For the second year in a row, Indiana football ended its season losing to its archrival Purdue, 30-16. The Hoosiers end their season at 4-8, making this back-to-back years without going to a bowl game.
Surely, it was not the most exciting season for IU football fans. But nevertheless, it will be interesting to see what Tom Allen and the program do in the offseason. I would expect the Hoosiers to be active in the transfer portal again, as they will need to get a lot more talent to compete with what should be another competitive year in the Big Ten. Here are my takeaways from IU’s final game.
The Dexter Williams injury killed IU’s momentum
It felt like having Dexter Williams at quarterback gave the IU offense a little more life. And I feel like this is the case because of the ability Williams has to extend plays with his legs. Because of this threat to run, I felt like it made IU’s running game a lot smoother, hence the 71-yard touchdown Jaylin Lucas had on Indiana’s first drive of the game.
But the offense lost its swagger once Bazelak entered the game for the injured Williams. And this is not a knock on Bazelak at all, as he played well, completing 50% of his passes and throwing for just over 200 yards. But it felt like the Hoosiers could play a lot faster with Williams at quarterback, which I think works to this offense’s strengths.
The future is bright for IU’s run game
The difference from IU’s run game from the beginning of the season to the end is one that I find very impressive. We’ve seen what Lucas can do not only on offense, but on special teams as well with his speed. Being only a freshman, I’m excited to see what offensive coordinator Walt Bell and the offense can do with him in the future.
But the running back room could not have done what they did without Indiana’s improved run blocking. Interim offensive line coach Rod Carey deserves a lot of credit for stepping in and vastly improving this group. It should be interesting to see what a whole offseason to see what Carey will do for the offensive line going forward.
Where does IU go from here?
There will certainly be a lot of storylines from now until the beginning of September, where IU will take on Ohio State in the first game of the 2023 season. Lots of moves are going to be made if Indiana wants to achieve some of its goals for next season.
The most important move I think they will need to make is acquiring talent in the transfer portal. Allen and company have done a solid job of this throughout the past couple of seasons, acquiring talent like DJ Matthews and Shaun Shivers who were key pieces to Indiana’s offense. Over the next couple of weeks and even months, look for a lot of players to enter the portal and for IU to try and hit a home run landing some of them.