Roberson's Transfer Gives Sudfeld Full Responsibility of Indiana Offense
Last year the Hoosiers caught the attention of many in the Big Ten because of their high-flying offense, averaging nearly 40 points a game. If it wasn’t for a horrible defense Indiana would have likely been much better than 5-7 and gone to a bowl game.
That powerful attack was led by a two-headed monster at quarterback; the versatile Tre Roberson (who started four games) and pass-happy Nate Sudfeld (who started the other eight). It was a quarterback controversy that lasted into the spring game, with both QBs putting up great numbers.
When asked about the competition after that game, Roberson told ESPN.com, “We’ve figured it out. We’re trying to separate, but it’s hard to separate when the other one is really good. But we can coexist and we’ll keep on working together.”
Yeah, about that.
Roberson surprised the college football world last week by announcing he is going to transfer from IU. It was a shocker for several reasons; Robinson was one of the first prize recruits for coach Kevin Wilson, he was the first true freshman quarterback to start a game for Indiana, and the announcement comes after summer workouts are already underway.
So there’s no quarterback controversy anymore. It’s Sudfeld’s team. And that’s no consolation prize.
Last year Sudfeld threw for 2,523 yards and 21 touchdowns. He completed 60 percent of his passes and threw only nine interceptions.
In the Big Ten, Sudfeld torched Penn State for 321 yards, went 20-of-27 for 267 yards and three touchdowns against Illinois, and 224 yards and two touchdowns against Ohio State. Only four of his nine picks came in conference games. The point being Sudfeld wasn’t just racking up the yards against the sisters of the poor.
So alright, the Hoosiers are in great shape with a legitimate threat behind center as they try to rebuild the program. Wait, what, people in Indiana are concerned? Yeah, they should be. The biggest problem with Robinson leaving is depth at the position. Robinson and Sudfeld each have two years of eligibility left, so Indiana wasn’t exactly hot on the recruiting trail for a quarterback.
If something happens to Sudfeld, the Hoosiers don’t have a single quarterback on the roster that has thrown a pass in a game. In fact only two other quarterbacks played in the spring game, and they combined for a total of six pass attempts. It appears the frontrunner to backup Sudfeld heading into the season will be true freshman Zander Diamont.
The bottom line in Bloomington? The sky isn’t falling on coach Wilson, but the loss of the very-versatile and experienced Robinson is certainly a blow to the program. And having an 18-year old backing up Sudfeld could give Wilson some sleepless nights.
But the Hoosiers have much bigger problems to worry about. Remember that bad defense I mentioned earlier? For all the great numbers put up by the Hoosiers’ offense in 2013, the defense simply got shredded, giving up 63 points at Michigan, 45 against Missouri, and 35 and 36 (respectively) in WINS over Illinois and Purdue.
Sure, Sudfeld can do a lot on the field, but he can’t play defense.
Jay Saunders is a Big Ten contributor for FanIQ with keen knowledge for Nebraska football. Follow him on Twitter: @JayinMilwaukee