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Indiana Must-Bet NCAA Football Games Of 2022 Season
One of the biggest disappointments in the Big Ten last season was Indiana sliding to a 2-10 record after finishing at least three games over .500 in the previous two seasons. Coach Tom Allen is on a hot seat entering 2022. Let’s see the preview for your betting College Football.
Indiana Must-Bet NCAA Football Games Of 2022 Season
Indiana’s only two wins last season were against FCS school Idaho and at Western Kentucky. The Hoosiers rarely were competitive in the Big Ten.
Head coach Tom Allen recruited five new assistant coaches as well 12 players from the transfer portal while trying to return IU to its winning ways of 2019 and 2020. The Hoosiers ranked last in the Big Ten in total offense in 2021, averaging fewer than 300 yards and 18 points per game. IU had four touchdown passes in nine Big Ten games. Allen fired offensive coordinator Nick Sheridan and replaced him with Walt Bell.
Bell started his coaching career as a graduate assistant at Memphis in 2007 and made stops schools such as Oklahoma State, North Carolina, Maryland and Florida State along the way. After 12 seasons as an offensive position coach or coordinator, Bell got his first shot to be a head coach in 2019. Bell served head coach at the University of Massachusetts for three seasons, finishing with a 2-23 record. Bell was fired with three games left in the 2021 campaign after a 1-8 start to the season.
During Bell’s introductory press conference, Bell said his No. 1 offensive philosophy, no matter which level of football he is coaching, is the ability to effectively run the ball. Starting quarterback Michael Penix Jr. transferred to Washington in the offseason so it’s not clear who will be under center Week 1 between Jack Tuttle or Missouri transfer Connor Bazelak.
Bazelak was the 2020 SEC Co-Freshman of the Year and threw for 5,084 yards with 23 touchdowns, 17 interceptions, and a 66.4 completion percentage in 20 starts (24 games) from 2019-21. Tuttle appeared in six games last year for Indiana with starts against No. 10 Michigan State and No. 5 Ohio State. He completed 45-of-87 for 423 yards with two touchdowns and five interceptions. Prior to Bazelak’s transfer, Tuttle was arguably the odds-on favorite to start behind center for the Hoosiers. After all, for the last three seasons he’s done his fair share of time as a backup.
“I think I’d always encourage competition on a team,” Tuttle said. “I think maybe that’s something — we’ve always had competition, but in the recent years, maybe not as much. So I think competition is an amazing thing for a team. It’s only going to improve everybody who’s in it and on the team, so all good for me.”
Wide receiver/return specialist D.J. Matthews Jr. has been named to the preseason watch list for the Paul Hornung Award, given annually to the most versatile player in major college football. Matthews Jr. enrolled at IU in 2021 spring classes and participated in practice, before suffering an injury in the fourth game of the season in 2021. In four games, he caught 13 passes for 165 yards, returned four punts for 83 yards and rushed twice for 28 yards. He accounted for two scores, a rushing score against Cincinnati and a punt return for a touchdown versus Idaho.
None of the Hoosiers’ top four running backs return, but that’s not as bad as it sounds because they combined for only 1,066 yards.
Running back Shaun Shivers has been named a preseason candidate for the Doak Walker Award. A transfer from Auburn, Shivers joined the program for spring practice after appearing in 49 games with nine starts in four seasons on The Plains. He enters his first season with the Hoosiers as a 1,000-yard rusher in his career with eight rushing scores. He owns 38 career receptions for 211 yards and has served as a return specialist in his career, as well.
The Hoosiers’ defensive scoring average soared from 20.3 points allowed in 2020 to 33.2 points per game in 2021, which ranked last in the Big Ten. Losing All-America linebacker Micah McFadden to graduation and then the NFL is offset by the return of Cam Jones and Aaron Casey, and the addition of transfer linebackers Jared Casey from Kentucky and Bradley Jennings Jr. of Miami. The 6-3, 222-pound Jones, a team captain last season, has 154 total tackles with six sacks, two interceptions, four forced fumbles, and two fumble recoveries in his career.
IU’s new defensive coordinator is Minnesota defensive line coach Chad Wilt. Wilt was with the Golden Gophers for the last two seasons. He has also been a defensive line coach at Cincinnati (2019) Army (2016-18) Maryland (2014-15) Ball State (2011-13), Richmond (2010), Virginia (2009), Liberty (2006-08), Central Connecticut State (2001-03). Wilt replaces Charlton Warren, who left Indiana to become the co-defensive coordinator for North Carolina. Allen will call defensive plays for the Hoosiers in 2022 and said Wilt will serve as his right-hand man in meetings and the go-to guy for organizational purposes, even during the game.
IU could start 3-0 as its first three are at home vs. Illinois, Idaho and Western Kentucky before a trip to Cincinnati ahead of full Big Ten play. Realistically, the Hoosiers will only be favored once in conference play on the road: at Rutgers. They can beat visiting Maryland and Purdue but not likely Michigan or Penn State.
Indiana Football 2022 Season Prediction
- 5-7, bet over 4 wins
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