Odds and ends from Indiana’s big night in Columbia

COLUMBIA, Mo. — Before they filtered off the field, before they climbed onto a plane and flew home to a better tomorrow, Indiana players met in a cluster near the edge of the field and celebrated the program’s biggest win in recent history with the IU fans who watched them do it.

The 31-27 victory over No. 18 Missouri stands as the hallmark moment of the Kevin Wilson era, a moment that has the potential to define a season should the Hoosiers move forward and build off the momentum they found in Columbia.

It was a coming out party for a defense that looked, for most of the afternoon, like a unit that was sick of derision. It was an Indiana defense that appeared to take last week’s message to heart. There were 11 tackles for loss, marking the first time IU has reached double digit TFLs since picking up 12 at Illinois in 2012. The Hoosiers held Missouri nearly 15 points below its season average, while breaking the Tigers’ streak of 47 consecutive games with a turnover forced.

Now they get to try to back it up next week in the Big Ten opener against Maryland.

“It’s this one, but we’re sitting there waiting for next week to go back to like we were,” Wilson said. “That’s what everyone’s gonna say. That’s the way it is at our place, all the negativity. We talked about we just play hard. You can’t wait for it to happen, you gotta make it happen with aggressiveness and attitude. You don’t wait and look around.”

The defense benefitted from not merely one or two standout efforts, but a slew of them. Perhaps most encouraging was the strong play by freshman linebacker Tegray Scales, who had five tackles, including his first sack of his career. Mark Murphy picked up his third career interception, Zach Shaw posted his first sack of the season and the IU defense as a whole looked nothing like the tentative, sleepy group that got worked last week at Bowling Green.

Indiana running back Tevin Coleman had the play of the game on the Hoosiers’ game-winning scoring drive, taking a screen pass from Nate Sudfeld 44 yards to the doorstep of the end zone to set up D’Angelo Roberts’ big score two plays later.

Coleman recorded his fifth straight 100-yard game and the seventh of his career after finishing with 132 yards on 19 carries. He has now scored in 12 straight games, which is the longest streak in the nation and tied for the longest in IU history with Anthony Thompson. The former IU great Thompson met the media after the game outside the visitor’s locker room at Faurot Field with a big smile on his face. IU’s last win over a top 20 team came while Thompson was still playing during the 1987 season at Ohio State.

Coleman is the first Hoosier with five straight 100-yard games since Vaughn Dunbar had eight in a row in 1991. He’s the third to break 100 yards five games in a row since, joining Thompson and Dunbar.

Earlier in the week, Coleman told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that it’s difficult for running backs at Indiana to get any attention. He declined to elaborate on that statement after Saturday’s game.

“He gets a ton of attention and he’s one of the premier players in the country,” Wilson said. “He was baited into that question like some of you guys bait him from time to time. St. Louis Post-Dispatch guy (Dave Matter), guarantee he went to school here. It’s a trap game for them, trying to motivate them up. Blah, blah, blah, whatever. We told our team it’s all crap. I have no problem with the kid. He’s a great teammate. He wanted to be somewhere. He was recruited by some top 20 teams, some of them in the top 10. He had some chances to be other places. He wanted to be here. Great player, love him to death. Proud of him. Hell of a player.”

Sudfeld continues to add to his place in the Indiana record books. The junior quarterback threw for 252 yards on 18 of 33 passing. A 33-yard touchdown pass to J-Shun Harris late in the third quarter stood as Sudfeld’s second scoring throw of the season — both of them to Harris. Sudfeld is now ninth in Indiana career passing yards (3,865) and stands at seventh in career touchdown passes with 30.

The Hoosiers’ kicking game was hit and miss again this week. Aaron Del Grosso connected on his first field goal, a 23-yard shot as the first-half clock expired, but missed for the third time this season later in the third quarter from 41 yards out. Wilson used fellow walk-on kicker Griffin Oakes on extra points and kickoffs in the second half.

“(Oakes played) very nice, very nice,” Wilson said. “Our other guy is doing well. He’s got a pulled groin and missed the one. Griffin, because he kicked off well, that was huge for him and good to see. Nice job by the punter, too.”

