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There's hope for a woebegone program to turn respectable.
Northwestern has been a thorn in the Big Ten's side for over a
decade, while Vanderbilt shocked the world by being not-that-bad in
SEC play. For Hoeppner and his Hoosiers, respectability might come
soon, but it's not going to happen this year.
This is a very, very young team with six senior projected
starters. All the top offensive playmakers still have at least two
years to go, so the plan has to be to keep taking positive steps
forward to try to explode in 2007. Of course, Hoeppner and IU can't
say they're looking ahead to next year, so along the way there need
to be more wins.
Head coach: Terry Hoeppner
2nd year: 4-7
8th year overall> 52-32
Best Hoosier Players
1. WR James Hardy, Soph.
2. FS Will Meyers, Sr.
3. OT Justin Frye, Sr.
4. CB Tracy Porter, Jr.
5. CB Leslie Majors, Jr.
6. QB Blake Powers, Jr.
7. WR James Bailey, Soph.
8. P Tyson Beattie, Sr.
9. PR/KR Lance Bennett, Sr.
10. WR Jahkeen Gilmore, Sr.
at Ball State
at Ohio State
2005 Results: 4-7
2005 predicted wins
at Central Mich
at Wisconsin L 41-24
Illinois W 36-13
at Iowa L 38-21
Ohio State L 41-10
at Michigan St L 46-15
Minnesota L 42-21
at Michigan L 41-14
Purdue L 41-14
Those will come if the
offense explodes like it did over the first half of last season. The
Hoosiers had to look of a scary-good offensive juggernaut early on
averaging 30.6 points per game over the first five with the combination
of quarterback Blake Powers and 6-7 receiver James Hardy playing at an
All-America level. And then something happened.
Indiana started playing really good teams.
After a nice 4-1 start with the only loss coming to Wisconsin, the
Hoosiers got blown out of the water over the final seven outings by a
combined score of 249 to 95. It wasn't just getting beaten badly by
teams like Ohio State and Michigan, it couldn't handle Michigan State or
On the plus side, Indiana won the games they should've
beating Central Michigan (but it was a battle), Nicholls State (but it
was a big battle), Kentucky, and Illinois before going on the
six-game losing streak. As long as Hoeppner and his Hoosiers win the
games they're supposed to, or at least have a fighting chance in,
eventually, it'll come up with a few upsets and come up with a winning
The overall athleticism has quickly
improved, and the systems are starting to take hold. A winning season
really is possible this year at Indiana if everything breaks right. If
you don't believe it, just ask Hoeppner.
Opening up against Western Michigan, at Ball State, and Southern
Illinois, IU must be 3-0 going into the home date against
Connecticut. A road win at Illinois could mean a 5-1 or a 4-2 start
before the roof caves in on the Big Ten season. Not playing
Northwestern hurts, but the Hoosiers miss Penn State. Starting in
mid-October, the schedule is Iowa, at Ohio State, Michigan State, at
Minnesota, Michigan, and at Purdue. One win in the final six would
be a success.
Sophomore WR James Hardy. He's 6-7, has enough athleticism to have
played on the basketball team, and was one of the hottest receivers
in the nation before the Hoosiers started playing secondaries with a
pulse. Even so, he should have a huge season with enough receiver
talent around him to take some of the heat off. However, he has to
be a part of the team after having off-the-field issues.
Defensive Player: Senior SS Will Meyers. As sure a tackler as
there is in the Big Ten, the 5-11, 201-pound senior is a good rock
in the veteran secondary. Corners Lesle Majors and Tracy Porter
could also be considered the team's best defensive players All three
will be in for big years for the Big Ten's leading returning pass
player to a successful season: The entire IU defensive line. The
linebacking corps is full of speedy, defensive backs, so it's up to
Charlie Emerson, Joe Kremer, Greg Brown, Kenny Kendal, and four
redshirt freshman to hold up against the power running teams. IU
allowed 215 rushing yards per game last season and 28 touchdowns.
That can't happen again to have any hope of a winning season.
season will be a success if ... IU wins six games. It's a tall,
tall, tall order for such a young team and with so many new
starters, but it's possible it can beat Western Michigan, Ball
State, Southern Illinois, Connecticut, and Illinois. If that
happens, and that's a huge if, it would take one big upset for the
best season since 1994.
game: Oct. 7 at Illinois. The schedule quickly becomes brutal
after the trip to Champaign playing Iowa and at Ohio State over the
following two weeks. The Hoosiers were able to beat the Zookers
36-13 last season with a balanced attack. The Illini defense hasn't
improved much, so IU has to come away with a win.
- Indiana only attempted two field goals over the final seven games.
Both were against Ohio State.
- Third quarter scoring: Opponents 106 - Indiana 35
- Penalties: Indiana 74 for 605 yards - Opponents 54 for 511 yards
The Last Time
…played in a bowl game…1993 (Independence Bowl vs. Virginia Tech)
…missed a bowl game…2005
…pitched a shutout…1993 (Michigan State)
…was shutout…2000 (Michigan)
…scored 50 points…2001 (Northwestern)
…won a conference title…1967 (share, Big Ten)
…had a 3,000-yard passer…never
…had a 1,000-yard rusher…2001 (Levron Williams)
…had a 1,000-yard receiver…2002 (Courtney Roby)
…had a first-round draft choice…1994 (WR Thomas Lewis)