Indiana Football Practice: Aug. 15, 2013

With preseason camp more than halfway completed, co-defensive coordinator Doug Mallory talked about the good things and what needs to improve before the season opener Aug. 29.

Thursday marked the two-week mark until the season opener against Indiana State and the Indiana football team went through one practice on the fields behind the north end of Memorial Stadium.

The practice was closed to the media but defensive players and defensive coaches were made available at the end of the day.

Co-defensive coordinator Doug Mallory said he feels the Hoosiers have made some strides in the first two weeks of camp.

"There's a lot of things that still concern us but I feel we've made some strides here in this camp,'' Mallory said "The last few times that we've scrimmaged I think we're tackling a little bit better. We're playing a little more physical and we're getting a little more confident. We're outspoken a little bit more and getting a little more swag out there on the field. We've got a long ways to go but I feel like we're starting to develop those kinds of things.''

One thing that is clear on the defensive side of the football is there are a lot of true freshmen competing for spots.

Mallory talked about safeties Antonio Allen and Chase Dutra as well as linebackers Marcus Oliver, T.J. Simmons and Clyde Newton, and defensive linemen David Kenney and Darius Latham all making an early impact.

"I think Antonio (Allen) has put himself in position,'' Mallory said. "He's in the two-deep right now competing for a starting job. You look at the linebackers and all of them are doing well. You look at T.J. (Simmons) being a midyear guy and you almost don't even look at him as a true freshman but that's really what he is. He has a chance to be a starter for us.

"We had some of our older guys there nicked up this last week and all of a sudden you've got Clyde Newton out there and Marcus Oliver , and those guys are getting a lot of reps with the ones and the twos. The improvement they've made since day one to this past week has been night and day.

Mallory said Latham has stood out on the defensive line, too.

"You look at the D-line and I think Darius (Latham) is a young man that has got a chance to help us here this year,'' Mallory said. "I think David Kenney has been a little nicked up and we finally got him back here the last couple of days. So the jury is still out there. With the kids that have come in here this summer and joined the program, we've got a lot of guys in the two-deep competing for playing time or starting positions.''

Practice continues Friday with a scrimmage in the afternoon and the players will get their day off on Saturday.

Follow Terry Hutchens at Top Stories