Monday, August 30, 2010
Doss Out For Thursday Night Opener
Tandon Doss isn’t going to play. For now, with Towson coming to Memorial Stadium on Thursday night, this is no big deal. Indiana should roll with or without this returning All-Big Ten receiver.
A grooin injury has sidelined the 6-3, 205-pound junior. That means the Hoosiers will be without a guy who, as a sophomore, caught 77 passes for 962 yards and five touchdowns.
Given their receiver depth (talented redshirt freshman Duwyce Wilson will replace Doss) and Towson’s likely secondary vulnerability, this should not be a problem on Thursday. It could become one later in the season if Doss remains out, but all indications are that won’t happen.
“He’s not going to play (against Towson),” coach Bill Lynch said. “In fairness to him and to the other guys, he’s just not making the progress he needs to make to play at full speed.
“It’s a long year. We don’t want it to be a lingering injury.”
IU gets an apparent scheduling break in that, after Thursday’s game, it doesn’t play again until Sept. 18 when it goes to Western Kentucky. Those 16 days will go a long way toward getting Doss, and other injured Hoosiers, healthy.
“There’s no question we can use the time (for Doss) and anything else that happens Thursday night,” Lynch said. “It helps with a kid like Chris Adkins (out until midseason after ankle surgery). We hope to get him back. You always spin your schedule to a positive. That’s how we’re looking at it.”
The Hoosiers are gearing for what they hope is a major turnaround after winning a combined seven games in the past two seasons.
“We’ve spent a lot of time finding out who is ready to play,” Lynch said. “We won’t have tryouts on Thursday. We’ll play the guys who have proven they are ready.
“From a scheme standpoint we’ve worked hard on third downs on both sides of the ball. We did a lot of things in camp to make it more competitive. We had drills where there were winners and losers. There was conditioning after practice depending on who won and who lost.
“We worked on red zone offense and red zone defense. We’ve got to score more touchdowns in the red zone. The defense has to have that mindset that it will force field goals. We’ve spent a ton of time in those areas.”
Coaches also have focused on attention to detail and maximum effort on every play.
“The defense is supposed to run to the ball on every play,” Lynch said. “We chart every loaf and if we see it they run as a group. Offensively it’s about ball security. If we see a ball on the ground or a turnover, the entire offense does something after practice. That includes things like pre-snap penalties.”
The bottom line is IU needs to show this will be a special season. Yes, that means little things matter. And it starts, but certainly doesn’t end, with a victory Thursday night.
To clarify an earlier blog, freshman receiver Kofi Hughes is the only true freshman likely to play against Towson. He's the only true true freshman listed on the two-deep roster. The injury to Doss and Dre Muhammad's ankle injury increases the chances that Hughes will see action.