Written By Sammy Jacobs (@Hoosier_Huddle)
If there is anything to describe today it is train wreck. The Hoosiers fell behind 21-0 in the first quarter and trailed 38-21 at the half. The lone bright spot for the Hoosiers was a terrific performance by whom other than Tevin Coleman. The Hoosiers also may have lost quarterback Nate Sudfeld to a separated shoulder for an extended period of time. However, coach Kevin Wilson did not have a timetable after the game. The Hoosiers did out score the Hawkeyes 8-7 in the second half but that fell way short as the final score was 45-29.
Opponent: Iowa Hawkeyes
Location: Saturday October 11th /12:00pm/ Kinnick Stadium/ (Iowa City, IA)
Why They Played: The Hoosiers traveled to Iowa as part of the crossover schedule with the Big Ten West
What The Game Meant:
Indiana had another chance to get to two games above .500 and really solidify their bowl hopes. Iowa was playing to keep pace with Northwestern and Minnesota in the Western division.
Top Offensive Performers:
Tevin Coleman, RB, Indiana- He does what Tevin Coleman does best. The junior had 219 yards and three touchdowns on just 15 carries. Meaning he scored 20 percent of the time he touched the ball. Coleman became the first 1,000-yard rusher for the Hoosiers since Levron Williams in 2001.
Jake Rudock, QB, Iowa- Rudock was an efficient 19 of 27 for the Hawkeyes throwing for 210 yards and two scores. He was not flashy or anything special, but just solid on the day.
Jonathan Parker, RB, Iowa- Iowa came into the game averaging just 3.6 yards per carry. The freshman Parker came in and ignited the Hawkeye offense with a 60-yard touchdown scamper.
Top Defensive Performers
Indiana- No one stood out for IU in a dreadful first half that saw an Iowa team who struggles to score to put up 38 points. Sure, the Hoosiers made some stops and held Iowa to just seven second half points, but it is unacceptable to allow 45 points to this Iowa team.
Desmond King, CB, Iowa- The junior corner put the Hoosiers in a bind when he took an errant Nate Sudfeld throw 32 yards to pay dirt to put the Hawkeyes up 14-0. He also added seven tackles.
Special Team Performance:
The special teams were decent today. They recovered two onside kicks, even though one was nullified by an offside penalty. Erich Toth punted pretty well averaging over 40 yards a kick, including a career long 64-yarder. Griffin Oakes was three for three on his extra points. Indiana does lack explosiveness in the return game and it continues to be a mystery as to why Laray Smith has not fielded a kick off yet this season.
The Hoosiers cannot win when giving up 38 points in a half. That is exactly what they did today against Iowa who is not exactly an offensive power.
The game turned on three Iowa touchdowns on three plays late in the first quarter. A 12-yard reception by Jake Duze and a 72-yard pass to Damond Powell sandwiched a pick six by Desmond King. It was 21-0 Iowa so quickly that Indiana did not get the plate number of the truck that had just run them over.
I Knew it Was Over When…
Nate Sudfeld did not return for the second half. The Hoosiers were down 38-21 at half and still semi in the game, but without Sudfeld the Hoosiers had no chance of coming back.
Players of the Game
Indiana– Tevin Coleman- The Hoosier running back continues to impress. He ran for 219 yards on just 15 carries and scored three touchdowns. It’s too bad the Hoosiers could not pull off a win and garner some well-deserved accolades for the junior.
Iowa- Jake Rudock- In a team effort today, no one really jumped off the page more than Rudock who went 19/29 with two touchdowns and zero interceptions.
What I took away from the game
The Hoosiers are in real trouble if Sudfeld is going to miss an extended period of time, which seems entirely possible. I thought this was a very winnable game for the Hoosiers. Iowa is not a great team and they definitely are not an explosive offense, but the Hoosiers buried themselves in a 21-0 hole and could not claw their way out. The good will from the win at Missouri is running thin and the fan base wants to win. The hopes of a bowl game are dimming with each passing week as the Hoosier roller coaster ride speeds along.
Getting into this game specifically there are several things that just don’t add up to me. First, how does your best player get only 15 touches? Yes, being down 21-0 early does not help but it was 7-0 when Sudfeld threw a duck that got taken to the house by Iowa. Are they saving Coleman for his senior year? Babying him along? Scared that he may get banged up? Or is Coleman just not built for 20+ carries a game? I’d bank on number three. The second thing that is concerning is the reluctance to take the redshirt off of Zander Diamont. With Tommy Stevens coming in next season and the probable return of Nate Sudfeld, does the coaching staff really think that Diamont is a future player for this team? Chris Covington is a nice athlete, but he just switched to quarterback a couple months ago and has not proven he can throw the ball. In my mind playing Diamont is the best chance for IU to win without Sudfeld. Maybe Wilson and Johns did not play him Saturday because he did not get enough work in practice?
Finally, I’ll get to the defense. You just cannot give up big plays to a team that had barely scores over 28 points a game. Yes, the offense gave up a pick six and gave the Hawkeyes a short field on another pick, but the Hoosier defense needs to step up their game. As good as Tim Bennett’s numbers have been, he has been a real spot spot in the Hoosier defense. Then again when your defensive line only gets two sacks and two quarterback hurries, it gives the opponent plenty of time to pick the secondary apart.
Indiana needs to turn the page and get ready for a top-10 team next week and get some momentum heading into the bye week. Right now though, the Hoosier ship is taking on more water than it can bail out.