Saturday, September 1, 2012
Indiana survives test from in-state foe
By Adam Rittenberg
Every Indiana win is precious, as we've learned in recent years, and no matter the opponent, each triumph should be cherished.
The Hoosiers should celebrate Saturday night as they held off FCS Indiana State 24-17 to match their victories total from the 2011 season. Sophomore quarterback Tre Roberson showed improvement as a passer (26-for-36, 281 yards, 1 TD, 0 INT) and got a number of pass-catchers involved, including speedster Shane Wynn (6 catches, 95 yards, TD). Sophomore cornerback Brian Williams had a big interception, and the defense played well on third down (3 of 12 conversions).
But if Indiana wants to win any more games and give Kevin Wilson his first win against an FBS foe, it needs to make some strides in all three phases. The Hoosiers need to score more points after racking up 453 yards and 25 first downs. Indiana State rushed for 179 yards and had numerous opportunities literally slip through its fingers. And Indiana had a field goal blocked and had another attempt clang off of the upright.
That's not good enough to beat Big Ten teams. That's barely good enough to beat an average FCS squad.
Indiana showed it can move the ball in league play last year, and it could have a more potent offense with an older Roberson and more options in the passing game. But the Hoosiers must translate yards into points, and they've got to stop the run.
Celebrate now. There's a lot of work ahead.