Written By Sammy Jacobs (@Hoosier_Huddle)
We are back in the win column on this Throwback Thursday as the Hoosiers dug themselves out of a 21-3 first half hole to go on a 44-7 run and get their fifth win of the season and their first in the Big Ten. This game impressed me because we have all seen this before. A game where the Hoosiers don’t get a bounce or a call, or an injury happens and they pack up shop. However, this team remained steady as things looked like they were crumbling and crawled out of the hole and ran away from Maryland.
Opponent: Maryland Terrapins
Location: Saturday November 21st/12:01pm/ Byrd Stadium/ (College Park, MD)
Why They Played
This is the second meeting between the Terps and Hoosiers since 1935 (two prior). Maryland won the match-up last season in Bloomington 37-15. IU and UMD will meet annually as part of the Big Ten East.
What The Game Meant
Indiana came into this game at 4-6 looking for their first Big Ten win to keep their bowl hopes alive. Maryland was playing out the end of their home season in a lackluster 2-8 season.
Top Offensive Performers
Nate Sudfeld, QB, Indiana- Sudfeld was sharp from the start as he completed 23 of 35 passes for 385 yards and four touchdowns. The senior also rushed for a touchdown in the win.
Simmie Cobbs, WR, Indiana- Cobbs was Sudfeld’s favorite target catching a career-high nine passes for 192 yards, also a career best. Most of Cobbs yards came after the catch as he dodged tacklers and bullied his way down field.
Mitchell Paige, WR, Indiana- Paige was overshadowed by Cobbs’ big day, but he also hauled in five passes for 64 yards and two scores. His first down kick-started the IU offense on their 44-7 run.
Brandon Ross, RB, Maryland- In a coincidence, Ross scored on the second play of both halves (79-yard and 75-yard runs). He became the first Maryland player to rush for 250 yards and three touchdowns. His career day moved him into ninth place on the school’s all-time rushing yards list.
Top Defensive Performers
Rashard Fant, CB, Indiana- Last week was a dark afternoon for the Hoosiers secondary. This week Rashard Fant stepped up and played well making two tackles and breaking up four passes. It would have been five if not for a questionable pass interference call. He also recovered IU’s onside kick in the second quarter.
Jermaine Carter Jr., LB, Maryland- The sophomore backer led both teams in tackles with 13 and added 2.5 TFL’s.
Special Team Performance
The Hoosiers played a pretty complete game on special teams. They shut down Maryland’s return game with Oakes sky kicking the ball. They also converted an onside kick to get back the momentum early in the second quarter. Oakes finished the game a perfect four-of-four on field goals with a long of 48-yards. He also connected on all five extra points. He kicked off nine times with three touchbacks as well.
The punting and punt return game was solid as well. Erich Toth averaged 40.8 yards on four punts, downing two of them inside of the 20. While it did not stick out, Mitchell Paige was solid once again in the punt return game. He usually fair caught the ball, but he held on to it and you can tell that Maryland was worried about him.
The Hoosiers outscored the Terrapins 44-7 over the final 46-plus minutes of the game. At one point Indiana scored 27 straight.
In what was one of the craziest first halves ever, I thought the Hoosiers stole momentum when Rashard Fant recovered Griffin Oakes’ onside kick after the Hoosiers closed to within 21-17. IU would score a touchdown three plays later and never trail again.
I Knew it Was Over When…
Cockrille’s pass to Levern Jacobs was incomplete on fourth-and-two at the Indiana 15 and the Hoosiers got the ball back with 4:21 left.
Players of the Game
Nate Sudfeld, Indiana- You could give this honor to Cobbs as well, but Sudfeld kept the Hoosiers calm and led a comeback from down 21-3. He made some big throws and let his receivers do the work.
Brandon Ross, Maryland- In his final home of his college career Ross ran for two long touchdowns. He torched the Hoosiers early in each half and finished with 250 yards and three scores.
What I Took Away From the Game
It feels good to win again, doesn’t it? Things could’ve gotten ugly for the Hoosiers in College Park as they fell behind 21-3 early. To be honest they probably get the doors blown off under the previous regime, but this team has fight. The Hoosiers battled back and stayed focused going on an insane 44-7 run in route to the third largest comeback in school history.
The win came at a cost though as running back Jordan Howard was held out most of the game with a knee injury, but Howard should be available for the Bucket Game next Saturday. Devine Redding filled Howard’s shoes well as he ran for 130 yards on 24 carries.
While the start for the Hoosiers was awful and Twitter was in full meltdown mode, the 44-7 run was exactly how Kevin Wilson wants his team to play. The defense settled in and made stops and gave the offense great field position to do damage with. Indiana probably should have scored 60 and the offense will say the same thing, but they closed out the win and that’s what counts.
Everyone knows what’s up next for the Hoosiers. It’s Bucket Week. It’s Bucket Week with a bowl berth on the line.