Well friends, it has come and gone. The first game of the year is complete and in the books and we finally have something to talk about. Indiana Hoosiers football has returned.
Saturday, the Hoosiers took on the number 3 Ohio State Buckeyes in Bloomington and boy was it a different meeting than we expected. After scrapping and clawing to a 10-3 lead at halftime, the Buckeyes were able to pull away from Indiana for a 23-3 win.
You read that right. The solid double under for the Hoosiers. Let’s go ahead and cover the good and the bad from the game and see what we can takeaway.
The defense in this game was solid all day. Aaron Casey had an absolutely stellar day for the Hoosiers with 11 tackles. It felt like he was constantly blowing up Ohio State running lanes which was great to see! Andre Carter was also very good and showed why he deserves to be playing B1G football. There were a lot of other solid aspects to the defense as well, such as the Phillip Dunnam interception, countless deflections by the secondary, and really the lack of many penalties.
Holding Ohio State to 23 points (10 first half points) is actually a fairly big deal for the Hoosiers. In a game where people expected Marvin Harrison Jr and Emeka Egbuka to go wild on the Hoosiers secondary, the fact that they only had 5 catches for 34 yards and no touchdowns is pretty good. In fact, the Buckeyes only had 2 touchdowns all day! If you’re looking for positive momentum and talking points, the defense definitely earned themselves some kudos this week.
A staple of Indiana Hoosier teams, the number of undisciplined plays really irks me, specifically around special teams but also one on the defense. Indiana had 3 block in the backs called and 1 holding call on special teams that cost Indiana field position and perhaps a bit of momentum. That just simply can’t happen. Then there’s the admittedly soft taunting penalty going in to halftime that gifts the Buckeyes field position.
Just undisciplined and stupid penalties. This isn’t particularly new to Indiana Hoosier fans. It’s been a part of Hoosier football for the last decade it feels like. In games like this, it can cost you and the Hoosiers probably cost themselves some momentum and opportunities because of these undisciplined plays.
QBs and the Offense
In case anyone doesn’t know, I am not a fan of Walt Bell at this point. I don’t find him to be a great play caller nor do I think he’s a good recruiter. That pretty much presented itself clearly on Saturday. The Hoosiers offense looked bad. Like, real bad. 2021 levels of bad.
I think some of that also goes on the shoulders of the QBs that the Hoosiers are playing. Neither Brendan Sorsby nor Tayven Jackson played good games. I don’t even think they were average games.
But they really didn’t have a ton to work with either because the playcalling was so bad. WHY ARE WE HAVING JAYLIN LUCAS RUNNING UP THE MIDDLE? HE’S 5 FOOT NOTHING. The only creative play call I saw was the end around they tried that went nowhere. That’s IT!
Look, I’m not going to overly criticize the offense because I think the Ohio State defense is really good. Better Indiana teams have done worse against Ohio State. Indiana had no turnovers. No major players got injured and perhaps that’s all we can hope for. But if it stays like this, it’s going to be a long season.
The offensive line also deserves some credit for not being as bad as they were last year. They struggled to open up holes, but they weren’t the swiss cheese line they were last year, so props for that.
Indiana will return to the field in a much needed pancake game on Friday night. The Hoosiers will take on the Indiana State Sycamores in a game that should provide a nice settle in game for the offensive line and the quarterbacks. With two weeks to go until the Louisville game, Indiana is going to need to win this decisively and figure a few things out offensively. If they can do that, the Hoosiers may be alright.
Gametime: Friday, September 8th – 7:00 EST – Big Ten Network
Indiana was projected to win only 3 games this year. Do you think that projection went up or down based on this game?
This poll is closed
Up! The Hoosiers Surprised Me
Up! The Hoosiers definitely did better than other B1G schools
Meh. 3 Wins is still about right
Lets say 2 wins because that offense stinks