Sudfeld believes IU can do better

IU sophomore quarterback Nate Sudfeld

Nate Sudfeld may have thrown four touchdown passes in the season opener and helped Indiana rack up 73 points, but he said he didn't think the IU offense played all that well.

Indiana's coaches continued with the company line Monday that they'll wait until the end of the week to determine who will be IU's starting quarterback in Game 2 against Navy.

Once again, no one seems really concerned about it except for the media that continues to ask the weekly questions.

Tre Roberson started in the opener, but Nate Sudfeld got the majority of the playing time and Cameron Coffman got a good number of repetitions, too. Along with sophomore tailback Tevin Coleman, Sudfeld was named one of Indiana's two offensive players of the week.

Sudfeld spoke to the media Monday just before Kevin Wilson's weekly press conference. He said it was a different experience this year compared to his first game last year. Last year, he was told at halftime of the second game against UMass that he would play after Roberson broke his leg. This year he had the entire preseason camp to think about it.

"In the UMass game I was really nervous because I did not feel that prepared,'' Sudfeld said. "When you don't think you're going to play you just kind of go through the motions a little bit and think about other things. I felt a lot better and more prepared as the season went along.

"This game I wasn't really nervous at all. I was kind of more anxious hoping to get an opportunity to play and then have the confidence when I went out there that I could play. I was just hoping I could get an opportunity to play and then make the most of it.''

Sudfeld clearly did that. He completed 12-of-17 passes (70.6 percent) for 219 yards with four touchdowns and an interception that was returned for a TD. His first two passes of the season were touchdown passes.

Sudfeld was asked if he was surprised at how effective IU's offense was against Indiana State. The Hoosiers piled up 632 yards of offense and scored 73 points against the Sycamores. He answer, however, might surprise you. The skinny: Sudfeld wasn't all that impressed.

"I really didn't feel like we played that great as an offense other than we put up a decent amount of points,'' Sudfeld said. "I think we can put up a lot of points against a lot of people. We have so many weapons. I was kind of frustrated at some points because I was like ‘Man, I haven't gotten the ball to Cody (Latimer) in forever and then that one drive I got it to him.

"But we were clicking without getting the ball to Cody who is arguably the best athlete on our team. We have so many good athletes. What is sad is we have so many good players who are not going to get the ball because we have so many other good players.''

Sudfeld was asked to give his performance a critical evaluation. What didn't he like in the opener against Indiana State about his own game? He was very candid.

"I didn't like that pick,'' Sudfeld said, referring to the interception early in the third quarter that was returned for a touchdown. As an aside Sudfelt has two career collegiate interceptions and both were returned for scores. "It was kind of pre-snap determined what I was going to do a little bit. I was glad I got to keep playing and kind of learn from it and bounce back. Have a short memory about it.

"There were a few things I didn't like. I was a little lazy on my fakes. I was kind of looking at the running back instead of carrying out a fake. Just little things like that. I had some footwork issues. I wasn't point to the target which is maybe why I missed a ball here or there. So just a lot of mechanical things that I need to improve on because we have a lot to do. We're nowhere near where we need to be.''

Sudfeld was asked to reporters through that huddle after Shane Wynn was knocked out of the game on his punt return where the Indiana State player hit him before he could catch the ball. Kofi Hughes said after the game that he made it clear that he wanted the ball because he was so upset that someone had hurt his best friend. Hughes was the recipient of all three passes on that drive and eventually scored a touchdown.

So did the senior wide receiver walk into the huddle and tell Sudfeld to get him the ball? Not exactly.

"He didn't demand it,'' Sudfeld said. "He wasn't like ‘Nate throw me the ball', he just kind of had this look in his eye and kind of had this swagger going. And when Kofi is on, he's unbelievable. He's really hard to stop. Last year we saw it a few times. He can really make some big time catches.

"He just had Shane's back. I think Nick Stoner was supposed to start that drive but (Hughes) said ‘Coach, I've got this one.' So we went out there and I just threw it to him three times in a row and we got into the end zone.

IU co-offensive coordinator Kevin Johns was asked to evaluate the play of IU's three quarterbacks. He said he thought they all did some things well.

"Obviously there's areas where they call can improve and obviously there are some plays that each one of them missed,'' Johns said. "But as far as managing the game for the first game they all did pretty well. I was excited to see all of three of them play as much as they did. I don't know if we can get that for every game from here on out but it was really good for the first game they all got some even reps. They did some good things and some bad things.''

Johns said he was pleased with the development of Sudfeld, too.

"I was very proud of him,'' Johns said. "You go back to a year ago, and I didn't think he acted like a true freshman a year ago and now he's a true sophomore and I don't think he acts like a sophomore. He has the calmness about him, a quiet confidence if you will. All of that comes from his knowledge of the game. He knows what he's doing he knows where to go with the ball.''

Follow Terry Hutchens at Twitter.com/Foxsportshutch

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