As Kevin Wilson continued to appear on the jumbotron during IU's spring game with his notable achievements beside him, including 22 offensive records, it was easy for Hoosier fans to roll their eyes and chuckle. There have certainly not been any notable defensive records set during Wilson's tenure in Bloomington.
Something had to be done this season. Last year the Hoosiers ranked 123rd out of 125 teams in total yards allowed per game with 527.9. Next, the team ranked 115th in the nation in total points allowed per game with 38.8.
Finally, Indiana football has made the fundamental changes the IU alumni were demanding. First, they fired Doug Mallory, who was shouldering almost all of the blame for the horrendous defense. Second, they hired a new defensive coordinator, Brian Knorr, whose defense at Wake Forest ranked 32nd in yards allowed per game and 38th points allowed per game. They have also let Knorr bring in his 3-4 scheme, changing the look of the IU defense. It is also worth mentioning that IU has continued to recruit the south which yields strong defensive players.
In bringing in the 3-4 scheme, Knorr, hopes to defend the whole field. Last year, there were openings for the opposing team on almost every single play. Once, the opposing player was in the open field, a missed tackle was likely. Knorr is looking to turn that around and have the Hoosiers make tackles in the open field.
After watching the spring game, I would say that there weren't as many blatant open field missed tackles as there have been in recent years. There also weren't as many big plays, something that Knorr also hopes to stop.
As the IU defense continues to get deeper at each position as the improved recruiting continues mixed with the new coaching of Knorr, it has to be hard for IU fans not to feel a sigh of relief. Yes, we haven't seen the defense in true action yet. But, for now it is fair to feel a little excited for the future of the IU defense.