The unofficial start to the 2014 Indiana football season is here. The annual Cream & Crimson spring game will be at 3 p.m. today at Memorial Stadium.
Here’s what to watch for when the team takes the field.
Last season, the Hoosiers used a two-quarterback system as both Tre Roberson and Nate Sudfeld played in all 12 games.
Roberson came back from a broken leg suffered early in the 2012 season and earned the starting job for the season opener against Indiana State. He played the first half, going 3-for-6 passing for 71 yards and two touchdowns, as well as rushing for 19 yards.
With Indiana leading by 24 points at halftime, Sudfeld came in to start of the third quarter. He completed 12 of 17 pass attempts for 219 yards and four touchdowns, while also throwing one interception.
For the rest of the season, it was a battle between the two for playing time.
Sudfeld and Roberson helped the Hoosiers set school records in points (38.4) and yards (508.5) per game. Coach Kevin Wilson has said he would like to see one of the two emerge as the clear-cut starter, but it seems likely they will split playing time again in 2014.
Quarterback play was not the only reason that Indiana had a record-setting year offensively in 2013. The Hoosiers’ receiving corps was outstanding all season, combining for 3,680 yards and 36 touchdowns.
However, three of the top four receivers won’t suit up in 2014. Cody Latimer, who caught 72 passes for 1,096 yards and nine touchdowns, left a year early for the NFL draft, and Kofi Hughes and Ted Bolser have exhausted their eligibility.
Shane Wynn is the top-returning receiver, finishing third on the team last year in catches (46) and receiving yards (633) while leading the team in receiving touchdowns (11).
Wilson has also added several freshman receivers who should see plenty of playing time this year.
At the top of the list is Dominique Booth, a four-star recruit from Indianapolis. Booth had a terrific career at Pike, racking up 1,266 yards and 16 touchdowns over his final two seasons. He enrolled at IU in January, so fans will get a chance today to see why Wilson has been impressed with the freshman this spring.
Since Kevin Wilson arrived in Bloomington three years ago, the Hoosiers have ranked last in the Big Ten in yards and points allowed per game each season.
Brian Knorr is the new defensive coordinator. He comes to Indiana from Wake Forest, where he held the same position for three seasons. He had success with the Demon Deacons using a 3-4 defensive scheme. Knorr has said that he plans to mix 3-4 and 4-3 looks on defense this year.
Ten starters return this year, with safety Greg Heban the lone exception.