Andy Graham’s updates and commetary, Iowa at Indiana football

FINAL: INDIANA 24, IOWA 21. Things get interesting now, don’t they, Hoosier fans? First back-to-back Big Ten wins since 2007 and first Big Ten home win since 2009. Defense played well. Coffman played well. Badgers next week for what is now a really big one.

Iowa uses final timeout at 1:16. Indiana 3rd and 9 at Iowa 44.

Indiana calls time with a 1st and 10 at Iowa 45, up 24-21. Iowa has two timeouts remaining.

Indiana’s first lost fumble of the season could hardly have come at a worse time. Bad handoff to Houston on 3rd and 1 at Iowa 19. Hoosiers were going on a quick snap. But then IU defense gets yet another stop. Indiana has the ball, still up 24-21, at its own 32 with 4:43 to play.

Cam Coffman keeping more plays alive with his feet today, a big key so far.

10:58: Indiana 24, Iowa 21. Coffman hits Latimer on perfect post-pattern TD toss, with Latimer fully extending on the run to snag his third scoring pass of the day. IU’s offense answered the bell big-time after Iowa had retaken the lead, roaring 61 yards on just 4 plays, including a couple of strong runs by Stephen Houston.

IU’s offense had wasted a chance on its previous possession to really maintain momentum, with the lead and the ball in Iowa territory on the previous possession, but a false start by Spriggs after an Iowa timeout spoiled a 3rd-and-1 chance at the Hawkeye 35. Plays like that can cost games.

12:17: Iowa 21, Indiana 17. A 4-yard Bullock run caps a 10-play, 88-yard Iowa drive keyed by passing. Whenever Vandenberg has time to throw, IU’s secondary is getting shredded a lot of the time. It’s the same old bug-a-boo, waaaaaaay too much cushion by Indiana’s corners playing in soft zones. Iowa receivers getting wide open even on obvious passing downs. If the Hoosier defensive front, which continues to play well, doesn’t get pressure, it’s pretty much an easy completion.

END THIRD QUARTER: Indiana 17, Iowa 14. Hawkeyes will start the fourth quarter with a 1st and 10 at the Hoosier 34. A 39-yard pass off play-action from Vandenberg to Martin-Manley keyed the drive. Indiana crowd, sparse to begin win, is sparser now. But those left will watch a pretty big quarter in terms of the program.

IU defensive front continues to shine. Another 3-and-out for Iowa. Indiana with the ball and some mo’.

7:28: Indiana 17, Iowa 14. Coffman rolls out of the pocket and finds a wide-open Kofi Hughes for 77 yards for what was initially ruled a TD until review oveturned it and gave Indiana the ball at the Hawkeye one-foot line. But then Peyton Eckert then had a false start, starting a keystone cops series of plays that had a pair of penalties called on each side. Finally, on a 2nd-and-goal from the 6, Coffman hits Latimer on a slant for the score, with Latimer taking a big hit but holding on. Hoosiers have their first lead of the day.

Indiana’s Antonio Marshall, who had just missed a tackle a couple of snaps early, gets a big pick in front of Jordan Cotton at the pylon to deny Iowa points with 10:00 left in the third. Still 14-10 Hawkmen.

Iowa, after only 21 first half rushing yards, clearly came out intending to run the ball down IU throats in the second half.

Very quick 3-and-out for Indiana after what looked like a very available pass to convert a third down was knocked down at the line.

HALFTIME: IOWA 14, INDIANA 10: Hoosiers finally got some momentum late in the second quarter, as Cam Coffman got the offense into gear and into the end zone and the defense kept playing well. Another big sack, this one by Larry Black, just before intermission. It’ll be important for Indiana to make something of getting the ball first to start the second half. Hoosiers have a 225-136 total offense advantage at halftime, which that pick-six from Sudfeld obviously the biggest reason they trail.

IU’s defensive front playing extremely well, stuffing the run (15 Iowa carries for 21 yards) and then getting pressure on the passing downs.

