Written by: TJ Inman (@TJHoosierHuddle)
For the first time in a quarter century, the Indiana Hoosiers are 4-0. IU controlled both lines of scrimmage and held off a late rally from the Wake Forest Demon Deacons in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. The Hoosiers ruined Wake Forest's homecoming with a 31-24 victory behind 168 yards from running back Jordan Howard. Howard exceeded 100 yards rushing for the 8th straight game. The Indiana defense harassed true freshman quarterback Kendall Hinton all afternoon and came away with six sacks for their efforts. IU out-gained Wake Forest 416 to 363 after Wake Forest executed two late-game scoring drives to cut a 21-point deficit to one touchdown. Rashard Fant knocked away a desperation pass in the end zone to seal the victory.
Tegray Scales set the pace on defense with a pair of sacks, nine tackles and multiple hard hits. IU's defense held Wake Forest to only ten points through three quarters but Wake Forest was able to move the ball consistently in the final period and convert on four separate fourth downs to make Hoosier fans nervous as the game wound down. Kendall Hinton threw for 245 yards and ran for another 47 in his first career start but it was too little too late.
IU started the game with an impressive drive and a Nate Sudfeld touchdown pass to Simmie Cobbs from five yards out. Hinton tied the game in the second quarter on a 15-yard run but Sudfeld struck again with a touchdown pass to Ricky Jones. Wake Forest connected on a 35-yard field goal to pull within four points but he was matched by Griffin Oakes' 30-yarder as time expired in the first half with the score at 17-10.
Indiana began the third quarter by forcing a three and out and then marching 77 yards on 11 plays. The drive was finished with a two-yard touchdown run by Jordan Howard and the Hoosiers led 24-10. Indiana's Tony Fields intercepted a pass in Wake Forest territory and ran it in for IU's second defensive touchdown of the season and the 31-10 lead. The Demon Deacons scored twice to make it 31-24 and recovered an onside kick to regain possession with less than three minutes remaining. However, the 4th and 20 Hail Mary attempt was knocked away by Fant and the comeback fell short.
The Indiana Hoosiers return to Bloomington to host the Ohio State Buckeyes on October 3. Check Hoosier Huddle often, we'll have extensive coverage of the Indiana victory over Wake Forest.