Missed field goal helps Duke to 44-41 Pinstripe Bowl win over IU

NEW YORK — Indiana closed its season with another dose of heartbreak.

A 38-yard field goal attempt by Griffin Oakes missed over the right upright in overtime, sending Duke to a 44-41 victory over the Hoosiers Saturday at Yankee Stadium.

Indiana, which had gone eight years between bowl appearance, has not won a postseason game since the 1991 Copper Bowl. With star running back Jordan Howard once again unavailable due to injury, Devine Redding authored a program-best performance for the Hoosiers. Redding set IU bowl records with 227 yards on 35 carries, reaching the 1,000-yard rushing threshold and marking the first time in program history that Indiana has had a pair of players achieve the milestone in the same season.

After arguably the worst start of his career, Nate Sudfeld finished his final game as a Hoosier with 389 yards on 28-of-51 passing.

He threw two early interceptions, the first of which swung a deep drive in Duke territory into a one-play scoring drive for the Blue Devils. At the Duke 13, Sudfeld tried to find Andre Booker through a tight window over the middle, but the pass was picked off and led to an 85-yard touchdown run on the ensuing play by Duke running back.

It opened a 10-0 Duke lead late in the first quarter, at which point Sudfeld had completed only eight of his first 15 passes for 46 yards. It was the worst the senior quarterback had looked since last season’s Maryland game, when a similar lack of touch and precision prevented IU from gaining ground.

Sudfeld didn’t assert himself until late in the first half, when he led the Hoosiers on a 10-play, 78-yard drive that he capped with a 27-yard touchdown pass to walk-on receiver Luke Timian at the 6:56 mark. That throw and catch began a 14-point swing for the Hoosiers, who took their first lead on a 17-yard run by Redding with 1:25 remaining in the half.

That burst of momentum was short lived after Duke quarterback Thomas Sirk answered with a draw that went 73 yards through an absent Indiana defense and gave the Blue Devils a 17-14 lead with a minute to play in the second quarter. IU marched deep downfield in the final seconds before settling for a 45-yard field goal from Griffin Oakes before the half.

The teams traded scores coming out of the half, beginning with a 34-yard field goal by Ross Martin on Duke’s opening drive. Then the Hoosiers answered with a three-yard reception by Nick Westbrook to take a 24-20 lead at the 7:11 mark.

But after a big third-down stop by Indiana’s defense, a critical mistake by punt returner Mitchell Paige essentially handed Duke another touchdown. Paige fielded a punt around the 15-yard line, but had the ball knocked loose as he was taken down around the 20. It took only three plays before Sirk found tight end Braxton Deaver for a 10-yard touchdown pass late in the third period.

A second wind of momentum carried IU back in front, beginning with walk-on running back Alex Rodriguez’s 10-yard scoring run to close the third quarter and give the Hoosiers a 31-27 lead. IU nearly had another touchdown to open the fourth quarter, but settled for a 27-yard field goal by Oakes after Simmie Cobbs dropped a would-be catch in the end zone.

Duke tied the game at 34-all on the ensuing kickoff when Shaun Wilson returned Oakes’ kick 98 yards for a touchdown.

With 4:03 to play, Sudfeld scrambled after a play-action fake and found Paige wide-open in the end zone for the go-ahead score. Duke answered on the ensuring possession, killing all but the final 41 seconds with a 13-play drive capped by a five-yard dive by Sirk.

Indiana closed regulation with a 56-yard field goal attempt that Oakes hooked wide left.

The Hoosiers won the overtime toss and elected to play defense first. On second down, a hit by Darius Latham knocked Sirk out of the game. The Blue Devils settled for a field goal before IU took the field, went three-and-out and watched as officials ruled that Oakes’ 38-yard attempt flied inches wide of the right upright as Duke’s sideline spilled onto the field in celebration.

This story will be updated.


