Indiana football is coming off another hopeful second half against the University of Cincinnati but was unable to execute the same magic that won the team its first three games. Following its first loss of the season, team leaders, like senior linebacker Cam Jones, said they know there is still potential with this group. As the Hoosiers prepare for Nebraska this week, Jones and other key Hoosier contributors gave their thoughts about the season through week four.
“We go out and make big plays, but I think we also leave a lot of plays out on the field — self-inflicted wounds that we can control that can change the outcome of a game,” Jones said.
Jones has taken on a much more vocal role for the team this season following the departure of Micah McFadden last spring. He has stepped up, finding his voice under the motivation of head coach Tom Allen.
As for the other members of the Indiana defense, it is Jones’ job to make sure everyone is ready to go week-to-week.
“The sky is the limit for them,” Jones said. “I was talking to Aaron Casey — he has been my best friend since I’ve been here — so seeing him make big plays and put his athleticism on display, it means a lot.”
As a senior, linebacker Aaron Casey came into the season for the first time as a full-time starter in 2022, a role he does not take lightly.
“I think it’s attention to detail, just how I look at things throughout the week,” Casey said. “Just feeding off Cam Jones and that back-and-forth communication with the rest of the linebackers has been huge.”
The Indiana offense struggled to stay alive against Cincinnati, keeping with the trend of playing from behind. Still, one positive takeaway from the last few weeks has been the awakening of the Indiana running game. Senior running back Shaun Shivers found the end zone against the Bearcats, giving life to the offense in the second half.
“Before the play started, I saw that they were blitzing from both sides,” Shivers said. “I saw the corner had moved closer toward the hash, so I knew they were crashing down. Instead of trying something up the middle, I decided to bounce it outside.”
As the Big Ten schedule becomes tougher, the offense must find a way to play at its highest level. It has had great individual quarters and halves, but it will take a complete game to win in one of the toughest college football conferences.
“We just have to come out faster,” Shivers said. “We’ve been playing kind of slow in the first half in the past four games, if we just come out and dominate the first half like we do in the second half, the game could be pretty different.”
As Indiana heads to Lincoln, Nebraska this week, it will have an opportunity to get its first road win against a subpar Nebraska program in the midst of a head coaching transition.