Littrell: Coffman was ready

Like the rest of Indiana’s players and coaching staff, Seth Littrell was devastated to see sophomore quarterback Tre Roberson lying on the Gillette Stadium grass on Saturday afternoon with a broken leg that will end his season.

“Obviously, it’s a blow,” Littrell, the Hoosiers’ offensive coordinator said. “Not only for our football team. I’m more disappointed for Tre. The things that he was doing well and how he was growing and developing. You never want to see that. I’m down a little bit for him, but as a team, we’re going to stay up and stay positive. We’re going to keep moving forward. We got a lot of player around here who can step up and make plays.”

But still, Littrell said junior college transfer Cameron Coffman didn’t simply fall in to his starting job. The sophomore from Peculiar, Mo., and Arizona Western Community College has been with the Hoosiers since the spring and has had plenty of work with the first team offense. He was as efficient as Roberson in the spring, and even though the incumbent starter made a leap in preseason practice, Coffman continued to show he was capable of handling the offense.

“That’s what he’s here for,” Littrell said. “That’s why we give him a scholarship. That’s every player. Every player has to be ready when their time comes to take those snaps. That’s why you have to be mentally ready throughout the week and understanding what we’re trying to do within the game plan. I thought he did a nice job of preparing last week. He gave himself a chance last week. It didn’t just pop up in the game to where he came in and all the sudden said I’m here to show up. It takes preparation throughout the week, and if you’re not ready throughout the week, you’re not going to be ready when your time comes.”

Coffman completed 16 of 22 passes for 159 yards and a touchdown in his first Division I game. He obviously doesn’t have the speed of Roberson and doesn’t have the pure arm strength of true freshman Nate Sudfeld, but he is accurate and appears to manage the game well.

“Each of them have different strengths, but obviously Cam can throw the ball around,” Littrell said. “He’s probably not as much of a threat as Tre is in the run game, but we weren’t trying to run the quarterback a ton anyway. We just need to stick with our game plan and stick with what we’re doing on offense and we’ll be fine.”

Littrell appeared to suggest that there still exists a competition between Coffman and Sudfeld, but the reason for that appeared to be that he simply hadn’t conferred with head coach Kevin Wilson on what to say publicly.

“We’ll see what happens,” Littrell said. “I’m going to talk a little more with Coach Wilson about that. We’ll see how the week goes and I’ll let him make the decision when he’s ready.”

Wilson appeared to have made his decision by the end of Saturday’s game. Wilson said afterward that Coffman is the starter and Sudfeld is the backup.

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