  1. Whatever it takes to lose. That’s the IU and Kevin Wilson way. Shocker Duke scored late to tie it. Then KW plays for a tie in OT. It was the Mitchell Paige show. The nerve of crybaby Oakes to complain. Wah.

  2. I don’t think he missed the field goal! Replay indicates it was over the post but inside of it. And the ABC studio commentators agree.

  3. That Field Goal was Good!!! Not sure why Reece Davis said it was to high for a review? it was inside the right upright,which means it’s Good!!!

  4. Field goal was good, but should never have come down to this. If Simmie Cobbs just stops worrying about being hit all the time and makes the grab, the final play of the game is likely a Duke onside kick attempt instead of an IU drive with only :41 left on the clock. Heart-breaking. Simply heart-breaking…

  5. Huge kudos for effort. Proud of that. I can’t argue Wilson be extended since making a bowl was always put our their as the yardstick. That said, the actual on-field result just felt like a microcosm of the season as a whole. Personally speaking, that doesn’t inspire confidence that the team will evolve further under Wilson. But he’s earned his chance, so I say best of luck and go Hoosiers!

  6. After taking a long walk and looking at the video over and over I just don’t know. Very close. I never knew the rule existed for a kick being “to high” to review. Bummed. Regardless, it was a good game and Wilson deserves to get his contract extended NOW!

  7. Winning 2 out of 6 conference games and getting rewarded with a bowl invitation..? Duke lost 4 out of its last 5 games and was rewarded the same…..?

    I’m still trying to figure out how participation in these farcical bowls is any different than the weakness demonstrated in “self-anointing banner ceremonies” and the cutting down of nets after a loss(in the backdrop of a shared Big 10 title) that many Scoopers feel is degrading and misrepresenting of the truth in our “real” progress.

    What is sold as competency/progress/improvement and belonging on a football stage with the upper echelon of D-1 programs is just as much of a charade in celebration and heartbreak in these bowl games for conference ‘losers’ as anything we deceive as progress under Tom Crean at McCracken.

    Both our major sports programs are all sell and no substance. And both play as much sustained defense as to be worth a hookers’ claim to virginity.

    I find no heartbreak in this bowl loss. A victory would have felt no different than the same amount of fools gold paid in Direct Mediocrity Deposits on every Crean extension.

    And Hud Mellencamp has a better porch kicking game in Bloomington than anything Hoosier Football brought tonight. And he runs about as fast off the field in the punch of a stolen victory as down a dark alley.

  8. What a great game to watch! The kids gave their all, wonderful effort! Heartbreaking final result. Indiana is the worst tackling college football team I have ever watched. Get some great athletic recruits Coach Wilson on the defensive side! Let’s make a huge step forward next season! GO IU!!

  9. How many pro players on this IU team??? Jason Spriggs, Jordan Howard, Dan Feeney and Nate Sudfeld when was the last time IU had the possibility of four football players going PRO?? hate to see Howard and Feeney go pro, but the opportunity is there and when the right opportunity comes available or present itself you must take it….Good luck to these young man.

  10. H for H… You are a pedantic, nattering negativist. And your boated, arrogant prose (not as good as you no doubt believe it to be) is tiresome.

  11. “boated”…? Why, thank you. I have often been complimented for my nautical prose. Here is one from Basketblog days long ago:

    Basketball Shipwrecked Days

    In the summer long at quiet sea with no Hoosier round ball,
    without our hardwood fix, go into severe cabin withdrawal,
    we shiver and we sweat, like Sampson waiting for his stormy call,
    irritation peaks, demons stare, from the close quarters piercing wall.

    We say things we don’t mean, waves of ego play a fast break game,
    the tambourine bashes against the hull, Dylan’s voice shrieks on turntable brain,
    we take some hurried shots, throw ugly pirate bricks of shame,
    if I don’t hear Captain Don Fischer’s voice, I’ll surely go insane.

    Please forgive my childish words and hostile playpen ways,
    I long for Big Red land and screams for Indiana jersey J’s,
    Student Sections guiding light I honest give thee praise,
    your truth be saving beacon, in our basketball shipwrecked days.

