Written by: TJ Inman (@TJHoosierHuddle)
Malcolm Culmer scampered into the end zone on a perfectly executed screen pass to put the Maryland Terrapins ahead 21-3. Star running back Jordan Howard was on the sideline with a knee injury and IU was being gashed by Maryland running back Brandon Ross. Things were bleak for the Indiana Hoosiers. But then the Hoosiers woke up. Nate Sudfeld connected with Mitchell Paige from 19 yards out on 3rd and goal to make it 10-21. IU's defense finally got a stop and then Sudfeld struck again, this time on a 59-yard throw to Andre Booker. IU recovered a perfectly run onside kick and Nate Sudfeld gave IU the lead on a quarterback sneak. The Hoosiers added a pair of field goals before the half and went into the locker room ahead 30-21. IU ended up with 326 yards in the first half but they surrendered 208 yards in the first quarter and 270 in the first half.
Maryland struck first in the second half as Brandon Ross achieved a new career-high in yards and ran for his his third touchdown of the day to cut IU's lead to 30-28. Indiana quickly responded as Nate Sudfeld found Mitchell Paige from six yards out. The IU defense buckled down and Nate Sudfeld added his fourth passing touchdown (fifth TD overall) as he connected with Michael Cooper to make the score 44-28. Griffin Oakes drilled a 36-yard field goal to seal the deal and move the Hoosiers to 5-6 heading into next week's Old Oaken Bucket game. Maryland drops to 2-9 and 0-7 in the B1G.
Indiana's offense was extremely impressive after a couple of early sputters as they overcame the injury to Jordan Howard to rack up 558 yards. Nate Sudfeld led the way, completing 23 of 35 passes for 385 yards and four touchdowns plus one rushing touchdown. Simmie Cobbs had nine catches for a career high 192 receiving yards. Maryland running back Brandon Ross had 250 yards and three touchdowns in the loss. The Hoosiers trailed 21-3 with under two minutes remaining the first quarter but they finished the game on a 44-7 run to notch their second road win of the season.
-I was incredibly irritated with the way IU started the game, particularly on defense. They were sloppy with their assignments and had a ton of trouble wrapping up Brandon Ross. However, after the first quarter, the defense was much improved and they played a positive role in getting this victory.
-Nate Sudfeld was awesome today and he had help from his receivers. Luke Timian had a big catch on third down. Andre Booker contributed with two nice plays. Simmie Cobbs looked like a real star and Mitchell Paige was his usual solid self.
-The Indiana special teams was very good yet again. Griffin Oakes is one of the best kickers in the country (four field goals for the second straight week). Erich Toth did a nice job in the limited times he was called upon and the coverage units were spectacular against the dangerous William Likely.
-Maryland's passing offense was extremely limited but it was good to see IU hold an opposing team under 150 passing yards (even if Maryland missed a lot of open chances).
-IU was close against really good teams and now blew out an inferior opponent on the road. This program has improved a lot but it's time to breakthrough and get to a bowl game. They'll get their chance next week in West Lafayette.