4 Things We Learned: Indiana 52, Eastern Illinois 0

1. IU can dominate a lesser foe.

Everything about this game has to be viewed through the proper lens.

Indiana was supposed to win versus an FCS team. And it’s not surprising for the victory to come in overwhelming fashion.

But it wasn’t a letdown, either. The Hoosiers did everything they were supposed to do, on both sides of the ball. There were still a few dropped passes and six penalties. But the good far outweighed the bad.

That is encouraging after a Week 1 performance where the Hoosiers weren’t exactly consistent running the ball, or wrapping up defensively.

IU held Eastern Illinois to minus-5 yards in the first quarter and scored on all three of its drives. What more could you want.

2. Penix will spread it around.

Senior Donavan Hale was a lesser-used target in the Hoosiers’ win over Ball State, with just one catch for 16 yards. Classmate Nick Westbrook went over 100 yards that day.

But against Eastern Illinois, Hale went over 100 yards receiving for the first time in his career, bringing in five receptions for 110 yards. Westbrook didn’t catch a pass.

Redshirt freshman quarterback Michael Penix Jr. isn’t keying on any one receiver in particular. He’s just hitting the open guy.

Penix did that on the very first drive Saturday, targeting four different receivers before he hit a fifth, Miles Marshall, for a touchdown pass. IU’s three quarterbacks ended up hitting 12 different receivers combined against Eastern Illinois.

If one trend is developing, it’s that Penix will hit his tight ends as part of Kalen DeBoer’s scheme.

Peyton Hendershot has nine catches in two games after leading the TE group with 15 catches all of last season.

3. Ramsey can play in a pinch.

Again, Eastern Illinois’ defense didn’t offer much resistance, but Peyton Ramsey was as sharp as he could be.

Ramsey, who has started 16 games under center, came off the bench for the first time this season and completed 13-of-14 passes, setting the program’s single-game mark for completion percentage.

It can be tough to be unseated as a starter, as Ramsey was, but IU coach Tom Allen has noted the redshirt junior’s resolve in dealing with the situation. He’s been a supportive teammate, working at Penix’s side. And when Ramsey’s number was called, he was ready. He threw for 226 yards and two touchdowns.

IU is, obviously, expecting Penix to start every game this season, but if something were to happen, Ramsey remains a reliable option behind center for the Hoosiers.

4. Streaks are meant to be broken.

Of all the games for the nation’s best turnover streak to be snapped, this wouldn’t be the one you’d expect. IU smothered the EIU offense but just couldn’t seize the ball with a takeaway.

This just goes to show it’s pretty remarkable to force a turnover in 19 straight games. The streak started in Allen’s first season as head coach, Oct. 21, 2017, with a fumble recovery versus Michigan State. IU just barely kept the streak going last week with an interception in the waning moments versus Ball State.

Allen wants takeaways, and it’s a habit the Hoosier defense will have to get back into as they head into their Big Ten opener.

WHAT’S NEXT: Ohio State, Saturday, noon, at Memorial Stadium, Fox.

Junior receiver Whop Philyor said after the game that he didn’t come to IU just to play teams like Ohio State.

He came to beat them.

IU can’t be overconfident after a lopsided win over EIU, but the Hoosiers’ biggest margin of victory since 1944 certainly has them feeling optimistic about their potential. That’s a good thing as they prepare to host the No. 6 team in the country — a program they haven’t beaten in 24 straight contests.

24 comments

  1. When it comes down to stripping the ball carrier of possession or solid tackling I think solid is the mainstay leaving the 2nd tackler to rip out the ball.

  2. One thing I learned is if every RB, TE, WR ran as hard as Whop did after the one pass; IU’s offense would be one the best in the country. IU’s players have to have that play in their face over and over in film room saying if you can’t play that way you don’t see the field.