  12. More poems than prose…I suppose
    But it’s Tom Crean that generally blows
    The cabin storage of his abilities is rather void of gold
    Aimless Hoosiers lost and adrift in the Apologist winds
    With mediocre football a tired basketball heart to hold
    For a crew of the clueless tell of a new voyage our sails be sold
    Where average is a destined port this Island of Glee
    Candy canes on chrome helmets thy treasures for me
    Memories of true greatness in our cream and crimson journey
    Forever swallowed by genuine storms and depths an honest sea.

  13. I for one was happy for this team and find it hard to believe anyone could be sour on this team after marked improvement after the Lynch years and making a bowl since 2007. It will be interesting if sustainability can be achieved from here on out or another 8 years waiting for a bowl.

  14. HH…
    You’re welcome.
    And to you, thanks for the example of “boated” prose. But it’s poetry. Surely you know the difference. (No need to recite an example of your “bloated” prose. I am already familiar with it. Nearly everything else you post here is an example.)
    BTW…. I was proud of the effort of the IU football team yesterday. Heart-breaking loss? Yes. But the team competed to the end, and it was a great college football game. Moreover, the program is clearly improving. I am a steadfast supporter. Win or lose.
    You, sir? You are a nattering negativist, apparently deriving joy and a sense of smug, self-satisfaction from your incessant and arrogantly derisive post hoc criticism of the efforts of others. Be proud.

  15. Don’t let HH get to you. He is the type of guy that likes to hear himself talk and laughs at his own jokes even when no one else does. He is the type of guy when he walks into a room he has to make sure everyone knows he’s there and they better pay attention to him. People tend to talk to him but after about 2 minutes of him talking about himself and how everyone else is completely wrong about everything, they start tuning him out and think about walking away. However, before they can do that HH realizes a new person walks into the room and he needs to make sure that the new people know that he is there.

  16. Yes, I do know the difference. My eloquence is unmatched(as our my typos).

    You, sir/mam…? You are a trolling buffoon that is hiding behind a different screen name than what you have used previously on Scoop.
    I have eternal hope for IU…If sensibility doesn’t win over acceptance of mediocrity in our basketball coach, then the long passage of time will finally bring a brighter day(absent the clown at McCracken that hired his own AD).
    But with regard to these momentous football days now taking precedent as a new source of our deep IU pride absent its basketball brand fondly painted onto tacky generic chrome helmets….? To claim these bowl games(for an IU team that only went 2-6 in their conference and a Duke team that lost 4 of its last 5) are a sign of upper echelon type success/progress for major D-1 football programs is ludicrous. Call me when we can take down two better BIG teams in the same season. You surely can’t put Purdue and Rutgers into such classification….It has nothing to do with being negative. I don’t find huge joy in carnival booth prizes.

    And call me when Crean’s coaching could ever approach a student of Knight that keeps Duke relevant. Because as much as you trolling apologists like to think that a pinhead bowl in NYC is our Duke equalizer, some of us know that the only way we ever get close to even ground with Duke(UK, MSU, Kansas, etc) is to restore the true pride and competence back to the candy stripes on McCracken.

    As I said in prose and metaphor weeks ago…..The candy stripes were never given to Memorial…They are running in the terror of disgust and degradation via their lost meaningfulness from McCracken. They are now living in the charades of substandard football because it is still better than the alternative. If that’s how you believe progress and pride will be defined for IU, then you are far more than negative in your delusions to accept such mediocrity. You are a pure defeatist that protects incompetency because it aligns with something very small in Crean that has nothing to do with basketball.

    Those hideous motorcycle helmets will continue to define just how narcissistic and lost IU has allowed itself to fall under the facades of hype over substance and true progress. They are everything that came on the tongue of Tom Crean’s “Because it’s Indiana.”

