Fee Fi Foe Film: Indiana Offense Comment Count

Ace October 29th, 2014 at 3:40 PM

Tevin Coleman is terrifying. Indiana's quarterback situation sans injured starter Nate Sudfeld is, too, but for the Hoosiers, not opposing defenses.

I guess you can read on, but add in "they go fast" and there's your scouting report in a nutshell.

Personnel. The diagram, via Seth [click to embiggen]:

Quarterback Nate Sudfeld injured his shoulder early in the second quarter of the Iowa game; he's out for the year, and after true freshman Chris Covington struggled mightily in his stead—3/12, 31 yards, 2 INTs against the Hawkeyes—they lifted a redshirt off two-star true freshman Zander Diamont. Diamont couldn't do a thing the next week against Michigan State—5/15, 11 yards—but he's coming off a bye week and should be more prepared to at least provide a vague threat of the pass this weekend.

Spread, Pro-Style, or Hybrid? Very spread. I charted the first half of the Iowa game; the only Hoosier snap from under center came when they hurried to the line for a 4th-and-1 QB sneak.

Basketball on Grass or MANBALL? IU mostly runs zone blocking concepts, letting Tevin Coleman pick a gap and go hard upfield.

Hurry it up or grind it out? Ludicrous speed, though that might slow down a bit with a true freshman taking the snaps.

[Hit THE JUMP for the rest of the breakdown.]

Quarterback Dilithium Level (Scale: 1 [Navarre] to 10 [Denard]): Diamont is not much of a threat on the ground, though he did manage to scamper nine yards for a touchdown against State on a zone read; can't say I blame MSU for overplaying Coleman there. I'll give Diamont a 5.

Dangerman: Tevin Coleman might very well be the best back in the conference, and yes, I'm quite aware of the existence of Ameer Abdullah and Melvin Gordon. His numbers through seven games: 135 carries, 1192 yards (8.8 YPC), 11 TDs, 13 carries of 20+ yards, plus 17 receptions for 140 yards for good measure. He's rushed for at least 122 yards in every game this year. This on an offense that lost almost its entire receiving corps from last year, lost co-starting QB Tre Roberson to a transfer, and has played the last 1.5+ games with one helpless true freshman or another at QB. If you're going to have a one-man offense, you can do far, far worse than this.

Zook Factor: Nope.

HenneChart: No chart this week, since I don't need to watch the film again to say that Diamont struggled mightily against Michigan State, and he'll have to play way better to be effective even against a worse defense. Instead, I watched the Iowa game to get a feel for IU's playcalling before and after Sudfeld's injury—and, admittedly, because I really didn't need to see more Michigan State football this week.


Charting ceased after the first half because this week has been pretty crazy. The picture is pretty clear regardless. Yes, it's a spread...

Formations Run Pass PA
Gun 13 7 5
I-Form -- -- --
Ace 1 -- --
Pistol -- -- --

...and, yes, even before Sudfeld went down, they tended to go run-run-pass:

Down Run Pass PA
1st 6 1 3
2nd 5 1 2
3rd 2 5 --

Indiana was even more conservative on early downs than that chart makes it appear, as a few of those play-action passes were bubble screens; just about all of their inside zone action is paired with a bubble read—and they've got a couple variations, as you'll see in the play breakdown.

The Hoosier offense without Sudfeld can essentially be boiled down to two plays. Here's the first, a relatively ineffective inside run on first down in which the line has trouble moving anyone off the ball: 

That happened quite a bit. Indiana's line is experienced and agile, but not particularly strong; while they're not blowing assignments, they're also not blowing D-linemen off the line of scrimmage. Get the line and Coleman in space, however, as Indiana did on the very next play, and...


That outside zone pitch was blocked beautifully; Coleman's second long touchdown, a mere 45-yarder, occurred on a power run from the shotgun that he adeptly bounced outside. Coleman is plenty dangerous between the tackles, but outside of them he might be the best runner in the country—remember, he led the nation last year in the highlight yards metric with a mark 40% better than second place, which is astounding. The front seven is getting a hell of a test, because if Indiana's O-line gets Coleman to the second level, he's better than anyone else at taking care of the rest.

The receiving corps is led by last year's dangerous slot bug, 5'7" Shane Wynn, who now plays as much on the outside as he does in the slot. Mostly used on screens last season, Wynn has become much more of a downfield threat, averaging nearly 16 yards per catch; he had a 62-yard catch-and-run on a deep crossing route against Iowa when Sudfeld bought a little time off a play-action fake—Iowa's Desmond King, no athletic slouch, didn't have the wheels to stay with Wynn in the open field. Of note: Wynn dropped a perfectly thrown, wide open would-be touchdown against Iowa, though for the most part this year he's displayed sure hands.

