Indiana football: Three key Hoosiers to watch for against Illinois

Indiana's Shaun Shivers (2) takes the handoff from Connor Bazelak (9)
Indiana's Shaun Shivers (2) takes the handoff from Connor Bazelak (9) /
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Indiana football faces the Fighting Illini in Friday night’s Week 1 matchup. Look out for three Hoosiers to stand out and make plays for Indiana on September 2nd as Indiana football looks to recover from its 2-10 2021 season and earn its first conference win since 2020.

While many things have been thrown out to the media about who has stood out in fall camp and the depth chart for the 2022 season, as we approach game-day, there are many questions that are still unanswered. Who is the starting quarterback? What players will actually make the biggest impact on the field? Who does Tom Allen trust to make the right plays?

We take a look at which three players will make the biggest impact on the field for Indiana football against Illinois to open up the 2022 season:

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Indiana football key players to watch vs. Illinois

Indiana football
Indiana’s Cam Jones (4) /

The senior returned for his fifth and final season with Tom Allen and the Indiana Hoosiers for 2022 and has now taken a leadership role with Indiana football, as we expect Cam Jones to make plays all over the field and pressure the quarterback with Micah McFadden now playing in the NFL with the New York Giants.

Both leading tacklers from 2021 will not be headlining Tom Allen’s defensive unit as Jones returns as the leading tackler from a season ago, totaling 60 tackles in just 10 games played. Allen trusts his linebacker to lead his defense, but Jones believes and trusts in Allen just as much, if not more:

"“…if Coach Allen told me to go run into a brick wall, I know there’s a reason, I’m 110 percent into that brick wall.”"

Needless to say, Jones will be all over the field for the defense, which earns him an honorable mention as one of the key players for Friday night’s matchup. Indiana football’s defense is now back to being run by head coach, Tom Allen, and expect the Hoosiers to be able to slow down a sub-par Illinois offensive attack that will be led by their running back, Chase Brown, in Week 1.