Indiana fans, your team opens its 2013 season in less than 36 hours. Do you know where your starting quarterback is?
Based on what coach Kevin Wilson has told the media, the Hoosiers still might not know who runs out for the first series on Thursday night against Indiana State. Wilson insisted on Tuesday afternoon that he had yet to make a decision among Tre Roberson, Cameron Coffman and Nate Sudfeld and might not pick a No. 1 guy until the team's final preparations and walk-through.
How is it possible that after eight months of a three-way competition, Indiana still hasn't settled on at least a top two? Wilson says because it really has been that close.
"In fairness to the three guys, no one has really been eliminated or separated themselves," he said. "It would be a subjective opinion of why someone was not in there."
Without specifying which stats belong to which quarterbacks, Wilson said the three candidates have completed 78, 76 and 74 percent of their passes in preseason practices and have thrown eight, eight and six interceptions. All three have about the same amount of game experience, "so it's not like we've got a veteran senior and a first-year rookie," Wilson said. Coffman and Sudfeld both have redshirt years available unlike Roberson, but Wilson said both have told him they want to play this year.
The line between the quarterbacks was credit-card thin last year, too. After Roberson broke his leg in Week 2, Wilson's assistants asked him during the Ball State pregame meal who should start between Coffman and Sudfeld. Wilson's response, "Eh, let's watch them warm up. They're about the same." Coffman ended up starting the rest of the season, but Sudfeld played a lot and Wilson was often noncommittal about who would get the first nod week to week.
Now throw a third guy into the mix as Roberson is healthy again, and things really get wacky. Wilson said it's so close that body language during the team's final workouts might put one guy over the top.
Wilson also didn't give a definitive answer about whether he'd play more than one quarterback in the opener. But he said he did not want whoever is starting to worry constantly that he could get yanked for the next guy.
"We're not going to be looking over our shoulder if you make a bad throw, have an errant play," he said, "because the game is not perfect. We're not going to play that way. We're going to be very aggressive in our style."
Wilson said he's not too worried about the decision because all three players can perform well.
"The brutal one is when you don't have one who can play and you've got to play somebody," he said. "This one's pretty easy to me. We've got phenomenal choices."
A choice will have to be made eventually. At least a few seconds before kickoff.