BLOOMINGTON – It’s less than a week until Indiana begins its season and coach Kevin Wilson still hasn’t chosen his quarterback.
The decision may not come until Thursday night when the Hoosiers open against Indiana State. After hinting this week that he might make an announcement during Friday’s regular news conference, Wilson explained that he’s still weighing his options.
This isn’t about favorites, this is about winning some daggone football games, he said. And it’s about time we start doing that.
Quarterbacks Cam Coffman, Tre Roberson and Nate Sudfeld have been competing through the offseason, spring practice and now through preseason camp. With the Indiana State game looming, nobody seems to know which direction this is going – not the quarterbacks, not the coaches, not the team.
But unlike previous seasons, in which Wilson has challenged players to win the job and to spend more time studying game tape, Wilson has liked what he’s seen this year.
And he may even be willing to use multiple quarterbacks. Or he may revert to what Indiana did last season – allowing Coffman and Sudfeld to compete for the job each week – after Roberson went down with a season-ending broken left leg.
To Wilson, naming a starter at this point just doesn’t seem like a big deal.
Those guys have worked very, very hard. I don’t know where they are right now, but if I had to guess, I’d say they’re probably watching video on their iPads, Wilson said. They’ll watch practice twice, sometimes with me and sometimes with coach (Kevin) Johns, and I’m talking about different things like if we’re doing this, what is our best option. I’ve got a lot of trust in all of those guys and that’s why our offense is not going to change, whoever plays.
Each has different strengths.
Roberson won the starting spot during his freshman season and kept it until the injury ruined his 2012 season in Game 2. If he’s 100 percent, he gives the Hoosiers a more dynamic runner.
Coffman and Sudfeld took turns replacing Roberson and the tandem pocket-passing quarterbacks actually had Indiana in position to make an improbable run at a division title. The Hoosiers then lost their final three games of the season to fall out of contention.
It’s been so close that even those catching the balls can’t predict an outcome.
We’re blind, just like everybody else, receiver Cody Latimer said.
Whoever gets the job, Wilson does expect to see a better team on the field.
A year ago, when the Hoosiers faced the resurgent Sycamores, a Football Championship Subdivision school, running back Shakir Bell made it a much closer game than most expected. Indiana finally held on for a 24-17 win.
This time, Wilson expects a better performance – especially from a defense that gave up more than 35 points per game. But fans want to know their quarterback, and that’s not a decision Wilson is prepared to make yet.
We may not make a decision till Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Wilson said. All three of them have done well. ... We’re going to do what we do on offense, some of the guys have different strengths but the gist of the offense will be what it will be – we’re going to spread it out and you may see a little more personnel groupings and we’re still going to work tempo.