The Indiana Hoosiers suffered another disappointing loss this season. IU hung tight for three quarters before falling completely apart in the fourth against Michigan, leading to a 63-47 loss.
The Hoosiers remain inconsistent on defense. And by inconsistent, I of course mean terrible. They gave up 751 yards to the Wolverines. Read that again.
IU hung 73 points on Indiana State in the season opener and didn’t put up nearly that many yards.
Any time a team can put up 40+ points, they should win the game at any level. IU has only scored less than 40 points in two games (Navy and at Michigan State). Offense hasn’t been a problem since Kevin Wilson took over as head coach.
IU has seen its points per game double over the past three years. But the defense has shown little improvement, and the blame falls on defensive coordinator Doug Mallory.
How Mallory keeps his $300,000 per year job is beyond me. This defense has been abysmal for a long time now and isn’t showing any signs of improvement. This unit fails at a very fundamental level. Since he’s been in charge, the Hoosiers have ranked dead last in the Big Ten.
Every game features instances of: poor tackling, breakdowns in coverage, players taking bad angles, and a lack of comprehension of plays on the field. These are all things that the coach should make an effort to improve.
Sure there are times when a player is in the right spot to make a play, only to fail horribly, but if his fundamentals are so bad then why isn’t Mallory coaching him up to get better?
Wilson recently reiterated his support for Mallory and doesn’t believe that he needs to make “wholesale changes” to the staff. Wilson seems to be burying his head in the sand and blames the offense for not scoring enough points.
Sorry, but you can’t give up 63 points in a game and then say the offense didn’t do enough to win it. IU’s defense has given up 40+ points in each of the teams losses. Wilson cited the Bowling Green game as an example of a game where the defense kept the team in the game, which would look a lot better if IU hadn’t scored 42 points.
Since Mallory took over, there has been little improvement in points allowed. In 2011 they gave up 37.1 per game, that number dipped to 35.3 in 2012, but is back up to 37.1 this season. To put that in context, when Bill Lynch was head coach the Hoosiers gave up 29.5 points in 2009 and 34 per game in 2010.
IU’s defense is abysmal and the blame falls on the coaching.
The past two weeks have exemplified the coaching flaws of Mallory. IU faced down two of the best receivers in the Big Ten: Michigan’s Jeremy Gallon and Penn State’s Allen Robinson. And how did the Hoosiers defend these players?
To say Gallon dominated the Hoosiers would be the understatement of the of the century. 14 receptions, 369 yards, and two touchdowns. One receiver had 369 yards. That’s nearly half of Michigan’s yards for the game. Even more troubling, the Wolverines couldn’t move the ball without as the next closest receiver had four catches.
What did IU do to try and stop him? Did they double team him, roll coverage over the top, or jam him at the line? Not really. And even when they did apply double coverage, it broke down due to players not knowing where they needed to be.
IU has faced Allen twice in Mallory tenure. His stat line over those two game is ridiculous: 22 receptions, 370 yards, five touchdowns. Not quite as bad as Gallon’s single video game numbers, but still troubling.
When breaking down film, how does a coach not account for a player of this apparent talent? Devin Gardner wasn’t particularly good on Saturday, Gallon just bailed him out of a number of bad plays.
This is a microcosm of what’s wrong with the Hoosier defense. Not making the proper adjustments and having the players properly prepared has plagued this team for the past three years now. IU has gotten better players and the veterans should understand the system by now, and yet, no improvement.
It’s clear that the problem is coaching. Mallory has to go. Wilson may want to stick by his staff, but he could be hanging on to an anchor that will drag him down to the depths of other unemployed coaches. If IU won’t cut ties with Mallory mid-season that’s fine, but he had better be unemployed come December.
IU will host Minnesota next week. If they lose, its highly unlikely that they will make a bowl game. The Hoosiers need to go 3-2 to remain bowl eligible down the stretch, and two of those losses are guaranteed with games at No. 4 Ohio State and at Wisconsin.
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