27 comments

  1. Interesting comment made by Wilson when he said, ““but we’re sitting there waiting for next week to go back to like we were,” Wilson said. “That’s what everyone’s gonna say. That’s the way it is at our place, all the negativity.” My guess is that Wilson, staff and team are going to notice a lot less negativity this week in Bloomington than they did last week.

    The mystery about Coleman has been solved. Cramps, cured by some IVs in the locker at half time. I was worried, by the look of him on the sideline, that Coleman suffered a concussion. Glad to know that some fluids and electrolytes was all he needed. He’s an outstanding player.

    Go Hoosiers, beat Maryland.

  2. More odds and ends. Just read a hilarious post from the interwebs: IU has now won more SEC football games over the last two years than Kentucky. Gotta stick in your jabs where you you can, I guess.

    It’s bad enough being a Cubs fan in St Louis. Last week was even tougher with several of my office mates. Had to hear about the Rams having a better record than my Colts. Even worse, all the Mizzou homers were keenly aware of IUs loss to BG before visiting Columbia– and didn’t shy away from rubbing my face in it. Now I have no choice but to bring in my IU coffee mug to work. Yep. Monday is going to be a glorious day for this guy…

  3. Love Coach Wilson’s work to date. Love his attitude,too. I hope the team now buys into his attitude permanently and plays future games with focus, confidence and abandon. I hope, too, those IU fans, and bloggers, who always think the sky is falling at a loss or setback, will adopt Coach Wilson’s attitude and the team’s new attitude, too. Such change in mind-set will go along way in continuing to enable IU football to rise from the ashes. Go Hoosiers!

  4. CKW is absolutely right. Some “Hoosier Fans” are flat out apathetic. Given any opportunity they use their confirmation bias to give themselves a reason to abandon ship. Some quotes after last week were ‘there goes IU’s season, BG was a MUST win’. Really? The season’s over after two weeks? Everyone’s entitled to their opinion, but these folks need to stop poisoning the well. This program deserves our full support.
    I enjoyed watching the “Next Man Up” attitude displayed on both sides of the ball. Coleman goes down, Roberts steps up, Roberts goes down, Redding steps up; Simmons goes down, Scales steps up, Mullen goes down, Fant steps up. That illustrates depth and confidence. This team can play.
    They scored late to win, but they CONTROLLED the entire game. Go Hoosiers!

  5. …this will be a season of disappointments and surprises…Well we’re 1-1. The early 2 week layoff after the ISU game hurt as IU did not look flat, dull and listless against Mizzou. Toth averaged 44 yd. per punt, decent ST’s play overall. P and K coverages were solid. The 1st reception(44yd.)by Stoner in the 1st Q made the Mizzou D respect the pass and loosen up for the run. Sudfeld has grown a ton since last year and through Wilson/Johns tutoring manages the offense with poise. 2 for 2 on 4th downs. Unbelievable IU was only 1-14 on 3rd down conversions. That stat alone tells just how good our D had to play. Young guys are really starting to get it. I’ve watched the Terrapins twice they are solid. Wilson and company will need another effort much like yesterday.

    Po, The Bookies were giving 13 1/2 points. Friday night I could not resist and kind of led with my heart more than my head. I won all back I lost at BG + 15%. That and Harv’s prediction + the Heinekens nearly had me blowing spit bubbles after the game. A Good Saturday!

  6. The best part of this game was that IU did not come close to playing a great or perfect game. They did not need everything to fall their way to have a chance to win. They did not find a way to lose. They played hard – got contributions on both sides of the ball and really controlled the game. It just shows they do not need miracles to win – just focus and effort.

    Couple thoughts on the positive side:

    * Roberts and Reading running the ball with Coleman out. Roberts was his normal solid self and Reading running downhill was excellent.
    * 7 punts by Mizzou. No typo. Seven!
    * Defense was outstanding all day long. The pressure on the QB was so refreshing to watch. ( Do 1/1000 of that against BG and IU wins by double digits – but at least a lesson learned ) The fact they stayed solid for 4 quarters was great. They played 31 less plays than last week.
    * Receivers stepping up with quality routes.
    * HCKW showing some emotion. On the field a few times yelling about bad calls and getting on Sudfeld for missing reads – etc.. You asked the players to play “like their hair was on fire” and finally you coached like “your hair was on fire”. I thought this probably was the best game he has coached here. Not just because we won – but because of how he managed the game with decisions. Even liked the kicker switch on the last couple extra points.

