Thursday, August 25, 2011

QB Who -- IU's Great Football Mystery Remains

We arrived seeking wisdom, understanding and insight. The great mystery that is Indiana football practice was about to be revealed. With it, we hoped, would come the answer to the question that has vexed everyone since Kevin Wilson arrived:

How can you sneak into Memorial Stadium?

Wait, that was the question a pair of students asked us as we were leaving IU’s situational scrimmage Thursday night. Darkness had fallen and Memorial Stadium was all ablaze, a football siren for those who appreciate impressive facilities. At one time, the last thing anyone would want to see was a lit-up Memorial Stadium at night. Now, it is a testament to the university’s commitment to football excellence and a lure for those seeking adventure.

What kind of adventure?

We didn’t ask.

For the record, we told the students that trying to sneak into Memorial Stadium was a REALLY bad idea, that they would be caught, arrested and find themselves spending the last few days before class begins doing community service rather than what all students have gathered early to do -- partying like it was 1999.

So they left, and then so did we, and the real question gnawing at Hoosier fans hovered in the air:

Who would be the starting quarterback?

Still can’t say.

Check that. Based on what we saw, which was scripted situations with ever changing personnel to maximize reps and opportunity, Edward Wright-Baker looked the best. The offense just seemed to flow crisper and smoother while he ran the show. But that also might have had to do with the players he played with and against. There was a lot of shuffling. Still, Wright-Baker opened with the first unit on the opening series. Dusty Kiel got the first unit on the second series, and then they rotated. Tre Roberson didn’t get any first-unit action.

Kiel and Roberson had their moments. Roberson is still more advanced as a runner than a thrower, but that’s to be expected from a true freshman still learning the offense and how to read college defenses.

Also, while it was 11 against 11, it was not full-contact hitting.

Anyway, here is what Wilson had to say when asked for a quarterback update:

“They’re plugging along. I don’t know if they’re getting great help all the time. It’s timing. The receivers get a littled gassed, the rhythm is off, the timing isn’t always ideal. A guy looks like he’s off target, but maybe there’s a receiver leaving him out to dry.

“We’re trying to get the whole crowd to play well around them. They’re still a little inconsistent. We haven’t had a bunch of meetings talking about it. We’re working hard and trying to get better. We’ll let it play out.”

Play can’t last much longer. IU opens its season against Ball State on September 3, just over a week away. You might figure that whoever starts against Ball State will be the No. 1 guy.

You might be wrong. Wilson added a touch of mystery.

“We might get to that first game, a guy goes out first, that doesn’t mean he’s the starter. He just might be the guy going first. It will be interesting to see.

“Some guys are doing pretty well. There are good situations and bad situations. Some guys when the lights go on, they’re really different. Some guys the lights go on and they play better. Some don’t.

“As little as they have played, I don’t know if there will ever be an official announcement. We might just let it play out. I’m not trying to be coy. I’m not trying to hide anything. That’s where we’re at.”

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