Every Monday, following an Indiana football game, we will have a feature at AllHoosiers.com that we call Monday Morning Quarterback.
In it, AllHoosiers.com site publisher Terry Hutchens will look back at some of the in-game coaching decisions that worked well or maybe fell a little bit short in that particular game.
Here is our installment following Saturday’s 45-29 loss at Iowa.
Today’s topics don’t have to do with specific plays as much as curious substitution decisions.
1. WHY DIDN’T Tevin Coleman PLAY THE FINAL 10:15 OF THE GAME?
Tevin Coleman was clearly the Indiana offense on Saturday. He carried the ball 15 times and gained 219 yards. He had three long touchdown runs of 83, 45 and 69 yards.
He was the one player on the field, more than any other, that the Hawkeyes simply did not have an answer for.
And yet in the final 10 minutes and 15 seconds of the game, D’Angelo Roberts was the Indiana running back. If not Roberts, then Devine Redding took a few snaps.
It just seemed to be a peculiar call. When asked about it after the game, Kevin Wilson said it wasn’t an injury scenario. He gave the impression that Coleman was tired.
But when Coleman was asked about it after the game, he said he was fine and could have played.
Stay tuned for more on that story after Wilson’s Monday press conference where he’ll look back at Iowa and ahead to Michigan State. The topic will most certainly come up.
2. WHY STAY WITH Chris Covington UNTIL THE BITTER END?
There’s no arguing the fact that Chris Covington was put in a most difficult situation Saturday afternoon against Iowa.
The true freshman quarterback was asked to lead the IU offense after Nate Sudfeld went down with a shoulder injury around the 12-minute mark of the second quarter.
But it was pretty clear that Covington’s best offense Saturday was to hand the ball to Coleman and then get out of the way. His first play of the game, Covington did just that and Coleman ran 45 yards for a touchdown.
After that it was a struggle though because Covington clearly didn’t feel comfortable in the backfield and his timing was clearly off. Again, all of that is understandable but the question becomes why do you leave him in there?
Why not give another quarterback an opportunity to gain some valuable game experience if indeed you think there is a chance that Sudfeld may be out for an extended period of time?
I understand the hesitation on taking the redshirt off of Zander Diamont. Until you know for certain if Sudfeld can return it would be a panic move to use Diamont. The worst case scenario would be that they use him and then Sudfeld returned quicker than expected and then you’ve lost a year with Diamont.
But what about Nate Boudreau?
I guess what you weight into the decision is how much more experience is Covington going to get in the final quarter of that game as compared to what someone like Boudreau could have received by getting to play three offensive possessions?
Perhaps it’s not as easy of an answer as one would think, but myself I would think if you were sitting here today with two options having seen both Covington and Boudreau play compared to one that you would have more options at hand.
The big wildcard here is how significant is Sudfeld’s injury and how long will he be out? Again, that’s something we hope to learn more about at Monday’s weekly press conference.
That’s today’s Monday Morning Quarterback feature from AllHoosiers.com.
Stay tuned for Daily Features each day this week at AllHoosiers.com leading up to Saturday’s game with Iowa. Tuesday is our On The Mend feature looking at the injury situation. Wednesday is How They Fared where Ben Faunce looks at how IU’s recruits did in last weekend’s games. Thursday is Scouting The Opponent, a segment with five questions from an opposing beat writer. Friday is our Prediction Time feature where the AllHoosiers.com staff predicts the outcome of that Saturday’s game and looks for your take on what the score will be as well.
Also continue to follow the bottom of this page for the related stories file throughout today as we add content from Monday’s Kevin Wilson press conference.Analysis: Can Covington be the answer?
Staff Analysis: One more look back
Coleman talks about going over 1,000 yards