RB BenJarvus Green-Ellis

2003 Statistics

Coach: Gerry DiNardo
5-19, 2 years
2003 Record: 2-10
at Connecticut LOST 10-34
at Washington LOST 13-38
at Michigan LOST 17-31
at Michigan State LOST 3-31
at Minnesota LOST 7-55
at Penn State LOST 7-52

2003 Final Rankings
AP-UR, Coaches-UR, BCS-UR

2004 Outlook

Because we're talking about a basketball school, the AD's leash for Gerry DiNardo isn't as short as many assume. A third straight dismal season in his third year at the helm won't (necessarily) mean the end. DiNardo's predecessor, Cam Cameron, had five losing seasons in five years before getting the axe. Then again, Cameron was an IU grad serving under a different AD.

Realistically, the Hoosiers have to show some improvement this fall. DiNardo's has now had three years to recruit and develop players. Twenty one starters are back, and, for the first time, he has a full roster of 85 scholarship players. Most analysts believe the Big Ten is in for a(nother) down year. The Hoosiers won't go bowling, but they also shouldn't settle for two or three wins.

The schedule could bring a disastrous start if IU stumbles in its opener against Central Michigan. After a few tough conference road games, Michigan State comes to Bloomington for the Big Ten opener and what could be their best chance for an upset. The Hoosiers will need a couple of those to surpass last year's win total. Expect the Nov. 6 game at Illinois to determine the 10th and 11th-place teams in the conference.

Despite having so many starters back, we'll still have to focus on the future to find a sure 'team positive'. Many of this year's starters, especially on defense, are underclassmen who will be back. DiNardo should be as well. The more he plays these rookies, the greater the likelihood he will be seen as the true player-developer he has always been, which is a respectable alternative when not winning. These guys will unfortunately become, by season's end, the doormat they have lately been.

Projected 2004 record: 4-7
QB - 2.5 DL - 3
RB - 3 LB - 2.5
WR - 2.5 DB - 3.5
OL - 3.5 ..

Passing: Matt LoVecchio, 291-155-9, 1778 yds., 3 TD

Rushing: BenJarvus Green-Ellis, 225 att., 938 yds., 7 TD

Receiving: Courtney Roby, 45 rec., 504 yds., 0 TD

Scoring: Bryan Robertson, 12-18 FG, 19-20 PAT, 55 pts.

Punting: Tyson Beattie, 68 punts, 40.8 avg.

Kicking: Bryan Robertson, 12-18 FG, 19-20 PAT, 55 pts.

Tackles: Kyle Killion, 97 tot., 65 solo

Sacks: Jodie Clemons, 6 sacks

Interceptions: Herana-Daze Jones, Cedric Henry - 2 each

Kickoff returns: Lance Bennett, 18 ret., 22.5 avg., 0 TD

Punt returns: Lance Bennett, 11 ret., 9.4 avg., 0 TD


DT Jodie Clemons


OFFENSE: Glenn Johnson-WR, Brian Lewis-RB
DEFENSE: Duane Stone-CB, Joe Gonzalez-FS

It's either 'perform or get off the pot' time for Notre Dame-transfer Matt LoVecchio. The now-senior didn't come close to meeting expectations as the Hoosiers were ninth in the conference in pass offense. LoVecchio never clicked with his receivers and ran like Bernie Kosar. Things look up for his prospects this year - the O-line, which improved late, returns intact, as does LoVecchio's top receiving target. If the senior doesn't step it up, he'll end his career watching redshirt freshman Blake Powers guide the offense. Powers outplayed LoVecchio during the spring to become the No. 2 QB. A strong-armed, pro-style thrower who was a second-team all-state pick in Kentucky, Powers threw three TD passes in the spring game to lead the Crimson past LoVecchio's Cream squad. With the need for experience, LoVecchio will see action early and often.

Running Back
This is a running offense, and, as luck would have it, the Hoosiers should be able to run with soph BenJarvus Green-Ellis leading a solid group of carriers. Green-Ellis, a bowling-ball who should be a fullback, is strong and durable enough to shoulder a heavy load. The Crescent City-native was a freshman (938 yards at 4.2 per carry). He will improve on those stats behind a better line. Junior Yamar Washington was the leading rusher in '02 before missing '03 with an ACL tear. Including both strings, all are quicker and will provide a nice depth the rugged Green-Ellis. Used as a blocker and receiver, third-year starting fullback John Pannozzo is capable at both. Like Pannozzo, most of the tailbacks have shown decent pass-catching ability, which spread defenses for LoVecchio.

There is enough speed and experience here such that defenses will not be able to load the box. The guy who will see the most double-teams is senior Courtney Roby, the leading receiver the past two seasons. Roby is also the fastest sprinter on the track team at 6.90 in the 60. Roby's numbers dropped as LoVecchio struggled. Fortunately for Roby, there's another deep threat to compliment him in senior Travis Haney, who will step in as a starter after averaging 22.0 yards per grab last fall. Tyke Spencer, a junior, is the possession guy. His numbers also dropped with LoVecchio throwing him the ball. Notice a trend? There has to be more chemistry in the passing game, or IU can expect to see seven or eight guys in the box on a regular basis. Keeping Roby and/or Haney home in the first few tilts should help this aspect.

Tight End
LoVecchio will have another consistent pair of mitts to throw to in senior Aaron Halterman, a third year starter who was third on the team with 23 grabs. Soph Chris Rudanovic saw plenty of time as a freshman. He isn't the receiver Halterman is, but is regarded as a better blocker. The two will compliment well enough to regularly distract OLBs.

Offensive Line
Like Wisconsin and Northwestern, Indiana returns all five starters up front. But you won't confuse this group with any of the Big Ten's best units. Though it improved down the stretch, the line allowed more sacks (40) than any other unit in the conference, which helps explain some of the passing game woes. Their run-blocking wasn't much better - the Hoosiers gained just 3.4 yards per carry. LG Adam Hines, another third-year starter, is a potential all-conference guy and the leader of the group. As needed, LT Isaac Sowells has developed into a bulldozer in the running game. Center Chris Mangerio and right tackle Justin Frye, both sophs, have not shown any pensions to continue improving. Depth is a big problem with only two experience reserves. IU had the Big Ten's youngest line last fall. A few key injuries early in the season could push them back to Square One.

Don't expect many new wrinkles under either new offensive coordinator Steve Addazio or QBs coach Matt Canada. Addazio served under predecessor Al Borges as the O-line coach, and Canada is an IU grad. The Hoosiers kept it on the ground 63 percent of the time last year despite having a young line and a true freshman carrying the ball. They ranked fifth in the conference in time of possession, a trend that will continue with an iffy defense. The passing game will struggle (to improve enough) to spread out the big, physical front-sevens of the Big Ten, which will have their way with the Hoosiers if allowed to flood the box. With 10 starters back, this offense has to be better. If not, the offensive coordinator might not be the only change heading into next fall.


OT Isaac Sowells


Returning Starters in bold
QB Matt LoVecchio-Sr (6-3, 216) Graeme McFarland-So (6-1, 200)
FB John Pannozzo-Jr (5-11, 230) Josiah Sears-Fr (6-0, 244)
RB BenJarvus Green-Ellis-So (5-11, 220) Chris Taylor-Jr (5-11, 210)
WR Courtney Roby-Sr (6-0, 185) Tyke Spencer-Jr (5-10, 169)
WR Travis Haney-Sr (6-4, 209) David Lewis-Sr (6-0, 185)
TE Aaron Halterman-Sr (6-4, 256) Chris Rudanovic-So (6-4, 265)
OT Isaac Sowells-Jr (6-3, 325) Paul Hearn-Fr (6-4, 305)
OG Adam Hines-Jr (6-3, 304) Chris Voltattorni-Sr (6-2, 295)
C Chris Mangiero-So (6-1, 290) Brandon Hatcher-Jr (6-2, 302)
OG Chris Jahnke-Sr (6-5, 310) John Sandberg-Fr (6-2, 290)
OT Justin Frye-So (6-5, 300) Brandon Joyce-Fr (6-4, 294)
K Bryan Robertson-Sr (5-8, 171) Troy Grosfield-So (5-11, 186)



Defensive Line
The scenario here is very similar to that of the O-line. The entire starting group is back from a young unit that took its lumps last fall. IU was last in the Big Ten with 17 sacks, and that lack of a pass rush contributed greatly to an awful air defense. There are some potential standouts mixed in with guys who need to get better, and there's not much depth. The potential standouts are NT Jodie Clemons and DE Kenny Kendal. The two provided most of the team's limited pass-rush in '03, with Clemons leading the team in sacks (six) and tackles for losses (12). Expect a better season from junior DE Victor Adeyanju who, like Kendal, is strong and quick. The unknown variable is senior DT Martin Lapostolle and his huge potential, yet he needs to be more of a run-plugger inside, especially with the undersized LBs behind him. Barring injury, expect some improvement here, though that won't be easy with the (Big Ten) fronts they face.

