Indiana Hoosiers Football: 2015 Season Preview and Prediction


The Indiana Hoosiers must replace Tevin Coleman and Kevin Wilson is feeling the heat after failing to lead the team to a bowl game through his first four seasons in Bloomington. What should we expect of the Hoosiers in 2015?

Indiana has one postseason appearance in 21 years but barring something unforeseen from Kevin Wilson’s team in 2015, it will be one postseason appearance in 22 years.

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The Hoosiers have to find a way to replace 2,000-yard rusher Tevin Coleman after he declared early for the NFL Draft and last year’s no. 11 total defense in the Big Ten has to find a way to slow down opposing offenses otherwise Wilson could be on the way out.

Offensive Outlook

Indiana’s offense last year was Coleman after he finished second in the nation to Melvin Gordon in rushing yards when he had 2,036 yards and 15 touchdowns. The Hoosiers had the No. 10 rushing attack that year but the passing game was virtually non-existent, averaging 141.4 yards per game, good for the nation’s No. 122 passing offense.

The passing game suffered after Nate Sudfeld was injured and missed the last six games of the year. He threw for 1,151 yards and six touchdowns after throwing for 2,523 yards and 21 touchdowns in 2013. If Sudfeld can revert back to the form he displayed two years ago the offense should be able to move the chains and control the game with their tempo and spread the field to open the running game.

Coleman is gone but in comes UAB transfer Jordan Howard who ran for a school single-season record 1,587 yards last year. Opening up room for Howard and backup Tommie Mister are offensive line stalwarts Dan Feeney and Jason Spriggs.

Sudfeld should be boosted in the passing game by another UAB transfer in Marqui Hawkins and junior-college transfer Camion Patrick. Both receivers are big targets at 6-2 and combined with tight end Jordan Fuchs, the Hoosiers should have some dependable options to get the ball deep and win one-on-one battles.

Defensive Outlook

Indiana allowed 32.8 points per game last year which ranked 102nd in the nation and second-to-last in the Big Ten. The pass defense was the worst in the Big Ten, allowing an average of 251.1 yards per game so there’s a lot of room for improvement to be made in the secondary and upgrading the pass rush.

As bad as those numbers look, they were actually an improvement from the year before, so the second year in Brian Knorr’s 3-4 defense could produce a similar uptick in production.

The defensive line is anchored by nose tackle Nate Hoff who was second on the team with 8.5 tackles for loss and sacks with 3.5 as a freshman. Darius Latham, Ralph Green III are being counted on being bigger contributors this year after showing flashes last year.

At linebacker Nick Mangieri has to bring a pass rush from the Bandit position in Knorr’s 3-4 and has to be better than the two sacks he had last year. T.J. Simmons and Tegray Scales are the two most productive linebackers on the roster and should be in the middle of most stops for Indiana this year but keep an eye on Greg Gooch making an impact as a sophomore.

As mentioned earlier, the secondary was a sore spot on last year’s team and both starting cornerbacks are gone. That can be looked as a positive if you’re an optimist because they weren’t great with Tim Bennett and Mark Murphy but the lack of starting experience is never a good thing. Getting the chance to replace them are Rashad Fant and Donovan Clark who gained valuable experience as freshmen. Antonio Allen returns after leading the team in tackles and should form a nice safety duo with Chase Dutra after he had a promising freshman year.


Indiana will make a bowl game if they beat Southern Illinois, FIU and win at Wake Forest to start 3-1 before entering Big Ten play. From there they will have to beat Rutgers in Bloomington and pick up two wins from home game against Iowa, road game at Maryland and the season finale at home against Purdue. The first three wins shouldn’t be too tough but the next three wins to get to six wins will be a challenge, unless the pass defense is markedly better and Sudfeld picks up where he left off in 2013.

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