0:47: Iowa 14, Indiana 10. Electric quick-strike scoring drive for Indiana. Cam Coffman came back in hot, going 5-for-5 for 83 yards on the drive. Hoosiers went 87 yards in just 6 plays in 1:26, with Cody Latimer getting the left foot down with possession on the 15-yard scoring pass.

3:36. Iowa 3rd-and-inches sneaks for the first down. THAT is how you pick up a first down when just inches are required. Indiana should take note.

6:48: Again, IU offense can’t capitalize on great field position, and Ewald compounds it by missing a 38-yard field goal attempt wide-right.

Hoosier defense staying stout now. Stuffing the run. Replogle is a beast. Got held on a play and still stuffed Bullock for no gain. Another Hawkeye punt and a nice Stoner return to set IU’s offense back up at the Hawk 39.

Indiana changes play call on 4th-and-a-foot at the Iowa 8 and Hawkeyes blow the play up, with defensive tackle Dean Tsopanides getting great penetration and Micah Hyde coming up from safety to drill Houston for a 4-yard loss off left tackle. Huge momentum play for the Hawkeyes with 10:06 left in the half.

One good sign for Indiana: Hoosiers getting good pass rush from their front four.

END FIRST QUARTER: IOWA 14, INDIANA 3

Coffman yanked after one series for the second straight week. Why start him, then? Instead, Sudfeld comes in relatively cold and throws a quick pick six.

Sudfeld, for some reason, throws a low-percentage bomb for Kofi on a 3rd-and-3. Result, 3 and out.

Big play Adam Replogle. Stuffs Bullock on 3rd and 2 for no gain. Hawkeyes punt.

3:27: Iowa 14, Indiana 3: Mitch Ewald 45-yard field goal after IU moves 50 yards in 10 plays. Sudfeld was alternately hot and cold on the drive. He found Ted Bolser nicely a couple of times, then underthrew him badly on an incompletion that helped bog the drive down. Now, with Iowa getting the ball back, the Hoosier pass defense had better figure some things out.

7:08: Iowa 14, Indiana 0. Sudfeld comes in at quarterback for Indiana and his first snap is a pick six, with an easy snag and score for an 18-yard interception return by Iowa outside-linebacker Christian Kirksey. Couldn’t have been a much more disastrous start for the home side so far.

7:20: Iowa 7, Indiana 0. Hawkeyes roll right down the field, going 71 yards in just 6 plays, really gouging the Hoosiers on bootleg passes. Vandenberg has rolled mainly to his right on boots, with plenty of time to throw and wide-open receivers. The drive featured a 21-yard completion to Keenan Davis in that fashion before a similar play capped the drive with a 24-yard TD to Kevonte Martin-Manley. Vandenberg is now 6 for 7 for 82 yards in the air.

Cam Coffman starts at quarterback for Indiana and the first drive was a bit of a mixed bag. After a nice slant completion to Kofi Hughes on the Hoosiers’ first snap, IU stalled. Coffman threw one risky sideline route off bootleg action in which he stared down the receiver, then over-threw an open Ted Bolser on 3rd-and-7. Still scoreless after one first down on one possession per team.

PREGAME: Global warming stinks. Generally, November football games at Indiana don’t get repeatedly delayed by lightning. But, in all seriousness, thoughts continue to be with friends of mine and all the folks in New York, New Jersey and environs still dealing with something just a little more substantial.

As to the game today, it seems like about a 50/50 proposition going in. Checking the excellent ESPN Big Ten blog of Adam Rittenberg and Brian Bennett, the Iowa at Indiana game was the only one they split on when making their predictions for this week.

45 comments

  1. How short could it have been throwing for 300+ yards in 3 quarters?

    I haven’t taken a side on the QB situation though I’ve kinda been leaning toward Cam. Put me squarely in his corner. Nate has a lot going for him but when the $hit hits the fan Nate (often wisely) gets rid of the ball. Cam has his head up and he is looking down field trying to make something happen.

    That’s why we won today.

    We are very fortunate that we had three serviceable quarterbacks coming into the season. Who could have imagined?

    I’ve never seen an IU defense hit as hard as these guys. The announcers even commented about hearing the “pops” in the press box. They may make mistakes but they make them hard.

    This far in and we are actually in the Rose Bowl hunt. Wow.

  2. Great win for Wilson and his players. Back to back wins in conference. This is really exciting, especially because IU’s defense played as good as I’ve seen them in years.

    A few points however:

    1. Coach Wilson, please, from now on, through the rest of the season, take the points. Especially in the first half! Kick the field goal. Your offensive line is young and small relative to all other Big Ten teams. You don’t have a great running game to begin with, but especially when the opposing defense knows you’re going to try to run it. You have a good kicker, use him. I don’t know the stats, but I’m under the impression that your success rate on fourth and one is not good. Until your offensive line gets bigger and more mature, take the points when you can!

    2. The quick-snap offense today looked like the keystone cops at times. Too many penalties by the o-line, and some could have cost IU that game.

    3. Kick-off receiving team looks a little shaky. If we can’t field the ball on the goal line and get it out to the 20 yard line, we have some work to do. If the kickoff carries into the end zone, take a knee and allow your high powered offense to start from the 20.

    4. I know the weather was bad and everyone is excited about basketball, but the crowd was beyond “sparse,” it was a joke. Come on people, this team has improved a lot. The future of IU football is looking good. Bloomington is a great town, the campus is beautiful, the tickets a inexpensive. Go to the game and support the Hoosiers.

  3. Chet, I agree. This defense is fun to watch, they have really stepped up and have been making some big time plays. They still make mistakes and have a way to go, but they are really playing hard and playing fast and physical. One thing is for sure, every week they are getting better. CKW and the staff really have the team playing hard, it’s clear this team has bought in to what Wilson is selling.

  4. Chet wrote, “We are very fortunate that we had three serviceable quarterbacks coming into the season. Who could have imagined?” Great point! And Wilson and his O-coordinator deserve great credit for recruiting and developing these young QB’s. IU is the most prolific passing team in the Big Ten, and that’s after our stud QB went down with a serious injury. Credit to the coaching staff and to the two young men that have responded to the challenge.

    And yes, the defense looked as good as I’ve seen them in years. They were hitting, they were sacking, they were making tackles for loss, and they saved a TD with a great interception. And that is great news! Hoosier football is on its way back. I am really excited about the future of this program.

  5. The defense has reallty improved. I was at the Ball State and Northwestern games. I thought it was going to be more of the same and it isn’t. Houston needed to be taken out. Not because of the fumble but because at least 3 times (and there may have been more) in the 2nd half he ran sideways rather than turning upfield. In fact, at least twice he ran sideways after trying to turn upfield but he saw a tackler and didn’t want to get hit. He lost yards every time and lost 2 first downs. I think the coaches saw the same thing and decided to go with the guy who was going to keep the ball in the middle of the field, pick up some yards, and keep the clock moving. It’s ‘crazy’ to think that IU can beat Wisconsin but it would have also been crazy to think that they could decide whether they were going to play in the Big 10 Championship game this late in the season. Who Knows?

  6. It’s not crazy to think we can beat Wisconsin…they have really underachieved this year by wisconsin standards, montee ball has not had the year he was expected to have aa a result of subpar o-line play. And our hoosiers haven’t backed down from anybody, they have risen to the challenge of playing superior teams (ohio state and mich st). We may not win the game, but there’s no doubt in my mind that we will give them all they can handle. CKW will have them ready for battle, and anything can happen…especially if we can get some asses in the stands and get behind our team!

  7. IULONGAGO, yeah, you’re right. I think it is something that can be corrected but he gave up two first downs by trying to back up and bounce outside.

    That works in high school when you are bigger, faster, and stronger than anyone else on the field. In the Big Ten you turn upfield and take what you can get.

    The coaches let him know. They pulled him and let him watch during crunch time.

    I doubt we’ll be seeing much more of that. I think it’s pretty clear to anyone paying attention that these guys know what they are doing.

  8. Sudfeld should have been the starter…but good to see Coffman finally step up and finish a game. Kudos! And congrats to the entire IU Football Team for not giving up and fighting back for the victory – this young team is learning how to win…

    Darius Latham…how about a commitment this week? You can step right in for either Larry Black, Jr. or Adam Replogle when they move on to the NFL next year!

  9. Black and Replogle have made a very strong case for playing on Sundays next year. We don’t have many upperclassmen playing but what a great pair of leaders these guys have been for our Hoosiers.

  10. It is all about coaching. The DL is really embracing their respective coaches instructions. The same for the QB’s and WR’s, Kevin Johns has done a fine job with both. And the whole team plays with a Kevin Wilson attitude.

    Sorry Po, but I can only agree with point #4 but I do so wholeheartedly.

  11. I also think Sudfeld should have started today, based on his recent play. Coffman stepped up today, and displayed why Wilson sticks with him. Good point on having 3 capable quarterbacks Chet. I must say, the defense is what won the game for us today. Sudfelds pick, and the offensive struggles and penalties is what kept the Hawkeyes in the game. With due respect to Iowa’s defense, IU could have won a little more comfortably today. That is encouraging to me, because we can keep getting better.
    Indiana keeps getting in to all kinds of situations. The team keeps their heads up, they don’t quit. They play hard. Valuable experience and great character for a young team. A good physical game to help get ready for Wisconsin. Now recoup, and have a good practice week. Bash Bucky!

  12. I liked the fact after the pick 6 Coach Wilson came right back with playing Sudfeld in the next possession. He knew that would keep a young QB’s mistake from becoming a black cat in the future. Coffman developed today right before our eyes into a B10 QB.

  13. Man…had to take a two-hour nap! Huaaahhhhh!! Hoosiers!!!!!

    Been a hard season…all bruised up…been putting flour in the coffee and Cuban espresso in the sugar!!!

    Chet!! Podunker!! Hoosier Clarion!!! Mass Hoosier!!!(How’s the boy future lb…class of 2021!!-if he red shirts).
    Seems like we’ve been here two years taking forearm shivers from anyone who got promoted from second grade!!! You gentlemen are the true thing…never, never folded…never!! Others too, been here taking the cr_p!!… Now, we just put on the pads, the helmet, …now…Casino time!!! OUR TURN TO PLAY FOOTBALL!! (I want the skinny kid from Penn State..Doo-doo-pee-doo-pee-rook or what ever they call him).

    HOO-AAAHH!!! Hoosiers!! JOO-SHEERS!!!!!!

  14. Clarion, #16…agree!!! S___ happens, you correct it…but you’re Wilson’s Warrior!

    Mass Hoosier…I agree on Coffman starting as well. Mostly, I agree Wilson gets to say WHO, when AND, if he wants to WHY. That’s why we don’t call him Mr. Wilson, we call him Coach.

    Chet…My man!!! No motorcycle is challenge enough for you and no Smoky mountain high enough!!

    Podunker! If I have to go to war, I want Podunker on MY SIDE!!

    phenomenal…we don’t want to beat Wisconsin because they under achieve…we want to beat them because WE achieve!

    Aruss…I am so glad Coach Wilson read your post before the second half!!!

  15. HC, you have to admit that quick-snap offense was not working too well. We went backward from first and six inches because of IP penalties. A great pass and catch saved IU from what could have been a disaster.

    And Wilson needs to stop gambling with fourth and whatever in the red zone in the first half and kick the field goals. Always take the points, especially for the psychological impact it has on your team. To drive the ball into the red zone and come up empty can be depleting to a young team’s confidence. When Iowa did not jump offsides on that fourth down play, Wilson should have called timeout and kicked the field goal. Scoring points after a good drive gives a young team confidence and maintains momentum.

    I give Wilson and his team great credit for this win and for fielding a team that does not quit. I’m impressed with the mental toughness this young group is displaying. In spite of some coaching errors today, no one call call Wilson orthodox!

  16. Mass…#15 post…we left between 14-17 points on the field. But he way we can tell where are road is, is that it wasn’t a matter of coulda, shoulda,,,we did,

  17. Podunker!…this is a silent fox hole!!! No second guessing the guy fixing the toilet or we’ll be covered in you-know-what!

    In all truth, he’s a lot better at his job than we were at ours (being expert fans).

    Just enjoy it for once…

  18. I also wish CKW would be less agrresive on some of hese 4th down plays in field goal range, especially the 1st one, when were down 14-3. That was borderline foolish, but nonetheless. I’m not to keen on criticizing Wilson, all things considered,. I’ll live with the reckless calls to enjoy everything else he has brought so far. The defense. MASSIVE improvement from the start of the season. In every area. Run D, Pass D, pass rush-seemingly out of nowhere. Fantastic. I’ve practically seen improvement DURING the last 2 games, which admittedly were agaist 2 of the worst offenes in the big ten, but last years defense would from the mindhave been gashed for 500 yards & 40+ points tonight. I’m a bit concerned that O-line might be gettingtired, but I’ll live w/ that too. D’angelo Roberts showed us something in the 4th quarter also. Physical football comes from the mind: i. e. coaching,& coaches that can motivate, which are like GOLD when you find 1.

  19. The psychological impact is this team responds to the risk/reward of going for it on 4th downs in the red zone. They know 3 is not the goal. Falling short never phases them. they do not fear adversity. They become more determined the next time they have the ball. Now the defense is even immune to it.

  20. What a good game and a great victory yesterday.

    I must say though I have never been happier to see a game end and head to the truck. My son cleaned the truck out this week and removed my jacket from under the seat. I didn’t know it until we got to the tailgate lot. Short sleeve red polo shirt got a little chilly.

    Now on to the game. I was shocked to see Cam start and be pulled so quick. Not sure what the reasoning was, but when he came back in the game Coffman was lights out and played poised.

    Defensive effort, especially the run defense was lights out. Aside from Marshall’s INT in the endzone, Heban was once again the best defensive player we have that doesn’t start with a hand on the ground. That kid is just a player.

    The 4th down call I have no problem with going for it, my seats are on that end of the stadium and the wind was swirling. My problem was the play call. Sudfeld is in the game, roster has him at 6’5, 218lbs, though he looks bigger than Bolser when standing next to him. When you have a QB that big, why would you ever hand off on that play? Run the sneak and we get a fresh set of downs.

    Podunker, yes there were some penalties, but if you think the quick snap didn’t work, I say you’re crazy. When Coffman game back in running the hurry up the offense started clicking and marching, went 87 yards on 6 plays in 1:26!!! Five passes, no incompletes and a running play. 7 plays, 80 yards 2:02 for a TD on the 2nd possession of the 3rd that should have been 3 plays but Kofi came up short on the 77 yard reception. The quick snap left him without coverage on that play. The winning drive was 4 plays, 61 yards in 1:19.

    As for the keystone cops, of the 4 false start penalties, 2 of them came right after timeouts, not a result of the hurry up. Generally I agree with you but feel you’re off today.

  21. The defense has become a reliable dynamic of the game plans since Shaw and Marshall have nailed down starting spots. They get better every game. ST’s are now reliable adding that same dynamic since Toth has taken over the punting.

  22. The state of football in the state of Indiana is pretty good right now. If you listened to Bob Kravitz, Jack Trudeau, or some of the little minds on the Scoop, you’d think Wilson was in way over his head, and that a rough first season rebuilding a decimated program = bad coach. Turns out he’s capable of turning this thing around even faster than anyone expected.

    To boot, the Colts are interesting to watch, Luck is a stud, the Irish are in the midst of their own Crean-esque grand re-entry, and the Boilers…well, no need to include them this conversation. Football is fun again.

  23. Speaking of special teams, I hope they take a look at punt formation. 2 punts were waaaaaaay too close to being blocked, took Toth an awful long time to boot it.

  24. CKW was sending a message. The same one he’s imparting to Houston. “You’re the guy but you’re not the ONLY guy.”

    In Cam’s case it came early and he got the message and was pretty much totally locked in the rest of the way.

    Houston tried his dance routine later in the game and, much to the chagrin of the announcers, he was taken out when the Hoosiers needed him for third and short.

    Fortunately, the Hoosiers converted, barely, but I bet the message was loud and clear.

  25. Tsao, Yes, IU left some points out there. This encourages me because they are finding ways to win now. I mentioned last week that I would rather IU win ugly, than lose. It is hard for a young team to put everything together and win big. But the fact that IU wasn’t really sharp offensively all game, and won, makes me wonder how good they will be when they “play a full 60 minutes.” No to mention how well the defense played, which is really coming along. We will see how well we’ve improved next week. Wisky will cash in on oppurtunities that Iowa did’nt. Exciting times.

  26. MassHoosier- I just mentioned leaving points out there (10-14) because it gives a better idea of how well we moved the ball, how much the defense took away from a decent Iowa team and how hard we are hitting and intelligently we are playing. I was not at all trying to criticize or be overly demanding of my expectations. We are who we ‘kinda’ hoped we would be.

    The most important thing to me is that we are a ‘tough’, hard team…as tough and hard as I can remember at any time since Coach Mallory, in some ways reminding me of the 1967 team. Tough, punch-in-the mouth tough not necessarily a ‘big’ team. Our inside offensive line and linebackers really remind me of great players like OG Bob Russell, TE Al Gage, C Harold Mauro who used to take on the Bubba Smith types and come out bleeding and laughing at each other. That’s what made them who they were. I remember QB Gonzo trying to pick a fight with some 270 lb G at Minnesota (John Williams, later with the Colts) and Russell pulling him away yelling at him ‘are you nuts?, don’t get him fired up, I gotta block him!’ And LBS Kevin Duffy and Ken Kaczmarek- despite giving away some (not too much) 20 lbs each) looking around for somebody to hit and if they didn’t find one they’d hit each other.

    Wilson seems to have brought back that love for playing football that way. Iowa has a reputation for being a hard, tough team that beats you up front, and with solid fundamentals; and yesterday (and even in the games against OSU, MSU and certainly Navy) we stood there and passed as much of it as anyone wanted to handle… and much more.

    I love any sport when it is played well, with focus, intensity, intelligence and passion. Wilson has brought that attitude with him (amazed at how it is a point in common with coaches breast-fed at Miami-O). We are indeed lucky to have these folks here teaching us the basics of football success. Every time Wilson speaks there is a an original thought (not a trite phrase) in what he says that is worth opening a file for and keeping so I can someday give it to my grandchildren. There’s a whole lot of life and sport wisdom coming out of his thoughts.

    Say hi to the boy!!

  27. Chet- I have this bad habit of reading threads from the bottom up. So, sometimes I’ll make a comment like I just did with Mass Hoosier where I’ll wish I had seen your (or someone else’s post first so I could include in my comment). That’s exactly the case in the comment I just said Mass Hoosier, I would have certainly included you and your comments (and some others here who probably can guess who they are) if I had seen their post first.

    That’s exactly the case with your #33. Great post! You’
    re exactly right and I know CKW and Houston will likely be having a father and son conversation. As my dad used to say, “I’ve never seen the belly button make my arse move”. Houston will learn exactly where North is.

    I also wish, but have to accept that this is the way it is with folks, that those who question decisions thought with a little depth about the decisions CKW is making. Even those that may not work appear to have a purpose and even when they may fail may be the right decision just the same. It seems to me that half of the comments must be from people who majored in Football Coaching PE603 (or whatever the advanced courses are numbered)and got their Masters. Sometimes wisdom about any subject, as the Oracle of Rhodes told Socrates, is ‘knowing that you don’t know’. (We’ve already forgotten about that discussion from 3-4 weeks ago or so based on CKW’s view of fourth down).

    Maybe the point is the challenge you pose your own team if you don’t make it…how well will they assume the failure and holdup under it.

  28. TTG, my high school coach played at Miami of Ohio.

    He was a dick.

    I suppose they can’t teach everyone.

  29. Tsao,
    I believe we share the same thoughts on the matter. I must admit, your support for the Hoosiers pre-dates mine by a decade or two.
    I love what Coach Wilson is doing. I believe a couple of us last year, defended CKW, stating how we noticed that he took the time to teach players on the sidelines. I really like how CKW treats the media and how he talks about his team. Maybe another part of the (his) overall developement. CKW has worked to change more than one attitude or image. I think it’s safe to say the culture is changing a wee bit. I would play for him. HaHa

  30. MH, I DO believe that CKW is growing into the public relations part of his job. I have no worries about his understanding of the X’s and O’s. I also never assumed that he would be flawless in ever facet of his duties as a head coach the first time around.

    I’m willing to bet that if you checked into the first team that every successful head coach in the country took on there would be plenty of things they wish they had done differently.

    Perhaps his critics here are a little more competent in their personal endeavors and took on every new challenge without a single miss step.

    I haven’t been so fortunate.

    Personally, I think CKW has shown phenomenal competence handling the vast array of skills necessary to be a D1 head football coach for the first time.

  31. Right all about Houston going east-west instead of gutting it out for a couple of yds. (which may turn into more if he breaks that first tackle). Late game bench time may straighten him out (literally). Same applies at QB. I was on the “start Sud” bandwagon, and he got his time- but it really have to hand it to the staff for yanking players who are not performing, but not in a punitive way.

    PODUNKER, re: post #20 I would have been right with you until I had read the stats about going for it on 4th that were linked by someone else on this site. Yeah, sometimes you gotta take the points, but then again, even if you don’t make it the other team is buried deep- and look what happened: Iowa went three and out and we got the ball in good position.

  32. Second-guessing the coach and Monday morning quarterbacking are national past times and are as American as apple pie. It’s harmless fun, and most sports fans do it a lot. And it’s most fun when your team wins.

    I love the job KW is doing. I think he has done an excellent job. He still has a lot to do, but I believe he’s going to transform IU football into a competitive Big Ten football program (in fact, I think he already has). I love how he is not satisfied and does not allow his players to be satisfied. I love the mental toughness his players are displaying. I love the confidence they are starting to play with. IU football is becoming fun again.

    Mike P, I’ll compromise with you. The quick-snap tactic may be good some day, but it did not work for IU when they had the ball on the six-inch line, with first and goal, and facing the go-ahead TD. It may work at times, but it did not work yesterday when IU had the chance to take the lead. I’m not confusing the hurry-up offense with the quick-snap tactic. The hurry-up is working well. When you’re first and goal from the six-inch line, you don’t mess around and risk a penalty. You simply get the ball over the line, then kick the extra point. There may be a time when it becomes effective, but the quick-snap tactic was not effective yesterday.

  33. Podunker…the way CKW is using tempo has a number of objectives and they all require the faster tempo and, on some series, a fast snap count. It is part of the assignment for the players for each to know their assignment, role with precision and execute…just like everything else in football. No more, no less than running precise routes or getting to the spot where they know the ball will be thrown (part of the problem on the Iowa interception early). The receiver (Wynn? was not there when Coffman got the ball there…maybe part Coffman, but certainly part the receivers).

    One set of objectives is to deny time for the defense to call their signals, deny time for the defense to think through their keys, close the possibility of substitutions, deny the possibility of adjustments. It is confusing and hard as h_ll for defenders.

