It is that time of year once again with football season around the corner, as the Indiana State football team will head to Kansas on August 31 as the Sycamores face off against Kansas Jayhawks to start the 2019 season. Last year, there was a lot of disbelief in the team due to the 2017 season when the team did not win a single game. Last year they proved all of the non believers and doubters wrong by going 7-4 and even winning four of six games on the road. 

They far exceed their expectations, especially head coach Curt Mallory who is entering his third season as head coach. Most people would blame the coach immediately and believed that he could not get the job done but he did the opposite. Now, he has Terre Haute at the edge of their seats waiting to see what he can make happen this season. 

Mallory and the Sycamores have noticed that they need to make improvements in specific areas. Last season, the trees struggled on defending the pass game. Opponents would average around 230 passing yards per game against the Sycamores and this weakness would hurt them the most during the season as teams would score a total of 18 passing touchdowns through the course of the season. 

If the trees cannot defend the pass well, this will allow more opportunities for the opponent to score, enter the red zone, and gives the offense a disadvantage. This is way coach Mallory has added Kyle Hoke, a safeties coach, to his staff. Hoke makes his way to Terre Haute after spending the 2018 season as the safeties coach at Texas State.

ISU has some problems in the past trying to find a quarterback that mesh well in Mallory’s offensive. They found a guy by the name of Ryan Boyle who is a transfer from the University of Iowa before coming to Terre Haute. He made his Sycamore debut in week three at Eastern Illinois coming off an injury and started the next nine games at quarterback. He fit in the offensive very nicely except for some inconsistent moments.But Mallory has decided to sharpen his knives by making another coaching addition with Aaron Young, the new quarterbacks coach, to help Boyle and the other quarterback grow the confidence they need. 

Young enters a full-time role at ISU after spending two years at Indiana State as a player and a graduate assistant working with the quarterbacks.

The Sycamores look to become a force in the Missouri Valley Conference and look to blow up the competition with this new boost of confidence. It will be no surprise if the trees exceed everyone’s expectations again.