INDIANAPOLIS – For many people, the 2013 college football season in Central Indiana left something to be desired from three of its four teams.
Ball State fans were the exception, as their Cardinals enjoyed a ten-win season and a second consecutive bowl berth.
But for fans of Indiana, Purdue and Notre Dame, this past campaigned could have been viewed as one of disappointment.
Notre Dame ended up qualifying for a bowl, but it didn’t provide the same excitement as the year before when the Irish made it all the way to the BCS National Championship game. Indiana improved to 5-7 on the season, but a few near misses had Hoosiers’ fans wondering what if.
Purdue would have been lucky to have that in the first of a long rebuilding process under head coach Darrell Hazell. The only came up with one win in 12 games-and that was a six-point nail-biting win over a struggling Indiana State team.
But hope for better things in 2014 began for each of those teams this spring-and for that trio workouts came to an end on Saturday with the annual spring game.
Purdue had a low-scoring, defensive game whose star was defensive tackle Ryan Russell, who finished with 11 tackles and three sacks. Hazell said he was proud of the team for their effort and willingness to learn in the spring but admitted the team does have much to work on as they approach their August 30th opener against Western Michigan.
Indiana installed a new 3-4 defense with new defensive coordinator Brian Knorr this spring after the Hoosiers gave up 39 points and 527 yards a game last season-worst in the Big Ten. The defense was able to force a pair of turnovers and two sacks in their spring game on Saturday at Memorial Stadium, but fans won’t know what they have till they hit the field against Indiana State in their opener.
It’s all about the offense for the moment for Brian Kelly at Notre Dame since he must pick a new quarterback for the 2014 season. One candidate is familiar to Irish fans – Everett Golson-who was the starter on the BCS Title Game team in 2012 before being kicked out of school for a year. He will compete with Malik Zaire-who threw for two touchdowns in the Irish’s spring game on Saturday.
Ball State meanwhile will wait a week longer to hold its annual spring scrimmage as they will take the field next Saturday at 2 PM at Scheumann Stadium
To see more from the spring games, click on the video above.