By Ryan Clark
In 2018, the Indiana Hoosiers went 5-7 (2-7 in the conference), including a nice non-conference victory over Virginia. For the most part, they were competitive in B1G play, as several of their losses were by a touchdown or less.
Coach Tom Allen brings a 10-15 (4-14) record into 2019. In the offseason, offensive coordinator Mike DeBord retired, and Allen replaced him with former Fresno St offensive coordinator Kalen DeBoer. Additionally, Kane Wommack was promoted from linebackers coach to defensive coordinator. Allen was performing both the head coaching and defensive coordinator duties, but decided it was time to give up the keys.
The Hoosiers have recruited pretty well, but the wins have been hard to come by. So, what’s the problem? It’s tough to say. It doesn’t help that they play in the B1G East, arguably the toughest division of college football.
So, how will the year go for Indiana? Let’s take a look at the crystal ball:
Week 1 (Aug 31) – vs Ball St: The Cardinals are no match for the Hoosiers in the opener, as Indiana’s revamped offense looks sharp. Ball St puts up a late TD, but the outcome has already been decided. The Hoosiers take this one, 35-17. Record: 1-0.
Week 2 (Sep 7) – vs Eastern Illinois: The FCS Panthers come to town, looking for a payday and hoping their team makes it through the day intact. The Hoosiers emerge victorious, 48-6. Record: 2-0.
Week 3 (Sep 14) – vs Ohio St: The Hoosiers stick around for awhile, but eventually succumb to Ohio St’s will in the second half. The Buckeyes simply have too much firepower. Ohio St wins this one, 41-24. Record: 2-1.
Week 4 (Sep 21) – UConn: Ok, so the Huskies are just flat-out awful. Indiana has no problem dispatching of their foe in this one. Hoosiers win, 34-9. Record: 3-1.
Week 5 (Sep 28) – at Michigan St: The Hoosiers hit the road for the first time this season. These two exchange blows for much of the game, until the Hoosiers finally get the TKO. Indiana pulls off the upset, 35-31. Record: 4-1.
Week 6 (Oct 12) – vs Rutgers: In what will be Rutgers’ coach Ash’s final game, The Scarlet Knights get outmatched and out-coached. Ash will be fired the next day. The Hoosiers aren’t really that much better than Rutgers, but they clobber the Knights, 31-7. Record: 5-1.
Week 7 (Oct 19) – at Maryland: Even though the Terrapins are having a down year, they show they’ve got some fight in them. Turnovers and penalties prove costly for the Hoosiers, as Maryland wins, 24-20. Record: 5-2.
Week 8 (Oct 26) – at Nebraska: The Huskers are coming off a bye week. In this matchup, Nebraska is just better at almost every position. Nebraska takes this one, 34-17. Record: 5-3.
Week 9 (Nov 2) – vs Northwestern: The Wildcats come to town for what should be a game between two evenly-matched teams. It will be hard-fought, but Northwestern gets the W, 27-24. Record: 5-4.
Week 10 (Nov 16) – at Penn St: Indiana uses the bye week to heal and prep for the Nittany Lions. Talent-wise, the Hoosiers are a notch behind Penn St though. The Lions take this one, 28-17. Record: 5-5.
Week 11 (Nov 23) – vs Michigan: Let’s face it. The Wolverines just have too much firepower. Indiana sticks around in the first half, but succumb to Michigan’s might in the second, as the Wolverines pull away and win this one, 34-13. Record: 5-6.
Week 12 (Nov 30) – at Purdue: In what will be a fight to get to a bowl game, as Indiana and Purdue come into this game with identical records. This one is a coin flip, but being a home game for Purdue, they have the edge. The Boilers win this one, 24-21. Record: 5-7.
So, there you have it. The crystal ball has foreseen a 5-7 (2-7) record for Indiana. A few of these games will be decided within a TD. Without a few turnovers or untimely penalties, this team could win maybe seven games. In time, they will learn how to win these close ones.