Last season, Indiana’s offensive line gave up 38 sacks for a net loss of 294 yards, ranking second-worst and worst in the Big Ten for the 2022 season. Tackles in the backfield were the cause of two season-ending injuries to two different quarterbacks — redshirt senior Jack Tuttle against Penn State and redshirt sophomore Dexter Williams II against Purdue.
Indiana’s newest hire, run game coordinator and offensive line coach Bob Bostad, is tasked with the makeover of the most pivotal group on Indiana’s offense.
On Sunday, Bostad made his first appearance in front of the media prior to tip off between Indiana men’s basketball and Michigan State. He was hired on Dec. 2. Bostad made his ambitions clear right away. In that, he’ll outwork the competition simply by doing more.
“We’re gonna work hard,” Bostad said. “We’re gonna train hard.”
Bostad has 33 years of coaching experience under his belt, 25 of those being with offensive linemen. Prior to his time at Indiana, he spent a total of 12 years at Wisconsin between two separate stints. Five of those 12 years with the Badgers were spent coaching the offensive line.
Bostad also found himself in the NFL, coaching the offensive line for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Tennessee Titans from 2012-15.
“Just an elite football coach, awesome person, one of the best in the country at what he does, and just really fortunate to be able to have him here with us,” head coach Tom Allen said.
Bostad joins an Indiana program with a lot of uncertainties. After going 4-8 last season and missing out on a bowl game, much of the blame was placed on the offensive line.
The line endured two different coaches: Darren Hiller, who started the season but was later fired after Indiana’s loss to Michigan during week six of the season,. and Rod Carey. With the hiring of Bostad, Carey returned to his previous role as quality control coach.
As for the running game, Indiana rushed for 110.8 yards per game and 3.4 yards per attempt, placing Indiana second-worst and third-worst in the Big Ten.
Last season, with Bostad at the helm of the offensive line and run game, the Badgers averaged 179.8 yards a game and 4.7 yards per attempt, ranked 5th and 4th in the Big Ten.
In 2011, with Bostad as run game coordinator and offensive line coach, Wisconsin running back Montee Ball rushed for 1,923 yards and tied Oklahoma State running back Barry Sanders for the single season rushing touchdown record of 39.
“Just going on what I’ve done before in the past,” Bostad said. “I got a pretty good reputation of running the ball.”
Bostad doesn’t have any plans to shift players around to different positions along the line, noting that his group needs to be efficient.
“Don’t like playing musical chairs,” he said.
As for the past couple of weeks, Bostad said he’s been on the road recruiting and watching film of players on the line.
“I’m in a learning stage right now,” he said. “I hope I can create this climate of spending a lot of time on the field and getting a lot done being really efficient. We got a lot to put together.”