    Simple stat for the HCKW era : IU is 10-0 when holding opponents under 40 points. The formula is that simple.

    Here’s hoping this game was the light switch that got turned on permanently for us. Go Hoosiers.

  7. Clarion is a true Hoosier football fan. Much better one than myself; always taking the positive spin on the football team. He deserves an award.

    Harvard only recently started to “care” about Hoosier football, out of boredom I assume. For most of his blogging lifespan he has worked tirelessly to belittle Hoosier football as meaningless, while trying to divert all conversations back to Tom Crean. He finally realized he had to participate rather than resist, if he wanted to keep his place as a valued and Hoosier Scoop Trustee. Sorry, Harvard, it’s the truth, and I wouldn’t have gone there if not for your needless jab at me.

  8. More kicking in the shin. Gosh…I make a fun and solid prediction that happens to be aligned with the stars and some just can’t stomach it. Dustin would have been different. He would have had some fun with it.

    Don’t go crying like a baby beluga, Husky. You couldn’t simply give a congrats without adding something to sour the fun. It’s o.k..

    Clarion is a much more devoted football fan than I. Then again, you really never know how much of what we say(or type) is what we truly feel in our bored hearts.

    I always felt it was boredom that brought a transplanted Husky fan to a Hoosier Basketblog. He came with arrogance and preconceived notions about Hoosier fans. He found more than a challenge to those stubborn assumptions and has never gotten over it.

    But this is a Sunday to celebrate. Celebrations are often short-lived and we should just enjoy the moment… and let Clarion, Tsao, and all hearts aligned with Hoosier Football enjoy his moment. Sometimes enough hearts can change the stars.

  9. As I read this thread, I thought ‘save’ this thread as a memorable moment in Hoosier football history for the ‘old age days’. Hoosier Clarion is downright inspiring and his acknowledgment of Harvard as close to a ‘Hoosier moment’ as I’ll ever want to recall. Classy guy HC, class!….

    Harvard, your evolution on this blog is somewhat like watching the Hoosiers reach respectability in the eyes of those who foam at the mouth when we say, “Indiana”. Not only did we call out one incredibly biased journalist in this StL Post copyboy named “matter” (matter has substance, this one…none…more on him elsewhere)…but CKW noticed it and gave him one very nice “‘just Indiana this’, put our ‘hair on fire’ in your pants- it will hurt you less as Matter watches his face turn Hoosier Red.”

    And, what I see everyone saying in this blog (anyone who matters) is- “we love your passion Harvard and the essence of Hoosier in your pen.” BTW, Seahawk is just trying to figure out how to become your Sancho Panza while preserving his Northwest self-esteem somewhere in Ohio.

    And Seahawk…no I didn’t “almost croak”. When I do, you’ll see the procession with Father Jorge Bergoglio (aka El Papa Francisco) shedding tears at the front. But first, he’ll stop and grin and hold up one (his index finger (just as he does to celebrate San Lorenzo wins) in Harvard’s direction for ‘Hoosiers #1’. And, glad you’re now one of the faithful at the Church of the Sainted Holy Mother of the Son of Hoosier, Seahawk…just understand that Harvey is known in these parts as Pope Harvey, and protected by his Cardinals, Fr. Tsao, Fr. Clarion and Fr. Podunker as the faithful make the sign of the I and the U and genuflex, while receiving his (Pope Harvey’s) blessing.

    Go Hoosiers, Damnit!!!

    Now, may I hear an ‘Amen’?

  10. Mr. Miller- please brush up on your IUFB history; in 2006 IU beat #16 (or maybe #15?) Iowa in Bloomington.

    H4H, now if you could only predict mutual funds for my deferred comp account.

    Coleman’s 132 yds. rushing should be tallied at 176*.

    *Includes 44 yd. screen pass on the last series as a run.

  11. HC, glad to hear that you won back everything lost on the BG game. I don’t bet on sports, but if I had, I confess that I would not have bet against Missou yesterday.

