Written By Sammy Jacobs (@Hoosier_Huddle)
Opponent: Charleston Southern Buccaneers
Location: Saturday October 7th, Bloomington, IN
Why They Played: This was a make-up game after the Hoosiers’ match-up with Florida International was cancelled due to Hurricane Irma.
What The Game Meant:
The Indiana athletic department did a masterful job to bring CSU in on such short notice. IU needed a cupcake and got one for win number three on the year.
Top Offensive Performers
Taysir Mack, WR, Indiana-The redshirt freshman had a career day catching seven passes for 111 yards and two touchdowns, including a 45-yard catch and run where he left defender in the dust.
Simmie Cobbs WR, Indiana- This was Cobbs’ first game in 2017 without a touchdown, but he did haul in 10 passes for 98 yards.
Peyton Ramsey, QB, Indiana-Ramsey was very good in his first career start completing 32-of-41 passes for 321 yards and two touchdowns. He added 54 yards running and recovered a fumble in the end zone for a touchdown.
Ronnie Harris, RB, Charleston Southern- When your team is held to 134 total yards and zero points, it’s difficult to find a bright spot. However, Harris accounted for about half of CSU’s total yardage with 71 yards on 10 carries.
Top Defensive Performers
Indiana- The Hoosiers held an opponent scoreless for the first time since a 10-0 win over Michigan State on October 30th 1993, so it’s been a while. Sure, it was “just Charleston Southern”, but anytime a team can hold an opponent scoreless and without a single completed pass or passing yard it’s impressive. The Buccaneers ran 54 plays and the Hoosiers stopped 10 of them for a loss of yardage. Ending the shutout streak is the first tangible “breakthrough” of the Tom Allen Era.
Soloman Brown, Buck, Charleston Southern- Brown made 11 tackles including one for a loss. He was the game’s second leading tackler.
Special Team Performance
After the total disaster at Penn State, the Hoosiers rebounded nicely against Charleston Southern. Kicker Griffin Oakes continued his outstanding play in difficult conditions hitting two short field goals and all three extra points. He also hit three of his six kickoffs for touchbacks. Oakes is a perfect 5-for-5 on field goals and 19-for-19 on extra points while 15-of-28 of his kickoffs have gone for touchbacks.
Punter Haydon Whitehead had to fight through a tough wind and while he didn’t sparkle, he wasn’t terrible either. Whitehead punted five times for a net average of 34.6 yards. While the net isn’t great, he did pin CSU inside their own 20-yard line twice and kept the ball out of the end zone.
Unfortunately, J-Shun Harris wasn’t able to play, but Luke Timian did a great job filling in. Timian returned four punts for 43 yards. Indiana finally made a change at kick returner as Tom Allen opted to use Cole Gest as the returner on their lone chance. He returned the kick 21 yards.
Indiana gave up zero points for the first time in nearly 24 years. The word of the week was ‘Dominate’ and they did.
IU was in control of this game for the get go, but the tide really turned when the Hoosiers stuffed the Bucs on a fourth-and-one from Indiana’s 31-yard line. At that point fans could start thinking shutout.
I Knew it Was Over When…
When Peyton Ramsey fell on a fumble in the end zone for a touchdown to make it 17-0. CSU needed a lot of breaks Saturday and they didn’t get many.
Players of the Game
Taysir Mack, Indiana- With Donovan Hale and Ian Thomas out this week, the Hoosiers needed one of these youngsters to step-up and Mack did.
Indiana Defense- Zero points, zero completions and zero passing yards. Pretty darn good day for this unit.
What I took away from the game
Yes, it’s just Charleston Southern, an opponent that IU was supposed to blow out. But how many times has an inferior opponent come into Bloomington and give IU fits. It’s ok to dominate teams you’re supposed to, fans don’t have to apologize for it.
Indiana did some great things on Saturday, but there are still a lot of concerns heading back into Big Ten play next week. As good as the defense was, they didn’t record a takeaway (they were close). It’s the third game this year that has happened. On offense the Hoosiers still put the ball on the ground four times, losing two fumbles, and threw an interception. Against stiffer competition that’s not going to fly. The Hoosiers are 123rd in the country in turnover margin at minus-seven, that will need to change.
The Hoosiers also didn’t run the ball as well as expected, although I think they were trying to get Ramsey in a rhythm throwing the ball. IU ran 45 times for 157 yards (3.5 YPC). Five games in and the Hoosiers rank 79th nationally with 148.8 yards per game.
Alright on to what the Hoosiers did well on Saturday. First, the defense was on-point against another triple option team. Second, Peyton Ramsey looked very solid in his first start. He threw the ball 41 times, although a stiff wind and monsoon-like conditions prevented IU from calling too many deep passes, he still proved he can be a threat with his arm as well as his legs. Ramsey looks comfortable throwing the underneath routes and the one interception he did throw was batted high in the air.
Indiana will host a very angry Michigan team for homecoming next week at noon. The Hoosiers will need to flip the script on their turnover margin and continue the strong defensive play, if they want to notch win number four.