There's actually depth here, and the aforementioned size deficit is eased with the addition of JUCO-transfer Paul Szczesny, a strong 240-pounder who will (likely) man the middle. Szczesny, a preseason JUCO All-American in '03, has 4.5-40 speed to go along with formidable strength. Starters Josh Moore and Kyle Killion also are small, quick and rack up the tackles. Killion, the most talented guy in this group, should have more impact by moving to the outside. Soph Jake Powers, a Sporting News All-Big Ten freshman, and experienced junior Kevin Smith are capable backups. IU, ninth in the conference in run-stopping, should be marginally stingier. And, with all that speed, this group should be tough to throw against underneath.

Defensive Back
Deep routes are a different story. The corners were consistently torched last fall, and despite the return of top-cover guy Cedric Henry, improvement is no certainty. The junior trio of Leonard Bryant, Courtney Clency and Buster Larkins will eventually shore up the other corner, initially with Bryant as the likely starter. Bryant has the edge in speed and experience, though Clency is the better athlete of the three. The safety spots look more promising. Will Meyers, the Big Ten Defensive Freshman of the Year, is a reliable playmaker in all facets at strong safety. Former-LB Herena-Daze Jones was second behind Killion with 96 tackles. He also earned an all-Big Ten honorable mention in his first season at free safety. This unit is a major area of concern, though, especially at corner. Don't be surprised to see true freshman in the secondary this fall.

As with the offense, head coach Gerry DiNardo promoted his line coach to the coordinator spot. The good news for new defensive czar Joe Cullen is that he has nine starters back. The bad news is those nine starters were part of the nation's 94th-ranked unit both in scoring and total defense. Many of these guys would be lucky to even show up on the depth chart at Michigan or Ohio State. But that's not to say there isn't some talent here. Besides everything listed here, this group must improve in both pass rush and coverage. There's enough athleticism up front for the former to be stronger, with Cullen sure to implement some new blitz schemes. Someone will emerge in the secondary, though, or we're going to again see those 40-point totals we are getting too used to.


FS Herana-Daze Jones


Returning Starters in bold
DE Victor Adeyanju-Jr (6-4, 270) Eli Radke-Sr (6-2, 260)
DT Martin Lapostolle-Sr (6-2, 280) Russ Richardson-Jr (6-0, 265)
DT Jodie Clemons-Sr (6-2, 276) Joe Kremer-Fr (6-2, 290)
DE Kenny Kendal-So (6-3, 250) Ben Ishola-Jr (6-3, 255)
SLB Josh Moore-Sr (5-11, 225) Kevin Smith-Sr (6-2, 238)
MLB Kyle Killion-Jr (6-0, 230) Brian Faires-Fr (6-3, 244)
WLB Paul Szczesny-Jr (6-0, 240) Jake Powers-So (6-1, 220)
CB Leonard Bryant-Jr (5-10, 174) Courtney Clency-Jr (5-9, 189)
CB Cedric Henry-So (6-0, 195) Buster Larkins-Jr (5-11, 185)
SS Will Meyers-So (5-11, 200) Eric McClurg-So (5-11, 205)
FS Herana-Daze Jones-Sr (5-11, 205) Ryan Skelton-So (6-2, 200)
P Tyson Beattie-So (6-1, 200) ..




No problem here, as long as the offense can get their try to within 40 yards. Bryan Robertson hit all 10 of his field goal tries within that range (he was also 19-of-20 on PATs). Improving from beyond 40 is also a must, but there are bigger areas of concern on this team. Kickoff coverage, behind the leg of soph Troy Grosfield, was a bright spot as IU led the Big Ten by holding 15.7 yards per return.

Australian-import Tyson Beattie proved he was no Yahoo Serious as a freshman. He averaged 40.8 yards per kick, had no punts blocked and landed 15 attempts within the 20. Opponents ran two back, however, for six, and IU net punting was an unreliable seventh in the conference. With a year in the States under his belt, Beattie will improve and give the defense more room to work.

Return Game
Already known as a rap artist, soph Lance Bennett isn't half bad as a return artist, either. The former high school All-America sprinter was fourth in the conference in kick returns at 22.5 yards per touch and seventh in punts. He should get more opportunities with the graduation of Glenn Johnson.