  17. Okay, but I’ll agree that when people take the two evils of I.U. Football and I.U. Basketball and compare the two we have problems. (I don’t deny that and agree the basketball program is a joke and need to cut ties with the coach ASAP). All we’re saying is it’s nice to see the football program achieve something for a change. Anything! Though again when people start praising our football team over our storied basketball program we have serious issues….

  18. Bama Ben-

    Didn’t see your post up there until now…Hope you and the new bride(and new home?) are doing well. Pretty sure you said a kid came with the package deal as well….? Hope that’s working out too. Good to hear from you after your long hiatus.

    By the way…the “Lynch years” were a few days of extra clouds in a normal Hoosier autumn compared to the nuclear winter on our basketball program that arrived with Crean.

  19. And Duke is about as close to having two upper echelon major sports programs as Butler. To claim Duke stands equally in pigskin pride as in championship/Final Four caliber b-ball success because of these comic bowl appearances is laughable.
    But they(Duke and Butler) both stand in honest evaluation high and above IU for having, at least, one legit major sports program built on teaching and substance over hype and podium blow.

  20. Harvard,

    The family and I are doing well. Yes, I do have a young son. The home is coming along. Landscaping at the moment. I’ve been gone for the fact that the cancer clinic I work for sent me and my team down to Costa Rica for 3 months to start up a new clinic and get it up and going. It was rough being away from my young family but thank goodness for Skype. Hope all is well in the Harvard family and a belated Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

  21. Yes, the Lynch years do appear to be as you described. Seems lately everyone’s finger is on the big red button to nuke Crean. Cuban Missile Crisis all over again. 🙂

  22. This game encapsulated the season this football team has had – close to success but not quite there. The next couple of years will determine if the program is developing the means to move into the top half of the Big Ten. I am optimistic about the direction of the program but still have concerns about coaching decisions made in games and practices.

    I do wonder with two quality kickers why one isn’t assigned to PATs and FGs under forty yards so he is well drilled in those kicks. The kicker with the stronger leg could do KOs and FGs over forty yards which could help him learn to drive the ball consistently into the endzone on KO and focus on accuracy for long FGs.

    Next year will be impacted by the decision of several players on going to the NFL or coming back for another year at IU. None of us know exactly what they will do as there are too many personal reasons involved to really know what they will do. An example was Peyton Manning coming back his senior year when many were saying go to the Pros. Having Feeney and Howard back would have a major impact for the team but maybe not as major as we think because we don’t know how their back ups will play if they leave.

    It is clear that incoming players and backups getting an opportunity to play on a regular basis must becoming playmakers for IU to improve over this year. Personally I enjoy looking forward to IU football improving for a change. I may be disappointed once the season rolls around but it is fun anticipating what they could do in 2016.

  23. Ben-

    Happy New Year to you. Sounds like you are doing great things with your life. You take care.

    Vesuvious- You have a great outlook. It’s hard to deny that IU Football is showing signs of almost getting over the proverbial “hump.” For 25 years it has been stuck on Wednesday. Maybe Wilson is the guy to get Hoosier Football to Thursday.
    These bowl invites that serve as reward for .500 seasons and pathetic in-conference records remain more than a farce when examined with any truth and realization that they are merely designed for cash incentives and sports/network fill time before the big boys play in the big bowls. The diet of bowl offerings before January 1st is akin to a McDonald’s menu board. It looks like variety, but is that a testimonial to quality food/teams?

    But in the case of IU and any chance in the foreseeable future to be relevant in the sport , this bowl invitation could be the gem within the farce of mediocre results rewarded. Wilson probably saved his job with this bowl appearance. And, if in a couple years, we are winning against those upper echelon Big 10 teams, the Pinstripe Bowl may be the “everything hinges” moment that forever seems to escape such notice. When things are hyped as “everything hinges” importance, they rarely live up to the billing….
    If Wilson is the Bobby Knight of IU Football, this fascicle bowl appearance at Yankee Stadium could be what saved us from a foolish and hasty move, the pull of a “Fire Wilson!” trigger too quick, and a resultant fumbling of a great coach in-the-making away. What hangs in balance in a life where destiny meets up with fortune are rarely revisited or deciphered as such….What is written on front pages and hyped as the pivotal things it all balances are usually furthest from the reality.