    It’s too early to tell whether yesterday’s huge upset victory represents a turning point in IU’s football program, but it was a step in the right direction. Yesterday’s win gives IU fans reason for hope, it should give IU’s players confidence, and it should allow the coaches to reinforce that it takes that kind of consistent effort and belief in themselves to win more such games. So, rather than looking for turning points, let’s celebrate the fact that it was one big positive for a program starving for positives and that it was definitely something to build on. It makes the week a little better for everyone. It makes Saturday’s game against MD a little more interesting. It provides some reason for optimism. And for now, that’s good enough for me.

  12. Impressive win. Congrats to the coaches and the team. Consistent play moving forward will be the key in stringing a few more wins together. IU got off the porch and ran with the big dogs yesterday. Let’s hope the trend continues.

  13. Don’t think anyone mentioned that true frosh LB Tegray Scales was all over the place on D. Looks like IU finally has a notable play-maker on the defensive side of the ball. Keep it rolling…BEAT Maryland!

  14. Let’s go and beat Maryland this coming Saturday. Solid team from top to bottom. Good observations from HC. Good momentum to carry over for sure. It felt good today wearing my Hoosier Football t-shirt in south Alabama on this beautiful Sunday.

  15. I wrote this in an exchange with someone else, ir regards to the job Kevin Wilson is doing. The most improbable, yet most important issue that Kevin Wilson took on goes way beyond draggin Indiana out of this sink hole of defeatism that has plagued it since the forced resignation by Coach Mallory. Indeed, it was the ‘negativity culture’ surrounding the IU football program that did not see the grave consequences of a change in what had been, up to that point, the most successful period in Indiana football history.

    That is exactly the point. When Glass set out to find a football coach and immediately saw the possibilities in the highly successful offensive coordinator at Oklahoma, Kevin Wilson, he charged him an almost impossible assignment. CHANGE THE CULTURE OF LOSING surrounding Indiana football like Charlie Browns dark cloud. Players at Indiana did not play to win, they played to wear their shirts around the frat, the dorm, the campus and make a fashion statement. Fans…well, the last two weeks of discussion and commentary are a perfect example of what IU football and fandom had become; depressed, passive and divisive on the pettiest of issues. We not only ‘expected losing’ but ‘liked’ it because it became central to our little society, insured our roles (as involved) and defined us (some definition, any definition, is better than no definition).We, correctly, compared ourselves to the Chicago Cubs and…laughed about it. We saw their century old tradition of not-winning as a model.

    KW assumed the challenge, from the very beginning and understood its magnitude. Even the highly publicised run-in at the dorm the first night Wilson arrived on campus, became a symbol of the apathy towards and of the football program. Media faces would spit on the Hoosiers and laugh, and Hoosiers would simply use the dinner napkin to wipe the spit off their foreheads. They’d insult us for the meek strength of our reproductive fluids, write or publicly state that it would continue to go on and on- just like that- for years and decades into the future, and we’d smile and look apologetic about it, while whining…’well, I wanna ‘win now’. The Varsity Club should have sold pacifiers with “win Now’ printed on them.

    “Define win, we have no idea,” said one supporter.

    KW took it, and rebelled against it. He was highly criticised at times for ‘cleaning out the closet’ while ‘hurting the poor darlings who were wearing our shirts.” One Hoosier ‘star’ decided he’d rather go to ‘professional’ wrestling than continue to be a ‘Hoosier star’. Dismissed upperclassmen were defining KW as ‘not very nice’ because he expected ‘commitment and success’.

    KW accepted the culture needed to change. Not win one game; not even a .500 season; but change a culture of ‘wannabe’ football players, fans who cherish the negativity around the program because it gave them an identity and a cultural center of gravity. Read the blogs, follow the media, the conversations in alumni and supporter meetings. ‘Winning wasn’t everything…winning is hard and, in the measure of things, is it really that important? Isn’t it how you play the game and I play ok…or I support the Hoosier or the team”, (whatever the _____ that means; as in, ‘I support our troops.’…you die, I’ll mourn you.

