The age old problem of not being able to stop anyone reared its ugly self again Saturday in Bloomington. Indiana allowed Navy to carve up the IU defense at will before the Hoosiers late rally fell short 41-35. The disappointing loss drops IU to 1-1 on the year and begs the question, "what if anything is different this year?"
Navy sophomore QB Keenan Reynolds directed a Midshipmen attack that IU just had no answer for. The Midshipmen rushed for over 400 yards, and Reynolds himself accumulated 127 yards and three touchdowns on 32 carries as the trigger man in Navy’s triple option. It was the academy's first game of the year, but they appeared in mid-season form. With its offense rolling, the Midshipmen weren't forced to punt the entire game.
Indiana head coach Kevin Wilson was matter of fact after the loss. “We got beat at the line of scrimmage. We tried to make adjustments. We knew we would need to. We knew they would come out in some unusual looks, and we didn’t adapt quickly enough. So it’s a disappointing loss, but very, very proud because I think there was a chance we could’ve tanked it. We battled, battled, battled. I have to get us ready to play, because we didn’t start ready. I have to look at me and what we did, so we’ll move forward and next week will be a huge challenge with Bowling Green.”
Wilson said the Hoosiers prep work may also not have been as diligent as it needs to be. “We didn’t adjust well. I thought we were a little casual in our prep work here recently in our body language, chatter. Were we on edge, ready to play? I thought pregame started a little casual. I thought the game started a little casual, and that being said, when we made our adjustments, I don’t know if we got them made. I don’t know if the kids understood I’m not blaming those guys. it’s just a difficult deal. We tweaked it as best we could, and it wasn’t good enough.”
The defeat overshadowed an outstanding performance by sophomore Hoosiers QB Nate Sudfeld. He threw for 363-yards and four touchdowns, and certainly deserves consideration for being named the full-time starter.
IU had chances late to get the ball back but a attempted on-side kick wasn't recovered in bounds and the Hoosiers defense failed to stop Navy on a couple fourth down situations.
Extra Points: The Midshipmen had three rushers with more than 90 yards and three rushers who averaged more than 10 yards per carry, averaging 6.3 yards per attempt. Just how dominant was the academy's offense? Navy failed to score on just two of their drives, missing a field goal on one and ending the game on the other....A nice crowd of 47,013 showed up to watch the late afternoon/early evening affair at Memorial Stadium.