    Wilson lives to fight another day at IU. The headlines turn to the heartbreak(or elation for a Duke fan) of a judgment call on a field goal attempt. But maybe we were already the victors for all that didn’t happen if the Hoosiers had lost at Purdue….? Just like that final Hoosier field goal hanging like a feather of destiny over the imaginary line of a goal post upright…..We are, oh, so close….Losing Wilson could have wiped out far more a brighter future for Indiana than anything sailing to the wrong side of “good” off a kicker’s foot.

    We tend to fire football coaches at Indiana with all the pain of stubbing a little toe. It wouldn’t have taken near the “heat” to make, what could have been, a very regrettable decision in losing a coach that brought us to such a pivotal moment so flippantly regarded.

  24. My only question is why IU did not blitz the Duke QB on the last drive in regulation?
    With 4:03 remaining at their own 22 yard line, Duke completed six passes, one for 18 yards, another for 22 yards.

  25. IU Football starting to look a lot like IU Basketball- lots of offense, not much defense, lots of self-inflicted wounds, some kids develop pro level talent, but in the end, not a lot of big wins. Well at least for the football team, we can still count this as progress. And the new JUCO QB should look good in the Spring game against our returning defensive backs…hope springs eternal.

  26. Neither TC nor KW have shown that they can coach defense or make sensible and meaningful in-game adjustments. Both have had plenty of opportunities to prove we doubters to be wrong. Both have had ample time to work with the players they recruited. KW has earned the criticism he has received over the past two years, and TC over the last four seasons. History is not the issue here, rather it is coaching, and by that standard neither one is going to get it done.

  27. Chaz, just out of curiosity what CURRENT coach (college level) in basketball and football meets most of your expectation or any of your expectation/standard??

  28. Post #11, you forgot Mangeri on defense, he will make some NFL team very happy at a modest price: special teams, outside LB, defensive end, depth, great work ethic, etc.

  29. That’s always the catch, isn’t it?

    I’m hoping CKW grows into the next Frank Beamer. Virginia Tech had more wins his first few years but, let’s be honest, VT was playing in the old Big East and the pre-FSU/Miami/et al ACC. Even Clemson was down many of those years. Not exactly running a gauntlet. It wasn’t like they had OSU/MSU/Iowa/et al on their schedule. Back then Duke was a guaranteed win unless they forgot their helmets.

    Who, indeed, is the football coach we would start over with?

    Indiana still has the cachet (and cash) to get an established (or up and coming) basketball coach. Replacing the football coach after the first bowl season since the Pleistocene epoch would not make the job more enticing. At least as far as personnel quality and depth go IU is in better shape moving forward than I ever remember. Coach Wilson is bringing in players that Bill Lynch wouldn’t have even attempted to recruit.

    He also hasn’t saddled the program with a series of unfortunate incidents as we’ve seen with the basketball program and oh so many football programs.

    No, until the wheels fall off the bus or the scandals start befalling us, I’m supporting CKW.

  30. It’s been squeaky clean under Wilson…

    The Monroe County Prosecutor’s Office filed three felony counts against Antonio Allen, 20, for dealing heroin and meth. Prosecutors said it’s possible that more charges could be filed against the defensive back for cocaine.

    Would this not make a perfect pep band song during basketball pregame warm-up drills?

  31. Could you give a couple more examples of off field issues from the hundreds of players that have passed through the program under Wilson? I’ll bet FSU had more players than that arrested this morning. No, wait. Tallahassee police aren’t allowed to arrest FSU players anymore. Maybe LSU, Alabama, Auburn, USC, or Miami.

    One does not constitute a trend.

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