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Indiana Football Week 10 Stock Report: Who’s trending up? Who’s trending down?



Indiana football
Taking a look at who from the Indiana football program has raised their stock and lowered their stock heading into week 10. (Dan Rainville-USA TODAY NETWORK)

The Indiana football program continues to struggle as it has now dropped four games in a row and remains winless in Big Ten play following its loss to No. 10 Penn State on Saturday.

Indiana, now sitting at 2-6, heads into a home matchup with the Wisconsin Badgers.

So, after week nine of the season for Indiana football, who is trending up? Who’s trending down? We take a look at some coaches, players and position groups here.


Brendan Sorsby: It was the second start for Brendan Sorsby after getting the starting nod against Michigan. He played his best game of the season against Penn State, going 13-of-19 for 269 yards, three touchdowns and one interception. He finally helped the Indiana offense produce some explosive plays.

He had a 90-yard touchdown throw to Dequece Carter and a 69-yard touchdown to Donaven McCulley. His third touchdown was a 26-yarder to Omar Cooper Jr.

The most important part is Sorsby gaining confidence himself.

“I felt really comfortable out there this week. I felt like Coach [Rod] Carey called a great game,” Sorsby said postgame. “The O-line and receivers did a great job helping me out, our running backs ran the ball really well.”

What stood out even more was his physical play as well. He took multiple big hits as well as being the initiator on a few big runs.

“He’s a physical guy. He ran the ball in high school too, but how are you going to respond when you get the pressure in your face? I think, as he’s gotten that, more of those opportunities to show the game day poise and confidence that you just don’t know is there. I think that’s definitely something you’re seeing each week grow, and I think that will continue as well.

“I think (Sorsby) played his rear end off, I really do. I don’t question that,” Carey said. “That’s two weeks in a row I think he’s played his rear end off. There are a lot of things we got to get going, but certainly his poise on how to operate the offense in a hostile environment, with all the different things that we were doing offensively as far as pre-snap motions and movements and things like that was very impressive for a young guy.”

This was definitely a building-block moment for the redshirt freshman.

Omar Cooper Jr: Cooper flashed in week two against Indiana State, totaling 101 yards on seven receptions — but, has been very quiet since. A lot of that is due to the shuffling QBs and change in offensive coordinators, but he’s had some big plays in back-to-back weeks. He’s caught a touchdown in two straight weeks and continued to show his big play ability after the catch for Indiana. He had three receptions for 52 yards and a touchdown against Penn State, following a 35-yard touchdown on a broken play against Rutgers the week prior.

Cooper’s size at 6-foot-1 and 200 pounds gives him a good ability to play both on the outside and in the slot. He continues to be a very good route runner, adding even more of an emphasis as a slot receiver at times. His toughness, ball skills and elusiveness is tremendous and a valuable tool for the Indiana offense. He’s by far one of the better yard-after-catch receivers IU has on its roster.

Josh Henderson: It was just one game back but you could feel the energy from Josh Henderson. After missing a few weeks due to a lower leg injury, Henderson made his presence felt on Saturday. He had a team-high 12 carries for 57 yards and gave the running back room a nice boost. What he brings most is his pass blocking ability, something the coaches have discussed heavily on numerous occasions. He adds an extra line of defense for the offensive line and allows Sorsby an extra few seconds to survey the field before deciding on his throw or run. Henderson is averaging 4.4 yards per carry this season and is also averaging 14.7 yards per reception. He didn’t have a catch against Penn State, but look for him to be more involved in the passing attack this weekend.


Jaylin Lucas: As one of the most dynamic players in the Big Ten, and certainly on Indiana’s roster, Jaylin Lucas has seen his production dip drastically. In the last four games, Lucas hasn’t had more than seven carries. He had no less than eight in the first four games — with three of the four games with at least 10 carries. Since his 10-reception for 98-yard performance against Louisville, He’s totaled just 14 catches in the last five games, including two games with 0 catches.

Against Akron he didn’t receive a single target. Against Maryland, he had four catches for two yards. He had five receptions for 56 yards and one touchdown against Michigan and five receptions for just 16 yards against Rutgers.

Saturday against Penn State was the low point. He had one carry for -5 yards and no receptions on three targets.

“Jaylin is a high priority for us to get him touches and he’s also a high priority for the defense to make sure we don’t get him touches. So, there’s a little bit of a cat and mouse game going on there,” Carey said on Monday. “We’re trying to be creative to get him touches but at the same time the defense is trying to take him way and there’s something else there. It’s going to remain a high priority for us and that’s not going to change. He’s dynamic. Certainly hasn’t been that the last few weeks because his touches are down so it’s my job to get his touches up. It’s also — you gotta move the offense and win the game and score points. There’s a lot of things that go into that, but that’s a still priority.”

He needs to be a priority this weekend and moving forward. He’s too good to be utilized as little as he has the last few weeks.

Tom Allen: Enough coach talk with Tom Allen. He continues to portray the same messaging each and every week. On Saturday though, it wasn’t the messaging that was his issue — it was his game management. After the Indiana football defense forced the first interception of the year off of Penn State, the Hoosiers took over at the Penn State 14 yard line down, 24-21. There was just 5:02 left on the clock. It was three-straight runs — all one yard — and a field goal to tie the game. Postgame, Allen said both he and Rod Carey agreed that running it and being more conservative was the right move. It wasn’t — and he should’ve known that in live action.

The Indiana football program was 2-20 in the last 22 Big Ten games entering Penn State and that was the conservative mindset you go into that drive with? If that doesn’t tell you the mentality of this coaching staff, I don’t know what else does.


Indiana Defense: After a few weeks of subpar play, the Indiana defense played with a lot of energy and toughness for a full game on Saturday. It gave up one big play — unfortunately at the worst timing, a 57-yard touchdown that would win the game.  Overall, however, the defense gave up just 3.1 yards per carry, had three sacks and 6.5 tackles for loss. That unit also forced the first interception of Drew Allar’s college career. Indiana faces a lackluster Wisconsin offense that may be without the best running back in the league. Can they get back to the dominant defense that we saw the first few weeks? If so, you could be looking at IU’s first Big Ten win this season.

SEE ALSO: Indiana football is forgetting about Jaylin Lucas. And, that can’t happen: ‘High priority for us to get him touches’

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Alec Lasley is the owner of Hoosier Illustrated, a comprehensive site covering news, updates and recruiting for Indiana University athletics. Alec has covered Indiana for six years and is a credentialed media member. He has previously worked for both Rivals and 247Sports.