    KW was played near-high school kids for seasons two and three with the expected results. Better their virginity than sustaining the ‘losing ethos’ of what was passing as a football program at Indiana. A historical illustration: Athenians had the practice of using slaves to teach their children; until their great general and leader, Pericles, forbade the practice. ‘A slave can not teach a free man to be free”, reasoned Pericles. Likewise, I suppose, Wilson had similar misgivings. A loser can not teach a winner how to be a winner. Unless upperclassmen could make significant contributions, Indiana could do without them.

    ‘We’re the same bums we were last week”, said Kevin Wilson, after a huge upset of Missouri yesterday and, barely, a week after losing 45-42 to Bowling Green, a MAC team..(forgetting the fact that B1G teams get the hives when faced with playing the MC. Yet, the same players who picked themselves up from that shaming loss against Bowling Green spit a wad to the side, wiped their sweat after the loss, swallowed hard and…beat the nationally ranked, defending SEC divisional champion and contender for the national championship of the 2013 season, Missouri; in a game of trading blow by blow, of hitting and being hit, of carting injured players off the field and replacing them with players who, four months ago, were receiving their high school diplomas; and, in the process…were winning their self-respect and, possibly, their competitive souls.

    Among the survivors of the three-plus year search and within the youth of their teams, they may have discovered winners who can teach others to be winners.

    And, with it, they have become the real purpose of the mission Fred Glass laid down for their coach, Kevin Wilson. Slowly, painfully, even accidentally at times, the Hoosiers of 2014 have begun to produce a change, a real change in the culture of losing at Indiana University,; and begun an exploration into a culture that understands the essence of winning. “We talked about we just play hard. You can’t wait for it to happen, you gotta make it happen with aggressiveness and attitude. You don’t wait and look around,” said Wilson.

  16. Harvard: Did you not read the post where I referenced FinklemeYer? It was a congratulatory post.

    You do have a knack for the occasional bold prediction. I admire that. I always take the pessimistic point of view.

    Seahawks just beat Denver (Hallelujah!) after getting picked apart by Peyton in embarrassing fashion in the last minute of regulation. I gave up after the 2 point conversion to Demaryius. I was my old negative self. Harvard or Clarion would have been hanging in there at the end.

  17. Wait a minute. I guess I’m still one of those ‘negative’ folks (even though I have been an IU football fan since 1967 and have stuck with them for what seems like forever) because I and everyone else expected them to be 2-1 after 3 games. Right now they are 2-1. They beat a “Very Good” Missouri team and I’m happy about it but they lost to a “so so” Bowling Green team from the MAC (90% or more of their players didn’t get offers from Big 10 Schools so any claim about how ‘good’ they are is rather hollow). No one knows which IU team will show up against Maryland, North Texas State or any other team because it could be either one of them. Wilson hasn’t changed a thing in regard to the ‘culture’ at least there’s no evidence of that until they show such consistency over the long term so that the “Bowling Green Losses” become surprises. I continue to watch the games and pull for the Hoosiers (yelling at the TV, smacking my hand on the counter, complaining about the refs, etc.) but they haven’t earned anything yet except skepticism.

  18. You give yourself away in the very first sentence…”have stuck with them …”. Stuck? Stuck??? You don’t ‘stick’, you go nuts supporting them, you expect them to de well, no matter how they do. 1967? came late into your Hoosier support, did you…try since Bernie Crimmins…Phil Dickens and the Side-Saddle T…

    And…you are right, I think it is the fans and the overall clmate we haven’t or have created…don’t get offended, you’re the one who acts as if they owe it to you…they don’t…earn it

  19. Relax Pal. You don’t like the word “stuck” well I don’t care. Yes they do need to earn the support of fans/alums. Take a look around Memorial Stadium. That’s reality. Win and they will come.

  20. iulongago, Wilson’s team is a very small part of the culture needed to change(he has already accomplished that). Look in the mirror and not too deeply.

  21. DoubleDown, brevity may be the soul of wit but I wasn’t looking for a humorous one liner when I started thinking about the 50 years (= half a Century) of losing I had witnessed.

    HoosierClarion- Good comment (#26). In deference to the fact that he’s suffered all those years, I’ll stop here and not answer him further. Just hope he (and hundreds of others) can handle the change. You would be the best model for him to follow.

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