Spring Practice Primer: Indiana Hoosiers

College football never ends, and during the next few weeks teams will be getting ready for the 2013 season in their spring practice sessions. Here's a look at the Indiana Hoosiers and what they'll be working on this spring.

Kevin Wilson's team is ready to take the next step forward. (USATSI)

Spring practice begins: March 2

Spring game: April 13

2012 record: 4-8

Returning starters: 19 (10 offense, nine defense)

The Least You Should Know About Indiana This Spring

-- There aren't a lot of new faces. Indiana is tied with four other schools for the most returning starters in 2013 with 19 players coming back. Which is good news for a team that improved by three wins last season and was still alive for a trip to the Big Ten title game in November last year thanks to sanctions against Ohio State and Penn State. Of course, having a lot of starters back is not always a great thing. After all, while 10 players return on an offense that averaged 30.8 points per game last season, there are also nine players returning from a defense that allowed 35.3 points per game.

-- This will be one of the most interesting quarterback battles in the Big Ten. Tre Roberson began 2012 as Indiana's starter but broke his leg in Week 2. He's back in camp this spring and ready to roll, but he'll have to compete with both Cameron Coffman (2,734 yards and 15 touchdowns) and Nate Sudfeld (632 yards, seven touchdowns) as they saw plenty of time on the field last season and played well. Having so many capable options is a problem that Kevin Wilson doesn't mind having, but he'd be even happier if a clear-cut option emerged over the spring and summer.

-- The Hoosiers need to vastly improve their run defense. Only two starters are gone from last year's defense, but Adam Replogle and Larry Black Jr. were the best two players on Indiana's defensive line, combining for 25 of Indiana's 86 tackles for loss last season and 9½ of Indiana's 26 sacks. Somebody to keep an eye on this spring will be junior college transfer Jordan Heiderman. In the linebacking corps, David Cooper returns after a strong sophomore season. But as a whole, it's a unit that needs to improve as Indiana's rush defense finished 119th out of 124 teams last year.

-- The pass defense needs to improve as well. Indiana's pass defense finished in the middle of the pack as far as yards-against last season, but that was only because teams were running so effectively against the Hoosiers. When it comes to defensive pass efficiency, the Hoosiers finished at No. 100. Losing their top two pass rushers won't help matters this season. Improvement on the defensive line will help, but guys like Greg Heban -- Indiana's leading tackler in 2012 -- Mark Murphy, Antonio Marshall and Brian Williams need to step up their games. That's particularly true when it comes to forcing turnovers. The Hoosiers managed only seven interceptions last season. The good news is that last year's young secondary is now much more experienced, so this is a unit that has a good chance of improving in 2013.

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CBS Sports Writer

Tom Fornelli has been a college football writer at CBS Sports since 2010. During his time at CBS, Tom has proven time and again that he hates your favorite team and thinks your rival is a paragon of football... Full Bio

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