BTN takeaways from Friday’s visit to IU camp

The Big Ten Network’s football crew was back in Bloomington to kick off their annual fall camp bus tour on Friday, arriving in town to watch Indiana’s third practice of the month.

In a segment that aired on Friday evening’s episode of “BTN Live,” analysts Howard Griffith and Gerry DiNardo, the former IU head coach, offered some of their takeaways from the morning session.

Both Griffith and DiNardo raised concerns about the Hoosiers’ running game.

“I do wonder if they’re gonna be able to run the ball consistently,” Griffith said. I think that’s one of the things they really have focused on in this training camp, being physical up front. But the perimeter, I like their options outside.”

DiNardo agreed.

“I think the issue is the run game,” he said. “We have seen some really good offensive linemen coming through here the last three or four years, guys that are in the pros. We’ve seen the same thing at running back. Whether they have that kind of quality, we’re gonna have to wait and see because really what they were doing in the past was really based on the run game and the (run-pass options). If the run game is not as strong and the pass game changes, that may be where they settle in.”

After Indiana improved from No. 120 in total defense to No. 45 last year, DiNardo believes the Hoosiers can be better in 2017.

One of coach Tom Allen’s goals is to have IU finish the season as a top 25 defense. DiNardo thinks the Hoosiers have the talent and the experience to continue improving.

“Experience is a great asset,” DiNardo said. “I think there’s two things about the defense. Defensive tackle, I think, is the spot where they need to develop the most as compared to the last couple years, because they were getting big and thick in the middle the last few years.

“And they need some help from the offense. I know I say this over and over again; I’m not sure this defense can hold up if they’re gonna be uptempo every time on offense. Now, if they’re uptempo, moving the chains, scoring a bunch of points, then the defense will be OK. But if they’re uptempo and punting on third down, I worry about putting too much pressure on that defense.”

Meanwhile, Griffith was complimentary of quarterback Richard Lagow and IU’s passing game.

“I think the one thing that jumps out when you start to talk about offense, you’ve got to look at the guy that’s gonna be throwing the football and that’s Richard Lagow,” Griffith said. “Physically, this guy looks great in the pocket. Looks like he had a great command of the offense and the reality is he has some outstanding weapons that are out there on the perimeter. He’s gonna be able to make a lot of plays.”

Watch more from BTN’s trip to Bloomington in the clips below: