I might not be Barack Obama or John McCain, but I do know a few things about change. Anyone who has seen the Hoosiers’ seven games has seen enough and know it is needed. Offense, defense, name it all – every facet must undergo a complete transformation. It’s time to put “football first.”
If you really think about it, the current football administration hasn’t lost that much talent from 2007’s roster. True, James Hardy and Tracy Porter are gone.
But Kellen Lewis, Marcus Thigpen, Andrew Means, Greg Middleton and Austin Starr are all back. So, thinking IU could make a bowl game wasn’t far-fetched at all.
I might not be as persuasive or tactically exciting as our presidential candidates, my friends, but let’s try to make people believe a Hoosier turnaround is mandatory. Maybe a bailout package is needed; $700 billion (or a few of the changes I’m listing below) should do the trick.
The offense, first and foremost, needs a total shake-up. The two-quarterback system has committed its share of mistakes, I know. But the issue isn’t whether it is Lewis or Ben Chappell under center. Rather, it’s the need for appropriate play-calling to fit each quarterback’s style.
Here’s some insight – Lewis shouldn’t be the leading rusher on the team. Thigpen, a 1,000-yard runner in his career, should be able to handle the ground game. If Thigpen runs a 40-yard dash in the low 4’s, he should be running the ball more than eight times a game. Most defenses have a designated spy for No. 15, so it’s best to utilize other running mates.
Chappell’s campaign platform is entirely different than Lewis’ – his arm is not being used enough. Against Illinois, Chappell only threw for a mere 172 yards partly because of his offensive line’s inefficiency. I understand the linemen have fought against the injury bug all season, but this is FBS play, and these guys are supposed to be Terry Hoeppner’s “Seven Blocks of Limestone.”
When on the field, it’s important to give Chappell more than ample time to release the football. The sophomore quarterback is as accurate as they come when defenders can’t blaze past the line.
No, he’s no Lewis, but allow him to throw some deep balls. Honestly, what is there to lose at this point?
The defense, well, saying they need new makeup would be an understatement too. IU is simply not getting to the quarterback fast enough. Ball State’s Nate Davis, Michigan State’s Brian Hoyer, and Illinois’ Juice Williams all threw for more than 238 yards against the Hoosiers. Obviously, the current formation isn’t working to plan.
It is time to mix things up by installing an odd-man front and utilize a 3-4 scheme. Instead of more linemen, Lynch should consider an extra linebacker to stop the seven-yard passes in the open field. Moreover, more men in the middle would create a tougher day for opposing running backs to log yardage.
“Staying the course” is not an option from here on out. Northwestern quarterback C.J. Bachér and running back Tyrell Sutton will pound the Hoosiers if change doesn’t begin Saturday. In fact, IU won’t win another game unless there is a shuffle up of its squad’s configurations.
To escape from total embarrassment, how about implementing a new attack? Or if you like droughts, keep the formations, play-calling and schemes the same.
I think everyone would agree these are changes we need.
I am David Leno, and I approve this message.
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