The Wolverine

2014 Michigan Football Preview

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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190 ■ THE WOLVERINE 2014 FOOTBALL PREVIEW 9 INDIANA • NOV. 1 BY RYAN TICE In 2011, the first year under head coach Kevin Wilson, Indiana went 1-11. In 2012, the Hoosiers improved to 4-8, and last year they tacked on another victory to the final ledger. However, for Indiana to complete its turnaround and qualify for the school's first bowl game since 2007, the defense must improve. The Hoosiers have been downright im- pressive on offense under Wilson — they ranked among the Big Ten's top four and the nation's top 30 in all four major statis- tical categories last year, led by a top-10 finish for total offense (ninth, 508.5 yards per game). The other side of the ball, though, has been the league's worst in total defense in each of the last three years. Opponents actu- ally outgained IU with an average output of 527.9 yards per contest, and that eventu- ally led to the hiring of former Wake Forest coordinator Brian Knorr. Indiana expects to transition to a 3-4 base this season, partly because Knorr ran it at his last job and also because it fits the returning personnel best; the results certainly can't be any worse. The defense brings back nine starters in total. Five returning linebackers combined to start every game last season and logged a total of 281 tackles, including 16.5 for loss. Three of them were true freshmen last year and should be much improved this fall — including T.J. Simmons, who opened every game at middle linebacker and notched 68 tackles. Fifth-year senior strongside line- backer David Cooper is another leader after he paced the squad with 85 stops. Both the secondary and defensive line lose one starter; the biggest hole is left by safety Greg Heban, who led the way with three picks and ranked third with 82 tackles in 2013. The rest of the starting defensive backs combined for 199 tackles and 28 passes bro- ken up — 20 of which came from national leader Tim Bennett, who will be a senior cornerback but must help improve on last year's total of only seven picks. A total of 11 offensive players who saw significant action last year return, but three of the top four receivers must be replaced. Senior Shane Wynn checks in at just 5-7 and 167 pounds, and he is the only returner with at least 20 catches in 2013. He posted 46 receptions for 633 yards and 11 touchdowns last year, while he also scored on a punt re- turn and a rush. The all-around threat ranks in the school's top 10 for kick return yardage (third, 1,610), receiving touchdowns (tied for fifth, 17), catches (tied for eighth, 133) and all-purpose yardage (10th, 3,270). Senior wideout Nick Stoner posted 12 catches for 226 yards and a touchdown last season. Junior running back Tevin Coleman missed the final three games of the year with an ankle injury, but still racked up 958 yards and 12 touchdowns on 131 carries. He ranks second among returning players with 19 catches and will be complemented by se- nior D'Angelo Roberts, who rushed for 232 yards last fall, as well as the best IU front in a long time. The squad utilized two quarterbacks in 2013, but Tre Roberson — who threw for 1,128 yards and 15 touchdowns and rushed for another 423 yards and five scores — transferred in mid-June. That leaves class- mate Nate Sudfeld, who opened eight con- tests and finished 194-of-322 passing (60.2 percent) for 2,523 yards with 21 touchdowns and eight interceptions. He is less mobile, but takes care of the ball with 28 career touchdowns against 10 picks. Junior punter Erich Toth averaged 40.6 yards per attempt last year, but a new kicker must be found. New pass catchers should step up im- mediately to allow the offense to keep on ticking — but it won't matter much unless the defense makes drastic improvements. If they do, the bowl drought could end. If not, expect another prolific offense stuck in Bloomington for the holidays. Notes Athlon ranked Indiana's quarterbacks as the No. 18 group of signal-callers in the land, but that listing was before Tre Roberson transferred … Lindy's listed Tevin Coleman as the No. 16 running back in college football … IU's total of six lost starters is tied for second lowest in the Big Ten. ❑ Defensive Improvements Key To Hoosiers Ending Postseason Drought 2014 SCHEDULE Date Opponent 2013 Result Aug. 30 Indiana State W, 73-35 Sept. 13 at Bowling Green W, 42-10 Sept. 20 at Missouri L, 45-28 Sept. 27 Maryland — Oct. 4 North Texas — Oct. 11 at Iowa — Oct. 18 Michigan State L, 42-28 Nov. 1 at Michigan L, 63-47 Nov. 8 Penn State W, 44-24 Nov. 15 at Rutgers — Nov. 22 at Ohio State L, 42-14 Nov. 29 Purdue W, 56-36 QUICK FACTS All-Time Series: U-M leads 53-9 First Meeting: U-M 12, IU 0 (Nov. 3, 1900, at Ann Arbor) Last Meeting: U-M 63, U 47 (Oct. 19, 2013, at Ann Arbor) Head Coach: Kevin Wilson, 10-26 at IU and overall (4th year) Off./Def. Systems: Multiple/Multiple 2013 in Review: 5-7 overall, 3-5 Big Ten (T-4th Lead- ers Division) Final 2013 Ranking: Unranked Returning Starters: 18 (8 offense, 9 defense, 1 specialist) Last Bowl Appearance: 2007 (Insight, vs. Oklahoma State, L 49-33) Big Ten Conference Championships (last): 2 (1967) RETURNING LEADERS Passing: Nate Sudfeld (2,523 yards, 21 TD, 9 INT) Rushing: Tevin Coleman (958 yards, 12 TD) Receiving: Shane Wynn (633 yards, 11 TD) Tackles: David Cooper (85) Sacks: Nick Mangieri (3.0) Interceptions: 4 players tied with 1 PLAYERS TO WATCH Offense: Tevin Coleman, Jr., RB — The 6-1, 210-pounder was the team's most outstanding back as a sophomore and also earned All- Big Ten honorable mention honors from league coaches … Missed the final three games due to an injury which required surgery (he still managed to play in the spring game), but totaled 1,275 all-purpose yards, including 958 yards and 12 touch- downs rushing … Averaged 7.3 yards per carry. Defense: David Cooper, 5th-Sr., LB — Former junior college trans- fer has logged two straight cam- paigns with 12 starts and at least 85 tackles and six tackles for loss … Started at middle linebacker in 2012 and moved to the strong side last year, where he led the team in tackles with 85. Senior Shane Wynn posted 46 receptions for 633 yards and 11 touchdowns last year, and he also scored on a punt return. PHOTO BY MIKE DICKBERND/IU ATHLETICS 182-193.Opponents.indd 190 6/19/14 1:12 PM

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