Instead of a traditional game story, we’ll do more of a game analysis at AllHoosiers.com. Here’s the first one of the 2014 season, following the 28-10 Indiana victory over Indiana State at Memorial Stadium Saturday afternoon.
WHAT LOOKED GOOD:You have to start with the running game. Indiana took advantage of a defense that struggled against the run a year ago and in fact, gave up 313 yards rushing to IU last season. This year, Indiana dominated even more. IU piled up its seventh highest rushing total in history with 455 yards on 69 rushing attempts and scored all four touchdowns on the ground. Tevin Coleman put up a career-best 247 yards and two scores. D’Angelo Roberts also had a career-high in rushing with 129 yards on 24 carries and a score. It was Roberts’ third career 100-yard rushing game. Probably the most impressive statistic of the day was that on IU’s four scoring drives it did not attempt a single pass. Instead, on those four drives IU ran the ball 27 times.
WHAT ELSE LOOKED GOOD:In a game like this one the defense deserves a great deal of credit, too. Indiana State gained 51 yards the first time it had the ball, and managed 83 yards total in the first quarter. For the rest of the game, the Sycamores managed 87 yards of offense. Indiana State was held to 30 yards rushing on 24 attempts. IU had four sacks – three by Bobby Richardson and one by Nick Mangieri. Nate Hoff, Michael Hunter, Ralph Green and David Cooper also had tackles for loss. It was a solid performance from a defense that gave up 38.8 points per game last year and 527.9 yards of offense per game. It was also a defense that allowed 35 points to this same Indiana State team.
WHAT NEEDS TO IMPROVE:Nate Sudfeld didn’t appear to have a lot of confidence in passing situations and was far too content to tuck the ball and run. He ran it 10 times for 32 yards and few if any were designed runs. Sudfeld completed 11-of-18 passes for 111 yards but didn’t seem himself. At the same time, with the way IU was running the ball it didn’t really need an epic effort out of its quarterback.
MOMENTUM CHANGER:Indiana State scored with 3:46 to play in the first quarter to cut the IU lead to 7-3. Eric Heidorn hit a 31 yard field goal after the Sycamores took advantage of a short field when IU freshman J-Shun Harris fumbled a punt return. But instead of allow Indiana State back in the game, Indiana wasted little time in regaining the momentum. On the second play on the next drive, Tevin Coleman raced 73 yards for a touchdown to put IU up 14-3 with 3:06 to play in the quarter.
SUPERLATIVE EFFORTS:The two running backs came up particular big and even a third, redshirt freshman Myles Graham, managed 39 yards on eight carries along with his first career touchdown. ... True freshman wide receiver Simmie Cobbs led IU with three catches for 57 yards including a 34-yard reception … Aaron Del Grosso missed his only field goal, a chip shot from 26 yards, but he did put all five of his kickoffs into the end zone for touchbacks. … David Cooper led IU with eight tackles including one tackle for loss. Bobby Richardson had three sacks. His last two seasons he had a total of 2.5 sacks. … As a team IU was 11-of-17 on third down conversions. … IU had 11 true freshmen play in the game.
BEST POSITIONAL UNIT:It was all running backs all the time on Saturday. The four running backs that played – Coleman, Roberts, Graham and true freshman Devine Redding – combined to carry the ball 58 times for 423 yards and score all four touchdowns.
UP NEXT: Indiana is off next week before going on the road to face Bowlling Green on Sept. 13 in a 12 p.m. ET kickoff.
Follow Terry Hutchens at Twitter.com/Foxsportshutch