|Falcons' defense will be tested by IU's offense (9-13-13)|
|Written by By JACK CARLE, Sentinel Sports Editor|
|Friday, 13 September 2013 07:14|
Kevin Wilson was there at the beginning when college football offenses started to open things up with multiple-receiver sets.
Wilson, currently the head coach at Indiana, was one of the architects of the spread offense, Bowling Green Falcons’ head coach Dave Clawson said Wednesday.
The Falcons play at Indiana Saturday with kickoff at noon in Memorial Stadium.
Wilson was the offensive coordinator at Northwestern and then at Oklahoma, running the spread at both schools. He’s in his third year at IU.
‘‘They are very well-coached, they know exactly what they are doing. They don’t run bad plays,’’ Clawson said. ‘‘The tempo at which they run things puts a tremendous amount of stress on your defense.’’
Indiana’s rapid-fire offense can put points on the board. The Hoosiers return nine starters from 2012.
Last season the Hoosiers scored 49 against Ohio State, who finished the season 12-0. IU scored 29 or more points in seven of its 12 games in 2012.
This season the Hoosiers opened with a 73-point effort against Indiana State and then scored 34 points in a loss to Navy last week.
‘‘They have scored points against everybody,’’ Clawson said. ‘‘Their scheme is excellent.
“We’re going to find out a lot more about our defense this week because this is certainly a different style than we have faced,’’ he added. ‘‘This is going to be a great challenge for our guys.’’
One of the challenges with IU’s quick tempo is being able to make timely substitutions.
‘‘When they get it going, the snap it so fast they don’t let you sub,’’ Clawson said. ‘‘We like to roll a lot of guys in there, play eight or nine guys up front and 18, 19 or 20 on defense.
‘‘You have to make some decisions early in the series on how you are going to play the series.’’
The Hoosiers can use three quarterbacks, although Nate Sudfeld has done most of the damage so far this season.
Sudfeld, a 6-foot-5, 230-pound sophomore, is 43-of-59 passing for 582 yards with eight touchdowns and two interceptions this fall.
Tight end Ted Bolser, 6-2, 252, redshirt senior, has made 11 receptions for 134 yards and four touchdowns. Tevin Coleman, 6-1, 205, sophomore, is the top ball-carrier with 203 yards and three touchdowns on 22 carries.
Indiana’s defense is a perennial concern. In 2012, when the Hoosiers finished 4-8, they ranked 103rd out of 120 FBS schools in total defense, 101st in scoring defense, 98th in pass efficiency defense and 116th in rushing defense.
The Hoosiers had problems with Navy’s option offense last week. Navy compiled 515 yards of offense and had 444 yards rushing on its way to seven scores in nine possessions.
IU linebacker Flo Hardin said simply missing fewer tackles will go a long way.
“Our defense, we all have thick skin,” Hardin said. “We’re all competitive. We don’t like losing. You can’t dwell in the past and let Bowling Green beat us because we’re thinking about the loss against Navy. We can’t let one game kill our whole season.”
True freshman T.J. Simmons, a 6-0, 240, middle linebacker, leads the team in tackles with 18 in the first two games. David Cooper, a 6-1, 235, redshirt junior, made 86 tackles a year ago and has 17 this season, He’s moved to an outside linebacker spot with the emergence of Simmons.
The Falcons, 2-0, are averaging 37.5 points per game this season. BG had 576 yards of offense in a 41-22 victory over Kent State last week. Quarterback Matt Johnson has thrown for 508 yards and running back Travis Greene is averaging 5.1 yards per carry.
Wilson said the Bowling Green game is a great opportunity for his defense.
“We’re going to play a very dynamic offense. We need to show what we’re about,’’ Wilson said. ‘‘You’d like to stop them all the time. You’re not going to. I’m expecting us to bounce back.”
(The Associated Press contributed to this story.)
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