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Gold and Black Illustrated, Vol 27, Digital 6

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GOLD AND BLACK ILLUSTRATED VOLUME 27, ISSUE 6 111 they'll have a stud to lead the D in 2017. Senior Tegray Scales opted not to bounce for the NFL — he's probably talented enough already after earning a second-team All-America selection from Sports Illustrat- ed. Scales led the nation with 23.5 tackles for loss last season and had a whopping 126 tackles from his line- backer spot. "The dude just goes after that football wherever it is," Beishuizen said. "He's a smart, disciplined player who sets the tone on the defensive side of the ball. When all goes wrong, Scales makes sure at least something goes right. He will be the one player you know you can rely on all season." The secondary could be the defense's strength with fifth-year senior cornerback Rashard Fant (3 INTs, 17 PBUs) as the anchor. But IU will need players to emerge on the defensive line, not only to help a dismal rush de- fense (160.4 ypg) but also to generate pressure. Allen brought in freshmen to try to fill holes up front, but that could be a rough road initially. So a key question could become: Will IU still be able to rip off points like it did under mastermind Wilson to alleviate pressure on the defense? A new offensive staff, led by coordinator Mike DeBord, will at least have a tal- ented receiving corps and a returning starter at QB to work with. Richard Lagow, a fifth-year senior, threw too many interceptions last season (17), but he did pass for near- ly 3,400 yards with 19 TDs. His decision-making must improve — or redshirt freshman Peyton Ramsey could get snaps as an option quarterback. But Lagow's options certainly are there at receiver. Nick Westbrook had 995 yards on 54 catches and six touchdowns last season, and Simmie Cobbs is back after missing virtually all last season with an injury. Cobb had 1,035 yards in 2015. "Offensively, the receiving corps could be scary good," Beishuizen said. "Now that Cobbs and Westbrook will be playing together, there's no excuses for not being able to move the ball through the air a bit because they'll make the grabs you need." It'd be nice if Indiana could find a capable running back to offer some balance to the offense, but that may not be an easy fix after Devine Redding was the third running back in a row to leave early for the NFL. Without a serious threat in the backfield — fifth-year senior Ca- mion Patrick could be the guy, but he had only four car- ries last season — can Indiana extend its bowl string? "It's hard to talk about a program's momentum when you remove the head coach, so I wouldn't say Allen is trying to keep momentum from those previ- ous two years necessarily. He's just trying to make the transition as smooth as possible," Beishuizen said. "A six-win year would be quite the accomplishment, bowl win or not. Obviously getting to seven would be a clear jump in the right direction." — Stacy Clardie

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