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College Football Preview 2024: Indiana Hoosiers win projections, strengths and weaknesses, quarterback spotlight and more

2TAME8C Indiana's newly announced football coach, Curt Cignetti, acknowledges the fans during a timeout in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game between Indiana and Maryland, Friday, Dec. 1, 2023, in Bloomington, Ind. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

Last season, the Hoosiers failed to reach five wins for the third consecutive season, prompting the program to part ways with head coach Tom Allen. Indiana then hired James Madison’s Curt Cignetti to turn the team around.

Cignetti had done a masterful job with the Dukes, finishing with a 19-5 record during their first two years as an FBS program, which included an 11-1 campaign last season.

Indiana will look a lot like “James Madison West” in 2024, as the Hoosiers brought in 12 transfers from the Dukes. Nine of those players are expected to start, and most played extremely well last year.

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Biggest Strength: Impact transfers everywhere

Head coach Curt Cignetti wasted no time remaking Indiana’s roster, as the Hoosiers welcomed 30 players from the transfer portal. Of Indiana’s 22 projected starters on offense and defense, 15 are incoming transfers.

Biggest Weakness: Offensive line

Indiana returns two starters from its offensive line last year in left tackle Carter Smith and center Mike Katic, who each posted sub-70.0 PFF grades. Wisconsin transfer Trey Wedig (62.3 grade) and James Madison transfer Tyler Stephens (56.8) each failed to meet that mark, as well.

Fellow JMU transfer Nick Kidwell earned a 71.4 PFF grade but did so in a reserve role for the Dukes, playing only 197 snaps.

2023 Team Overview

EPA per play Yards per play Successful play rate Explosive run play rate Explosive pass play rate
-0.076 5.0 33.5% 12.8% 11.9%
99th T-113th 87th 109th 112th
EPA allowed per play Yards allowed per play Successful play rate allowed Explosive run rate allowed Explosive pass rate allowed
0.060 5.9 36.4% 15.0% 15.0%
104th T-86th 94th 61st T-86th

Three Notable Transfer Portal Additions

  • CB D’Angelo Ponds (James Madison): 89.7 PFF grade
  • WR Elijah Sarratt (James Madison): 89.9 PFF grade
  • QB Kurtis Rourke (Ohio): 78.9 PFF grade

Three Notable Transfer Portal Losses

  • G Matthew Bedford (Oregon): 71.0 PFF grade
  • S Louis Moore (Ole Miss): 73.3 PFF grade
  • DT Philip Blidi (Auburn): 72.5 PFF grade

Quarterback Spotlight: Kurtis Rourke

2023 Grade: 78.9
Key Stat: 77.4 passing grade from a clean pocket (93.2 in 2022, second in the FBS behind Drake Maye)


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