  3. I think we’ve learned that IU is going to be a very competitive team this year. They played a sloppy game against Ball State but pulled out a W. They dominated Eastern Illinois like they’re supposed to. I’m predicting them to go 6-6 at a minimum; 7-5 is very do-able; and 8-4 is in reach if they pull off a couple of big time upsets. GO HOOSIERS!!!

  4. Same O Same O ever since I can remember. It is the same old story and question beautiful colorful south of Indy fall season after beautiful colorful south of Indy fall season. Can IU football at some point in each game shift its gears to an intense higher level of play and execute successful plays to match or surpass its higher level opponents.

    Side note: yes IU did what they were suppose to do against Eastern Illinois. However, saying that a few years ago IU struggled with teams like Easern Illinois (example was Southern Illinois is wrong). Southern Illinois was pretty good for them at the time. Plus IU still struggles with Ball State. (somewhat)

  5. At some point in game…often in second half… Higher level opponents have always been able to shift gears into an intense higher level of execution against IU and IU was unable to match opponents resulting in loss for IU. It speaks to depth but also talent level. It has often happened in both, 3rd and 4th quarters.

  6. t- thinkaboutit reminded me that our Hoosier football team defeated both OSU and Michigan in 1987. The previous March(spring ’87) we had won a national championship in basketball.

    Try to remember the kind of September
    When life was slow and oh, so mellow.
    Try to remember the kind of September
    When grass was green and grain was yellow.
    Try to remember the kind of September
    When you were a tender and callow fellow.
    Try to remember, and if you remember,
    Then follow.

  7. Yes, I do remember that period of time and IU success in both, B.B. and F.B. OSU
    (Lenny) Earl Bruce saying it was the darkest time in OSU football history. The fall colors must have been beautiful that year. I know it was a bright colorful spring in 1987.
    However, I must ask the question is my memory all that good or was it such a huge popular joyous time in IU sports history that it’s just hard to ever forget?
    Yes, there was the media and coach of Knight status and even a little success from Mallory had salaries that allowed the world to more smoothly spin on its axis. Fast forward today…the world is flip flopping spinning turbulence wildly trying to maintain some sort of direction on its orbital axis.

  8. t- There is also beauty in struggle….for without the struggle, the blossoms of roses take for granted their soft beauty and brightest day tomorrow, without the thorns and taste a sorrow.

    Try to remember the kind of September….

  9. I attended IU from ’88 to ’94 and was exasperated at how riduculous the student section was for IU football. For the record, before anyone mocks me for being there for 6 years as has happened before, exactly how long would it have taken you to earn your Ph.D. in molecular biology from one of the country’s top 20 programs? I digress….. As a Pacific Northwest native, I NEVER witnessed students leave at half time at a UW or WSU football game. In fact, they stayed after the game for the 5th quarter with the band. At IU we had solid, winning teams in those days under Mallory, and the chumps still left en masse at half time so that they could get to their precious parties. Those same students are today’s alums who give such dismal support of IU football. We rank dead last in the league for football revenues for a reason. All the fans have now is a legitimately competitive football team that has been so for a good 6 years now, one of the most beautiful campuses in America to visit (like the Johnny Cash song, I’ve been everywhere and know of what I speak), a wonderful town in Bloomington, a beautiful enclosed stadium (Memorial was HORRIBLE before all of the renovations). I hate the argument of “put a winning team on the field and they will come.” Look at last year’s Penn State game. IU was totally in it, and the fans bailed. IU football fans are such a fickle bunch….. All that’s happened under Glass’s leadership is two solid football coaches in a row. I’ll take Wilson and Allen over the likes of DiNardo and Cameron any day. Yet the supposedly IU faithful still whine and moan. Goodness me….

