Indiana Football: QBs Tre Roberson, Nate Sudfeld Should Continue Platooning

By Tyler Fenwick
nate sudfeld indiana hoosiers
Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

One of the most underrated and under-appreciated offensive units in the entire country is that of the Indiana Hoosiers. We’re talking about a team that scored 38.4 points per game a season ago, which becomes even more impressive when you consider the Hoosiers’ defense couldn’t get off the field if their lives depended on it. Two main factors contributed to last year’s explosive success on offense: quarterbacks Tre Roberson and Nate Sudfeld. They platooned at the position all season and, contrary to popular opinion, should continue to do so in 2014.

Head coach Kevin Wilson is heading into his fourth season as the man in charge in Bloomington having already improved in each succeeding season. Looking back to last year, the reason his team was able to add a win to 2012’s total was the play of Sudfeld and Roberson in a two-quarterback system.

Platooning quarterbacks isn’t the most popular move in major college football, and there are many reasons accompanying the argument. Typically, I would agree it’s in a team’s best interest to find a quarterback and stick with him. But in the case of Indiana, I think this is a better team with two quarterbacks at maximum capacity because of how well they compliment each other.

Roberson is indisputably the more mobile of the two. He’s a dynamic runner and can make big things happen in an instant. Sudfeld holds the upper hand in the passing game.

Last season, while platooning, Roberson completed 60.1 percent of his passes for 1,128 yards while tossing 15 touchdowns. He also rushed for 423 yards and five scores. Sudfeld posted a 60.2 completion percentage, throwing for 2,523 yards and 21 touchdowns.

An interesting factor to weigh this season will be the situation at wide receiver. Last year’s core of Cody Latimer, Kofi Hughes and Ted Bolser are departed and will be dearly missed by an offense that strives for electricity. Senior Shane Wynn has moved from the slot to the outside and is expected to be one of the go-to receivers this season. Outside of him, though, nobody else is a proven factor.

If it turns out the Hoosiers can’t find a reliable option at wide receiver or tight end this season, it’d be logical to think Roberson would start to be favored over a guy like Sudfeld, who will exclusively be looking to work with his arm. Looking outside injuries and lack of results, that’s the only way I see Wilson really favoring one of his quarterbacks over the other.

Indiana’s goal this season has to be getting to a bowl game. Falling two games short in 2012 and then a single game short last season has left a bitter taste throughout the program. As it stands right now, I think the Hoosiers are a good enough team to do it this time around, and that is in large part due to the two talented quarterbacks who need to be platooning again this season.

Tyler Fenwick is a Big 10 writer for Follow him on Twitter @Ty_Fenwick, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.


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