Indiana Football: Scott, Stepaniak remain questionable for Gator Bowl

Indiana Football: Stevie Scott (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)
Indiana Football: Stevie Scott (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images) /

While the Indiana football program is gearing up for its bowl game, two starters remain questionable just 24 hours before the Hoosiers take the field.

Despite the Indiana football program having a couple of weeks off to prepare for its bowl game against Tennessee, health remains a concern as the Hoosiers are just over 24 hours from the TaxSlayer Gator Bowl.

In Tom Allen’s Gator Bowl press conference this week, he mentioned two names that are still on the injury report ahead of Thursday’s matchup, as both Stevie Scott and Simon Stepaniak remain questionable with injuries.

For Scott, the Indiana running back suffered a knee injury against Michigan earlier this season and has yet to play since. While he has been able to do certain things in practice, it is still looking like a gametime decision for the All-Big Ten Second-Team back. If Scott is unable to go, it will be a big loss for the Hoosiers as he has totaled 845 yards on the season with 10 touchdowns. Having a slow start to the season, Scott was coming on strong before the injury, averaging 102 yards per game in the previous five outings.

Related Story. 3 Matchups To Watch vs Tennessee. light

The next man up for Indiana would be freshman back Sampson James. The four-star recruit got the start in the Purdue game and showed why he was such a prized recruit. With 22 carries, James finished with 118 yards and one touchdown, showing he is definitely capable of carrying the load.

Why is this a major point of the game? Tennessee’s defense ranks ninth in the SEC, giving up 145.8 yards per game, but give up just 3.8 yards per carry on the year. Having multiple backs in the lineup give the Hoosiers different looks on offense, which would be crucial in setting up the rest of the offense.

One of the main parts of the running success has been Simon Stepaniak on the offensive line. The 31-game career starter has been a constant on the offensive side of the ball for the Hoosiers. During preparation for the bowl game, Stepaniak suffered an injury in practice and remains a gametime decision for Allen and the Hoosiers.

Next. Tennessee Preview, Prediction & More. dark

With Indiana’s ever-changing rotation at offensive line since Coy Cronk went down with a season-ending injury earlier this year, losing another senior starter would be a huge loss and something that could severely alter the outcome of the game.

Indiana takes on Tennessee on Thursday, Jan 2, at 7:00 pm.