    I fully support Tom Allen and what he’s doing for IU football. He puts together the best consecutive recruiting classes in IU history and still gets lambasted on this site for not being up higher in the rankings. Such an ungrateful fan base. Look at what Kentucky has done in football. It took their coach YEARS to get them competitive, but Kentucky stayed the course with him and he got the job done. It seems to me that the majority of posters on this site are not giving Allen the benefit of the doubt. He had his arms tied last year when head case Dawkins abandoned ship and Freshman Penix was not ready to lead the charge. Penix clearly had the physical tools but was a physically lean Freshman. Plus, he’s on the quiet side and perhaps behind the scenes was not ready to lead, which is often the case with a TRUE Freshman. Do you people REALLY think Allen was happy with Ramsey as quarterback? He did what he felt he had to do, and gave his public support of Ramsey to help instill the young man with confidence. And as Ramsey’s numbers showed last year and this year, he’s a steady, generally smart quarterback, albeit one with a weaker arm and lack of wheels to spread the defense.

    Hope springs eternal and I for one am more excited about IU football than I have been since the late 80’s and early 90’s when we had the likes of Anthony Thompson and Vaughn Dunbar leading the charge out of the backfield. Penix looks very promising, we have a good stable of running backs coupled with solid receivers, and the O-line looks somewhat capable. On D we have perhaps the most overall athletic bunch of 11 players that side of the ball has seen in years. This team is still very young, with a lot of Sophs and red-shirt Frosh playing. I believe if they’re given time, they will come through in fine fashion.

    Go HOOSIERS!!!

    1. I, too, dislike the fans leaving at halftime. I wish they would stay & support this team & TA.

      I’m curious what other posters to this site think of this idea.

      Is it possible that the IU running game in first two games has been held back or throttled by the coaches in order to really open it up against OSU?

      I watched last season video of IU vs OSU & Michigan. The OL did an adequate job of opening holes for Stevie Scott. I’ve not seen that this year which is very disappointing. Then I thought maybe IU is soft-selling the run game emphasizing the passing game in order to influence OSU game plan.

      Is it possible we could be so smart, or is that simply delusional or wishing thinking?

    2. After your six years plus another sixty, I still doubt you could find IU’s Football program under a high-powered microscope. Science just hasn’t gotten there yet…

  10. Very evident you have a degree in Molecular Biology. Congrats. Length of time that it would have taken me to earn a Molecular Biology degree is infinite. I wouldn’t.

    Yes, IU, Mallory, A.T. had a couple winning seasons including a big lead against Tennessee in bowl game.

    A.RL great player and V.D. Excellent player only managed to win 5 games in one season for 5 and 6 record.

    1. Closest I got to Molecular Biology was study of Hog ovaries in intro to Chemistry class. College and unnecessary expenses.

  11. i too wish students stayed for the entire game, almost as much as I wish this program would stop losing seasons. Maybe the students are like the team, not showing up for BSU game and leaving early to surprise Ohio State? Well played.

      1. David, yeah Saban has the audacity to say the students want their football team to be number one. And he asks them if they are willing to do their part to make them number one. Lol! What an a-hat!

        In terms of the game ya gotta wonder why it takes 3.5 hours to play a 60 minute game?

          1. I’m sure CBS would be more than happy to eat those millions of dollars of dead air time.

            They are very understanding about feelings.

  12. PacNWHoosier, I am sorry people ridicule you for being in college for 6 years. With not enough money from VA, USMC veteran, I had to work to pay for my degree and I took 9 years to graduate so those people are insensitive.

    I expect more formations to help the running game and Penix gets the ball out so fast and moves in the pocket to avoid sacks. I expect we will see more running plays with misdirection and getting our fastest players involved. If every player plays as hard as Whop did last game especially the run he made after a catch then IU has a shot of beating OSU. Coach DeBoer will find ways to get players in space. I also hope our defense comes out on fire and gets after the Buckeyes.

    1. I cleverly served during a period when the GI Bill was almost non existent. They would match funds you contributed during you time in service from that big ‘ol $12,000 annual salary.

      As I, also wisely, had already graduated from college before my time in uniform, I didn’t see much reason to skip meals on the off chance that I might go back to college.

      Turns out, I went back. More than once. More than twice, actually.

      Fortunately, college was still within the realm of the non super rich at the time

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