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Thursday, April 12, 2012
Spring game preview: Indiana

By Brian Bennett

It's a big weekend in the Big Ten, as seven teams will hold their spring games on Saturday. We're here to guide you through them all with previews of each team's fan-friendly event.

Let's take a look at what to expect from Indiana's Cream and Crimson Game:

When: Noon, Saturday

Where: Memorial Stadium

TV: The game will be streamed live over the internet by the Big Ten Network on both BTN2Go and The Big Ten Digital Network. The Big Ten Network will air the game Monday at 9 p.m.

Admission: Free. Gates open at 9:30 a.m. and fans are asked to enter at the west side of the stadium. All parking lots are open, and parking is free.

Weather forecast: A 30 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms, with a high near 73.

What to watch for: Let's face it: after a 1-11 season, what Hoosiers fans really want to see is pure competency.

Head coach Kevin Wilson played a ton of freshmen last year, many of whom are completing their first collegiate spring practice. As tough as the growing pains were in 2011, that youth movement should translate to some progress this season. The defense in particular must get better after giving up 37 points per game. Look for a little more aggressiveness up front, some sounder coverage in the back end and an experience and talent infusion at linebacker from junior college imports David Cooper and Jacarri Alexander.

Offensively, Tre Roberson looks like the future face of the program, but he has been pushed this spring by junior college transfer Cameron Coffman. Ideally, Roberson finishes off his spring with a bang and gives Indiana a major anchor to build around for the next three years, but may the best man win. The running back position looks a lot deeper as well, with leading 2011 rusher Stephen Houston joined by a healthy supporting cast.

With so many young players and so little success under their belts, no job can truly be considered safe in Bloomington. IU doesn't really have the depth to play a true spring game, but Wilson will be watching to see which guys can perform in a game-day-like setting