Written By Sammy Jacobs (@Hoosier_Huddle)
The Hoosiers returned to the win column on Saturday after taking care of business in a 49-24 blowout of the Mean Green. We are going to take a more in depth look at what the Hoosiers did well, what issues need to be cleaned up, and what needs to be changed.
The Good- Trick Plays, Shane Wynn, Defense and Nate Sudfeld- The Hoosiers broke out of their offensive mini slump in a pretty big way on Saturday. They got big plays from their most important players and finally found the tight end in the passing game. Nate Sudfeld looked good in a stiff wind completing nearly 80 percent of his passes for 230 yards and three touchdowns. Two of those scores were to Shane Wynn who broke out in a big way. Wynn, IU’s most dynamic receiver, had five catches for 127 yards and two touchdowns. The two scores came on long passes, a 45-yard pass and a 76-yard strike. Wynn finally looked like the receiver he has been in his career at IU.
More importantly the defense came up with big game changing plays. Freshman Tegray Scales set up the Hoosiers first score with an interception on North Texas’s first drive. Redshirt freshman Chase Dutra also registered an interception in the opponent’s territory.
The aggressive play calling really sparked the Hoosiers early and led to them getting up 21-0 after the first quarter. The best play may have been the onside kick that was executed to perfection after the Hoosiers’ first score. The Hoosiers caught the Mean Green leaving their spot early, kicked it short and Clyde Newton came up with the ball. The Hoosiers’ offense was more wide-open Saturday, highlighted by the two Wynn touchdowns.
The Bad- Penalties and consistency- The Hoosiers were flagged six times for 55 yards on Saturday. For the season Indiana has been called for 35 totaling 318 yards. The Hoosiers need to clean up this part of the game if they want to get some wins in the Big Ten. Committing penalties also has an effect on how consistent a team is. Indiana shot out to a 21-point lead in the first quarter, yet was shut out in the second quarter and only managed seven points after another 21-point third quarter. The Hoosiers have yet to put together a full game. They are getting better, but IU needs to put four quarters together.
The Ugly- Fumbles- Indiana needs to hold onto the ball. The Hoosiers have done pretty well so far this season with turnovers having only five on the season, but all five of those have been killers. On Saturday North Texas scored a touchdown after Damon Graham fumbled on a kickoff return. Protecting the ball needs to be the top priority when it gets back into Big Ten play this week at Iowa.