When giving credit to the success of Indiana’s running game the past few years, two names on the offensive line that come up often are Dan Feeney and Dimitric Camiel.
On Saturday afternoon, however, neither player played a snap in Indiana’s 33-28 loss to Wake Forest at Memorial Stadium.
The unavailability of the All-American right guard Feeney and senior right tackle was not the reason IU coach Kevin Wilson gave for not running the ball as much as in previous games.
“We didn’t run the ball because those two guys weren’t there,” Wilson said. “We didn’t run the ball because we didn’t block well.”
The Hoosiers didn’t run the ball as well as they normally do. This season, IU averaged 216.5 rushing yards a game coming into its matchup with the Demon Deacons. The Hoosiers finished with only 115 total rushing yards on 32 attempts.
Indiana was able to throw, as first-year starting quarterback Richard Lagow set a school-record for passing yards with 496. He also had three touchdowns and five interceptions.
IU finished with 611 yards of total offense, the 18th time in school history IU has surpassed 600 yards, 10 of those coming under Wilson.
Feeney, rated the number one preseason offensive guard in the country by USA Today, has played in 39 career games at IU and has only allowed one sack in 2,820 snaps.
Feeney’s health was in question all week, as Wilson had said that he was waiting for the team doctors to clear him following a concussion.
Wilson said that he knew how important it was to be cautious with Feeney’s concussion and explained what he told Feeney.
“I said, ‘Let me tell you something, you’ve got enough banked reps as a good player. Make sure you’re healthy,’” Wilson said of his conversation with Feeney.
In Feeney and Camiel’s place, sophomore Brandon Knight and fifth-year senior Jacob Bailey got the starts.
“Brandon Knight came in and played well,” Wilson said. “Jacob (Bailey), fifth year guy, was playing…the guys were playing good.”
While Feeney was a question mark all week, Camiel’s absence wasn’t expected.
“He’s an injury, a back thing,” Wilson said of Camiel. “I don’t know. He’s there. He was with us, just limited.”
Despite the running game struggles, the absence of Feeney and Camiel on the offensive line is an uncertainty as to whether it will continue into next week and beyond.
“If he could have played, he would have played,” Wilson said. “In the time line, can he play next, I don’t know. Again we’re going to do everything we can to take care of our people, and at the same time, we’ll keep playing.”
— Ben Wittenstein