    It also keeps a rythm that is nearly impossible for big, big linesmen especially to sustain and remain sharp and focused. Energy is a zero sum…whatever I take from you now, you can’t use against me later. Like oil, eventual the tank is dry, especially if I’m dictating the pace. That’s why guerrillas are so damned hard to beat…they lose every engagement but drain you in the process. I think it is sheer genius and Wilson’s variance of tempo even more so because he controls turning it on and off.

    If we slow down to doing it the traditional way that football has been played it becomes a matter of recruited talent and numbers and we both know who wins those… So, what CKW has done is the first chapter from TsaoTsu The Art of War. First lesson…The Master must know the territory better than your opponent; Second Lesson…The Master must control the territory; Third Lesson…The Master must choose when and on what part of the territory you engage….

    There are many other lessons (select and know your own troops and their limitations, establish which battles and which are the true battles… all apply).

    Po, if you haven’t seen the book, get it and read it…you will really enjoy football more than you ever thought possible.

    If we go back to playing the ‘old football’ we will never catch up…not ever.

  34. Football is often analogous to boxing.

    Use the element of surprise(fakes or going for it on 4th down). Use your quickness to do some ducking in…jabbing(short screens)….frustrate a larger and more powerful opponent with the bigger punch by tiring him out and forcing continual movement(“floating like a butterfly” analogous to the no-huddle)…do a little rope-a-dope(this would be the defense bending but not breaking)..attempt to extend the fight(keep it close into the late rounds/quarters)…wear him down through your heart and cleverness in the ring(quick snaps and changing your QB to give different looks and dynamics)…When he begins to tire, find the opening, and hit hard with your best weapons..Survive the early rounds, get into his head, be in better physical shape, and the fight may turn in your favor on mighty hook(or hook-and-go), uppercut, blitz, or bomb.

    Wilson may not yet have a team with all the gifts an Ali vs. George Foreman(Michigan), but he’s using the genius of some of the ring tactics…He’s taking a Ken Norton team and making them more clever with the tools of deception, surprise, quickness, havoc, and a taunting(hurry-up) offense to make that is now delivering more than just a few good punches out of a few good players. They’re no longer just prodding in sluggishly to take a beating..They’re out-smarting and out-dancing those that have watched the old films of and Indiana football team that never believed it had the sagacious fighting skills to make up for the deficit and defeatism in the lack of poundage behind the punches.

  35. I like the fast snap as well as the hurry-up and have no doubt it will amplify as the Wilson tenure extends. It will be a tactic used in large portions that Coaches Wilson, Littrell and Johns know an opponent must prepare for and has a hard time dealing with consistently. A brilliant strategy and it is working. 2 B10 wins and now Wisky will get a taste of it. I’ll bet it does not get screwed up even once this week.

  36. I have no problem with the hurry-up offense. In fact, I like it, accept when IU is trying to protect a lead late in the game and should be trying to burn clock (it was really stupid to run three pass plays in a row, all of which were incomplete, and only burn 31 seconds off the clock in the fourth quarter when IU had the lead over MSU).

    I make the distinction between hurry-up offense and the quick-snap tactic. Most well coached teams are going to be prepared to defend the quick-snap tactic, especially this late in the season. Obviously, IU was not prepared to run it correctly while down there on the goal line. Deception is necessary, and this year it is essential because IU’s O-line is undersized and is not likely to dominate the lines of scrimmage against Big Ten defenses. But sooner or later, football comes down to physically beating the man lined up across from you by either going through, over or around your opponent.

    Anyone ever notice that IU’s offense starts to flounder after a time-out? When IU’s hurry-up offense is in a rhythm, they are very hard to stop. But when something breaks that rhythm, like a time-out, a replay, an injury, the offense seems to break down a bit, or the defense has time to adjust, and IU is often stopped or they commit a penalty and go backward. My guess is that will improve as the players mature and continue to refine the offense. But having them go backward five yards due to a penalty, from first and goal on the six inch line, was very painful to watch. That goodness that Cody L made a great catch just inside the end zone!

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