Behind a combined 284 yards rushing by Indiana's top two tailbacks and a 300-plus yard passing performance by Nate Sudfeld, the Hoosiers broke open a close game in the second half and went on to roll Bowling Green 42-10 before an announced crowd of over 41,000 at Memorial Stadium in Bloomington. Senior Stephen Houston rushed for 155 yards on just 13 carries and sophomore Tevin Coleman rushed for 129 and two scores,
Under ideal, fall-like weather conditions, the Hoosiers improved to 2-1 on the year and put behind them last week's loss to Navy. Bowling Green drops to 2-1.
IU jumped out to a 7-0 lead, but endured some first-half struggles in the kicking game and goal-line offense. Bowling Green blocked a Hoosier punt, returning it and tying the score at seven. Moments later, a fumbled kickoff return allowed the Falcons prime real estate deep in Hoosier territory. The defense stiffened, but a 45-yard Tyler Tate field goal gave Bowling Green their only lead at 10-7.
From there, the Hoosiers offense exploded, scoring on five consecutive possessions. Coleman's 43-yard touchdown gallop down the sideline put the Hoosiers in front to stay. IU followed with a short eight-yard touchdown throw from Sudfeld to wide receiver Kofi Hughes. Hughes made some highlight reel catches, and finished with four catches for 38 yards and a score.
Junior wide out Cody Latimer emerged with a big game as well. Latimer, whose dad played at Bowling Green before succumbing to colon cancer when Cody was 12, caught six passes for a career-high 137 yards and a touchdown.
Meanwhile, Sudfeld, the tall pocket passer from California, demonstrated he can move a little as well. Besides the 335-yards passing and two touchdowns, Sudfeld did a nice job evading pressure and even scored on a one-yard touchdown run. He appears to give the Hoosiers the best chance to be competitive heading into the Big Ten season.
While the offense was the story, the defensive effort registered by the Hoosiers deserves some praise. After appearing unprepared and out of position last week, the IU recorded five tackles for loss and a pair of sacks. Indiana head coach Kevin Wilson was pleased to see the attack unit perform. "I think we had 10 stops, three-and-outs, third down stops there. They were actually 8-of-20 on third down and 2-of-6 on fourth down. I think another thing was they were 0-for-3 in the red zone. They worked us down there pretty good. … Our guys, they did bend a little, but we got them on third down, got them third-and-long, got some pressure on the quarterback a little bit. Sometimes they worked us and converted, but it was a good, it was nice to see the defensive players. I thought our guys did a nice job in practice, our coaches gave them a good plan. It was nice to come out and play well.
It’s good, because last week they were the worst defense that ever played in the history of the universe if you listen. But now, they’re going to be the greatest thing ever. Nah, they just are what they are. They’re young. They’re getting better. Got some freshman linebackers. There’s not a senior on the defensive line. You’ve got two corners you’re talking about, it’s their third game. You’re learning under fire.
Against talented Falcons QB Matt Johnson, the IU attack unit limited Bowling Green to 136 yards on the ground and knocked Johnson out of the game in the second half with an apparent knee injury. The Falcons were also their worst enemy, committing turnovers on an interception and a fumble, two missed field goals and four turnovers on downs. All four times Bowling Green got in the red zone, they were turned back.
The Hoosiers get a chance to measure where they're at when they host SEC foe Missouri next Saturday evening at 8P.M. in Bloomington. It will mark the Hoosiers fourth consecutive home contest.