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Indiana uses ground game to down SC State

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Now, this is what coach Kevin Wilson wants Indiana football to look like.

Minus the miscues, of course.

Indiana's Edward Wright-Baker threw for two touchdowns and the Hoosiers rushed for 271 yards and three more scores Saturday, beating up on South Carolina State 38-21 to give their new coach his first career victory.

Indiana moved the ball all day, compiling 221 yards and three touchdowns in the first quarter alone. Indiana finished with 557 yards in total offense and matched its highest point total since last season's second game.

Still, it was not a thing of beauty.

The teams combined for 31 penalties with Indiana committing 20 to break the school record (16) set in 1962 and matched in 1998. Indiana used three different quarterbacks, and the game took nearly 3 1/2 hours to complete.

Still, it gave fans a semblance of what Wilson expects from Indiana (1-2), which is to play fast, score points by the dozens and, ultimately, win.

Wright-Baker got things off to a torrid start for Indiana, throwing a 30-yard TD pass to Duwyce Wilson after a replay review overturned the call on the field that he had juggled the ball. Wright-Baker finished 21 of 27 for 273 yards with two TDs and no interceptions, although he did lose a fumble.

Stephen Houston's 2-yard scoring run on Indiana's next possession made it 14-0 fewer than 6 minutes into the game.

South Carolina State (1-2, 1-0 Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference) answered in just one play. Derrick Wiley threw a nifty flanker screen to Tyler McDonald, who cut inside the defenders and outran the Hoosiers for a 69-yard TD to make it 14-7. Wiley was 15 of 30 for 216 yards with two touchdowns and ran 14 times for 63 yards.

The Hoosiers were just getting started.

Matt Perez scored on a 1-yard TD run to make it 21-7 before the 57-minute first quarter finally ended. After Indiana recovered a South Carolina State fumble, the Hoosiers drove for a 26-yard field goal to make it 24-7 at the half.

But the constant penalties and continual miscues made it difficult again for the Hoosiers to close out the game.

Midway through the third quarter, the Bulldogs finally obtained the short field they needed and wasted no time in converting with a 5-yard TD pass from Wiley to Caleb Davis to make it 24-14.

Then it was Indiana's turn. Freshman D'Angelo Roberts capped a 58-yard drive with a 7-yard TD run, the first score of his college career. Roberts wound up with 19 carries on 102 yards, his first career 100-yard game.

The Bulldogs would not go away. When Indiana's kickoff went out of bounds, South Carolina State responded with Jalen Simmons' elusive 21-yard TD run down the left sideline to make it 31-21 with 12:10 to go.

Two and a half minutes later, Kofi Hughes caught a Wright-Baker short pass and tiptoed down the sideline for a 40-yard score to make it 38-21, sealing the victory.

South Carolina State, a Football Championship Subdivision school, was playing its first Big Ten opponent in school history and has yet to beat a Football Bowl Subdivision team.

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2015 Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference Standings

North Carolina A&T7-110-2
North Carolina Central7-18-3
South Carolina State6-27-4
Morgan State4-44-6
Norfolk State4-44-7
Savannah State1-71-9
Delaware State1-71-10
Florida A&M1-71-10