State of IU Football

Three Burning Questions

 Photo credit SB Nation.

Photo credit SB Nation.

Written By: Ben Malcomson 10/15/2018

After digesting a disappointing loss to Iowa this past weekend, I figured this is a better time than any to review what I feel are the three burning questions surrounding the team heading into their next match-up versus a talented Penn State team.

Does the recent slide fall on the shoulders of Coach Tom Allen alone?

Absolutely not. He is the head coach which is the first to come under fire, but just like with success, it’s a team effort when it comes to failure.  I don’t get the inside track to every game preparation, speech to the team, film breakdown session, but I do believe the coaching staff recognizes their flaws and the players can identify their flaws game in and game out.  In my opinion, it’s a matter of NOT over-complicating it.  Instead of seeing the game as a whole, they should be seeing the game per play in the moment.  Do not over-complicate a defensive set, just make the fundamental plays.  For example, the tackling has to be a main focus.  If you cannot be successful at executing the basics like tackling, then you will not see success at this level.  The team has already shown us what they are capable of even at limited depth when clicking.  It’s a matter of owning it, identifying it, and go there and focus on executing the opposite of the flaw.  The blame falls on the staff and the players.  Long story short, they are better than the team that showed up Saturday.

Do the Hoosiers Turn to Michael Penix Full-Time right now?

I am not fully sold yet on going full-go with Penix RIGHT NOW, but I do want to see the Hoosier coaching staff utilize him more the next couple of games, get a feel for how he handles the moment, and then evaluate if a move should be made. Especially, if Ramsey struggles early. They will need that spark.  I would personally be surprised if they do not start Peyton Ramsey going into the Penn State game.  But, if they decided to make the change, then I trust the staff is making the best decision to be successful NOW and not later whether it’s Ramsey or Penix leading this team to the promise land.  I feel we will soon find out.

What does IU need to do to be in a better position for success on the field?

The reality is, we want to reach bowl eligibility.  To reach that goal, I feel the Hoosiers need to do a few things:

1)       Start taking chances more often with the deep passing game on offense. Judging by Ramsey’s deep passing game so far, it could be spotty, but it at least keeps the defense somewhat guessing.  It is too easy for teams to game plan to stop this IU team right now.  They need to keep the defense guessing. Not to mention, we do have weapons at wide receiver. Make use of their skill.

2)      Two-dimensional football – IU must get a running game started. As basic as it sounds, it is going to take an offensive line that is in-sync, and a QB who sees the field well and identifies if a play needs to change in the moment.  Could mean a different running play.  Could mean a different passing play.  I am not so sure the hurry up offense is even the best for this Hoosier team, but I don’t see that suddenly changing though.  On another note, the defense needs time to recuperate.  When you still face issues with talent, high stamina depth (although deeper than last year), it really wears down your own team mentally and physically.

3)      Back to the basics – Tackle, tackle, and tackle.  Limit turnovers.  I think our team mentality right now tries to see the play ahead versus living in the moment and making the play now versus thinking about what kind of play you might have the opportunity to do next.

Saturday will be here before you know it.  I do not realistically expect an IU victory, but I have not lost hope they could pull it out.  Let’s start with being competitive and having fun while doing it.  IU is on the door step of success.  Do not over-complicate it.