As a redshirt freshman in 2014, Ben Bach played exclusively on the scout team. But as a redshirt sophomore in 2015, he earned a scholarship during preseason camp and emerged as a key contributor to a secondary that dealt with inexperience and injuries. (article from: Hoosier.com Stu Jackson | Staff Writer)
He capped off 2015 making his first career start against Duke in the New Era Pinstripe Bowl, assisting on two tackles and recording one pass breakup. Now, he’s looking to build off last season as he competes for the starting Husky position.
“That definitely gave me some confidence going into last spring and this fall,” Bach said. “I’m just trying to make plays and get better every day.”
Bach’s first career start was at cornerback, but this season he’ll likely play a different position.
The 6-foot-1, 197-pound defensive back is making the transition to Husky, a hybrid safety position part of defensive coordinator Tom Allen’s newly-installed 4-2-5 scheme.
IU safeties coach Noah Joseph has said throughout practice that whoever earns the Husky position has to be the secondary’s most dynamic player. It’s a hybrid position which requires the coverage ability of a safety and the tackling ability and hitting power of a linebacker.
“It’s definitely different seeing all the different patterns you get out of being more inside and different than corner,” Bach said. “But I’m still learning and trying to teach the younger guys like Marcelino [Ball].”
There’s other additional differences Bach has noticed. For instance, the man-to-man coverage at the Husky position leaves the player by themselves without much help, whereas a corner has more assistance from other defensive backs.
Bach played the traditional cornerback position in high school and would sometimes blitz off the edge when he wasn’t in pass coverage. His high school film showed him making a couple of jarring hits, including one which created a takeaway by forcing a fumble.
That playmaking ability has helped him become a valuable asset as a multipurpose defensive back in the IU secondary.
“He’s doing good,” Joseph said. “He’s a guy that is very versatile for us. He can move around and play a lot of different spots. He can play [Husky], he can play corner, he can be a dime in certain situations, so his big thing is just getting enough reps at each position so he feels comfortable and confident.”
In 13 games last season, Bach recorded 12 tackles – including eight solo – with one for loss and one pass break-up. His contributions came mostly on special teams, but he was part of the cornerback rotation as well.
His efforts on special teams earned him two-time special teams player of the week honors from the program, awarded to him after the Iowa game and Duke game. In the Duke game, he showed high situational awareness by breaking up a fake punt pass (watch via link). If last season was any indication, Bach’s versatility will put him in line for more recognition and reps on defense.
“He might not be the fastest or the toughest, but you go back into the bowl game against Duke on the fake punt, he has knack for making plays on the football,” Joseph said. “Everybody on our football team – offensively, defensively, coaches – everybody has trust in him, so you can do a lot of things with a guy who has a knack and you have trust in.”
Article by: Hoosier.com Stu Jackson | Staff Writer article: https://indiana.rivals.com/news/bach-brings-versatility-to-husky-position