TBA, Nov. 5 TV: TBA Ohio Stadium (102,329)

Coach: Kevin Wilson, first season at school and overall

Last year: 5-7 overall, 1-7 Big Ten (11th)

Returning star

Demarlo Belcher was one of 12 voted by the media to the Big Ten's preseason "players to watch" list. He led conference receivers last season with 78 catches for 832 yards.

Newcomer to watch

Wilson is not averse to playing freshmen, if they're ready. He said before preseason camp that he didn't want to play a freshman quarterback, though, or even rotate two quarterbacks. But Tre Roberson, Indiana's Mr. Football last year, could change his coach's mind. Roberson was the best player on the team early in camp.

Keys to the offense

The strength of the unit is at receiver with Belcher, Duwyce Wilson and Ted Bolser, and they should get plenty of action with Wilson installing the spread offense he coordinated at Oklahoma and Northwestern. The rest of the group is in flux, though, with no proven performer at quarterback, running backs who can't stay healthy and an offensive line that did not run- or pass-block very well last season.

Keys to the defense

Traditionally a soft spot for Indiana, it remains to be seen what improvement a new coaching staff can produce. In Big Ten games, the Hoosiers allowed the most points (39.5 per game) and passing yards (262.5) of any conference team. They routinely struggle to match up with most other teams in size, speed and depth of talent, and the offense last season left them on the field far too much.

Special teams standouts

The cupboard is bare. Tandon Doss left for the NFL a year early after leading the Big Ten in all-purpose and kickoff return yards.

Question marks

They are plentiful in all three phases of the game. Is there a playmaker at quarterback? If one is found, will he have time to make plays? Can the Hoosiers score enough points to keep themselves in games with a defense that is routinely riddled by opponents? If the front seven on defense improves, will it get enough support from an inexperienced secondary?


Wilson had a testy exchange the first week of camp with two talk-show jocks (one of them former Illinois quarterback Jack Trudeau) who were making jokes at the program's expense. Who gets the last laugh? This year, probably the jocks. Wilson, an offensive genius in his other stops, has major issues to fix everywhere, not the least of which is the losing culture that permeates the program. Road games at Wisconsin, Iowa, Ohio State and Michigan State in a span of five weeks won't smooth the process.