Countdown to kickoff: IU defensive backs

Continuing my look at IU’s football team, position by position.

Defensive backs

Possible starters:

CB Tim Bennett

CB Ryan Thompson

S Mark Murphy

S Greg Heban

The secondary has the potential, at least, to be the physical unit the Hoosiers need. Safeties Greg Heban and Mark Murphy were first and fourth, respectively, in tackles for IU last season. Murphy’s working his way back from a shoulder injury that sidelined him for most of the spring. Meanwhile, freshman Antonio Allen has brought a physical style that should earn him plenty of playing time this fall. Allen earned a spot in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl and has used his experience at safety to make a case for playing time.

The projected starting corners, Tim Bennett and Ryan Thompson, are both converted safeties, giving the Hoosiers the opportunity to play a more physical style on the perimeter. That can only help a team that allowed opposing quarterbacks to complete 62.4 percent of their passes in 2012.

The Hoosiers allowed 23 touchdown passes while intercepting only seven. Three of those were by Heban. Of course, some of the success opposing passers had can be traced to IU’s inability to stop the run (231.3 yards per game and 5 yards per rushing attempt) and to apply pressure (27 sacks, with 12 of those coming in two games).

Share your words of wisdom.