Heart and Determination. Cam Jones has got those two things in spades.
In his 5th season at Indiana University, Cam Jones has traversed the highs and lows that have made up Tom Allen’s time in Bloomington. He was apart of one of the most exciting Indiana teams I can remember. This guy has been at the core of our program’s efforts to create an identity of winning and success and can now step into the spotlight and be the leader the Hoosiers need this season.
And that’s what we saw Friday night. We saw a leader, the new tempo setter of our Indiana University Hoosiers. Friday’s game was a close one that took a few key players to step up in crunch time and in key moments. While we saw plenty of guys answer the call through the game, least of which was Cam Camper and Matthews getting open when scoring was absolute needed, nobody else put on full display just the type of leadership Cam Jones exhibited. While Micah McFadden had set an expectation in our linebacker room, he also created a point of focus for our defense. A unit to turn to and expect to set the example. When a vacuum in leadership was made apparent by Micah’s departure, Cam saw an opportunity to continue the strong leadership that his predecessor had established. He’s doing that and more now (no discredit to Micah). He’s making it his own now.
Cam knows it’s his defense to dictate. This has not only made him expect more from the rest of our Hoosiers, but also himself. That Illinois game was evidence of that.
After going down with injury, Cam was sidelined and had to watch as the Fighting Illini drove the ball to take control of the game with a 17-16 score. I like to think that in that moment Cam’s season flashed before his eyes and after reflection, he decided that he was not going to let Indiana success under his captaincy slip away before it could even get started. He taped it up and went back out there, if not to make a play himself, just to be in the huddle and get those around him to make the plays necessary to take down the Fighting Illini.
So heading into that 4th quarter Tom Allen delivered short words to the Hoosiers then gave it to Cam.
Coach Allen explained it best saying, “So we brought the team up. I spoke to them first and tag teamed to him, and he finished it off. And the whole message was find a way to finish and win this game. And he believed we were going to find a way. And that’s all we talked about. Even when there was not much time left and we were on the goal line, we had to get a goal line stand. Who made the play on the goal line? Cam Jones.”
And of course it was Cam who made the goal line play. It is incredible how often sports seem to be written by the cheesiest screenwriters around.
Cam stepped up when our backs were against the wall and we needed something, anything to give us the final tipping advantage to get the win and get out of there. He did just that. However minor that injury, play it up, ham it up, get out there and win an Oscar, stuff like the key player going back in tips momentum and momentum at the end of the game is everything. I’m not a stats guy, don’t claim to be. And honestly why be one, when so much of sports seems to be influenced by the intangibles, the impossible to measure? Cam’s efforts won us that game at the end. Keeping our offense in each game will be no easy feat (no knock on our boys, just respect for the competition) but I think Cam is just the guy for our team and our fan base to rally around.
It’s his lead to follow now. I for one am backing him up all the way. Here’s hoping he can keep finding ways to set the attitude and intensity of our defensive unit.
So really, no point of this post but to give Cam Jones his roses for coming out and sparking the fire we needed to get out of our house with the win Friday (well that and a few refs from the Big Ten Officiating School for the Optically Disadvantaged). Props to our captain, for not only speaking through his words, but letting his grit be displayed for all to see like he did, shows us this guy speaks through his actions as well.
Now that we’ve celebrated his performance, it’s time to adjust the focus onto Idaho. I’m sure Cam has already got his guys laser focused on the upcoming challenge. Let’s go Hoosiers!
LUX ET VERITAS!