BLOOMINGTON -- Indiana receiver Terrance Turner made some tough catches, tailback Darius Willis got some tough yards and quarterback Ben Chappell completed some tough passes.
What does all that Saturday scrimmage play-making mean for the season?
For one thing, Hoosier coaches are closer to announcing their two-deep chart. That means a decision is coming on the tailback logjam that has become the focus of training camp intrigue.
You have fifth-year veterans in Bryan Payton (a former Concordia standout) and Demetrius McCray. You have youthful potential in Willis, a freshman. You have big-back power in 226-pound Trea Burgess.
What you don’t have is a starter and a rotation order, something that will be addressed soon given the rapidly approaching Sept. 3 season opener against Eastern Kentucky.
“We’ll watch the tape,” Lynch said. “We’ve got to make some decisions. Standing behind them (during Saturday’s scrimmage) is a good view. They all hit the holes hard. They all pass blocked well. We as a staff haven’t discussed if we’ll play them all or narrow it down. Over the next two to three days we’ll make some decisions.”
Saturday was the camp’s final scrimmage and coaches were into full-throttle evaluation mode. The Hoosiers worked red zone opportunities, four-minute drills, getting-out-from-near-the-goal-line situations. They practiced punting and kickoffs and kickoff returns and field goals. There was full-squad action as well as 7-on-7 drills. More than 120 plays were run, nearly everybody who wasn’t injured got work and the results, Lynch said, were encouraging.
“We had a chance to do so many situations, which is good,” Lynch said. “Like I told the players, the big cameras in the sky won’t lie. We’ll look over the tape and start making decisions about personnel.”
There was plenty to decide. Turner caught a couple of touchdown passes. Receiver Mitchell Evans faked safety Nick Polk to his knees en route to completing a touchdown pass.Receiver Damarlo Belcher (a former North Side standout) burned cornerback Richard Council with a one-handed touchdown catch in the back corner of the end zone. Freshman quarterback Dusty Kiel completed a 65-yard pass to freshman receiver Duwyce Wilson. They were high school teammates at Columbus East.
“We have some good receivers and they all made plays,” Lynch said. “It’s an area we have some talent and depth.
“Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday we’re still going to practice against ourselves with a little bit about Eastern Kentucky. Thursday will be more of a dry run with playing in the stadium. We’ll have Friday off. Saturday we’ll hit Eastern Kentucky full good. That’s when we have to have a good idea who will play the game.”