The other receivers don't appear to be major threats, especially with Sudfeld either; neither outside receiver Nick Stoner nor slot J-Shun Harris have cracked ten YPC this season, and they've combined for three catches for nine yards over the last two games. Harris got an early bubble screen that went for a loss against the Hawkeyes; Stoner scored a touchdown on his lone catch, which sets up a segue to the...


...damn, I'm good.

IU stacked their receivers on the outside quite a bit, allowing one a free release in addition to providing an easy throw for bubble screens. They mostly went to this on third downs when expecting Iowa to blitz—the stack helps free receivers against man coverage—but here they break it out on first down inside the red zone.

Especially with two TEs on the field, Iowa has to respect the run, so it comes as little surprise that nearly every defender has his eyes in the backfield when Sudfeld and Coleman hit the mesh point here; meanwhile, Wynn flares out for a bubble screen:

As Sudfeld pulls the ball out and looks to Wynn, the slot corner for Iowa goes hard after the bubble screen, while the outside corner is still peeking into the backfield: 

He pays for his curiosity. Between the frame above and the frame below, Sudfeld pump-fakes the bubble screen, and both Iowa defenders to the bottom of the screen bug out for Wynn:

You might notice Nick Stoner slipping between the two defenders. Iowa did not.

Yeah, he's pretty open.


I think Zander Diamont can make that throw.



October 29th, 2014 at 3:55 PM ^

Is there such a thing as a must win game anymore?  Don't know, but a win sure would feel nice.

When do we start thinking about next year?  When do we start playing guys (Morris) to get ready for next year?


October 29th, 2014 at 10:16 PM ^

Exactly! No way Hoke plays Morris. Why would he? An experienced Morris in 2015 does Hoke no good if he's let go - and he has to know that's what he's facing. So, he's gonna ride it out on the back of his 5th year Senior QB.
That game in Salt Lake City should be fun next year with a new starter.

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Arizona Blue

October 29th, 2014 at 3:59 PM ^

I am fully confident we win this game. not that it means anything. We will probably score 30 points and give up like 17. They will throw the ball a bit on us but it will be a decided victory. I will smile. Life will go on


October 29th, 2014 at 5:53 PM ^

You are fully confident in a win? Damn, I wish I could say the same thing but I just have no reason to think a win is likely. The coaches are guaranteed to bungle at least 3 important decisions and it is doubtful the defense will shut down indiana's attack, sorry but I see another disappointing loss. On the bright side, we will have a new coaching staff next year.


October 29th, 2014 at 4:02 PM ^

Is anyone expecting anything less than 200 yards from Tevin Coleman in this game?  I think he is the 2nd best back in the country after Gurley.  Put him behind Nebraska or Wisonsin's OL and man.

This is going to be a lot like playing Minnesota for our defense but at least Indiana's defense is Miami OH level so we'll get our points too.  So instead of 2 cows rubbing against themselves slowly as PSU-UM was, this should be 2 cows rubbing quickly.

I would like to see more Hayes this week.  He seemed like the 1 guy on offense who actually has speed in the backfield.  And I wish they'd make Butt the primary target on a few more plays.  Like most TEs he is a secondary option in many passing plays but since Devin sticks to his first option Butt is basically frozen out of the offense 98% of the time - which is a waste of talent.


October 29th, 2014 at 4:17 PM ^

These posts are valuable.   But given this year, they float off into the ether once the whistle blows.  The stats and analysis rightly assume UM has a plan to "execute" something resembling a game strategy and the ability to adapt during the game.   You could have simply inserted faces of different scary clowns at each position on the UM side and it would achieve a similar result with a little more entertainment value.   Don't get me wrong - keep these coming.  It's just sad that come Sunday, we'll be shaking our heads again in disgust.  This is Indiana's time to shine a la Minnesota.

User -not THAT user

October 29th, 2014 at 4:54 PM ^

For all the wrong reasons.

The Hoosiers have to realize this is probably their best chance to beat Michigan on the football field since...hell, I don't even know.  They should be pumped, 3rd-string QB or no.

Meanwhile Michigan may have already checked out on Hoke.

This game is probably going to be a lot closer than it deserves to be.  It is only being carried on BTN (which I don't get on my satellite package), but I'll be damned if I'm going to use my "honey, I'll be at the bar watching the game" card on this crap match-up.


October 30th, 2014 at 2:16 PM ^

They guys they have now make Nick Sheridan look like Donovan McNabb.

We'll win easily, like we did against App St and NTM. Coleman will likely get 100-150 yards, but the rest of the team will get less than 100 and we should have about 450, mostly on the ground. M 31 Indiana 14.


October 29th, 2014 at 5:22 PM ^

I think it was 2010 when we won on a gift interception late in the game when IU was driving. Can't remember the particulars other than their HC Bill Lynch taking the gum out of his mouth and throwing it.


October 29th, 2014 at 7:57 PM ^

Indiana isn't any better than Miami of Ohio especially with a 5th string true freshman QB. This will be a blowout.

Should Michigan lose this game they should forfeit the rest of the games.