is at an end.
Wasting time on the devastatingly mediocre skills of Joe Bauserman and setting back Braxton Miller’s maturation certainly didn’t help matters on the experience front, but is that really a valid excuse for a coaching staff that was responsible for that failure as well?
Consider the following points from the last game:
And yet, under all of those “at-least-as-bad-as-Ohio State” circumstances, the Hoosiers managed to pass the ball for 174 yards against the Buckeyes. Read More
The Buckeyes tangled with the Indiana Hoosiers on a sunny day in the Horseshoe in a game that was much closer than many thought.
Big runs from Boom Herron, Braxton Miller and Carlos Hyde helped lift the Buckeyes to the 34-20 win at home. All three runners gained more than 100 yards on the ground, the first time that has happened since the 1989 game against Northwestern, and 4 total touchdowns – two from Miller. Braxton Miller also added 5 completions on 11 attempts for 55 yards through the air.
Indiana started the game with the ball and came out on the attack. Showing they weren’t afraid of the Buckeye front four, the Hoosiers ran it straight down OSU’s throat repeatedly. The strategy gained them good yardage on the ground, most likely due to the fact that the OSU defense looked a little flat on defense. That’s not usually a surprise as they usually look that way for the first couple series of a game, Indiana was simply doing a good job of taking advantage of it.
John Simon eventually caught an Indiana ball carrier in the backfield on third down. The Hoosiers were forced to kick a field goal, but were clearly happy to be on the scoreboard first. On that drive Tre Roberson looked confident and well in command of the Indiana offense. The future definitely looks bright for the Hoosiers with him in the backfield.
The Buckeyes attempt to evade the trap set by the Indiana Hoosiers today, and we’ll be here to chat about it!
0-5 is a rough way to start in the Big Ten. What does Kevin Wilson need to do to get this Indiana team a conference win? Now that he has more experience, do you think Wilson is the right fit for Indiana?
Well, he needs to beat Purdue. That’s the only hope for a conference win. IU could improve its play 100 percent in each of the next two games and wins at Ohio State and at Michigan State still would be unlikely. The offense, led by true freshman QB Tre Roberson and RB Stephen Houston, seems to be coming around, but to have any hope of beating Purdue, we will have to cobble something together on defense. As for Wilson, I think it’s too early to say. I really liked his qualifications when he was hired and I still do. I really liked the qualifications of his staff and I still do. This season has been a disappointment, particularly on defense, and Wilson seems willing to blow things up to some degree and start from scratch. We’ll see if it works. Plenty of successful coaches have had rough first years (Barry Alvarez, Bill Snyder, Bill Mallory at IU). Plenty of unsuccessful coaches have had rough starts as well. It’s just too early to tell.
What is one thing that Indiana fans are hopeful can get sorted out by the end of the season? Read More