Indiana-Ball State football notes


9:34 to play. BSU starts possession on its own 14. An IU drive got past midfield but stalled. It’s getting late. No points for the Hoosiers this half, in part because they passed over an almost certain 3.

On the first snap of the final period. Wilson goes for it on 4th-and-3 on the BSU 9, eschewing the chip shot field goal, and Wright-Baker’s pass attempt not close to a completion. BSU takes over.

END THIRD QUARTER: Ball State 24, Indiana 17. Hoosiers facing a 4th-and-3 at the BSU 9.

3:38: Ball State 24, Indiana 17. The Cardinals continue to move with almost total impunity against IU’s defense, and took their first lead on a pretty 20-yard TD pass, perfectly thrown by Wenning to Connor Ryan in the back corner of the end zone, beating Chris Adkins. It was a 9-play, 70-yard drive that took just 3:38 off the clock. The Hoosiers, whether in a 4-3 or a 3-3-5, look powerless defensively.

9:25 Ball State 17, Indiana 17. Again, the Cardinals marched impressively on the half’s first possession, but a personal foul call bogged the ball down. Steven Schott still got points for BSU with a 38-yard, game-tying field goal.

HALFTIME: INDIANA 17, BALL STATE 14. IU’s offense arrived pretty much as-advertised, generally moving the ball well and mixing its calls nicely. Ed Wright-Baker has played solidly in his first start, with a near pick-six his only real serious miscue. But Indiana’s defense has disappointed, given some of the preseason rhetoric. A primary issue has been a near total lack of pass rush. Some of the secondary coverage was clearly soft, too, but even when the Hoosier DBs had close coverage, BSU quarterback Keith Wenning has been virtually unmolested, able to operate with impunity. He’s 14-of-19 in the air, mainly short throws. Wright-Baker is 12 of 16 for 159 yards and the 65-yard TD bomb to Damarlo Belcher. Overall, IU has a 226-155 advantage in total yards.

3:17: Indiana 17, Ball State 14. Mitch Ewald nails a 49-yard field goal to again give IU the lead.

7:11: Ball State 14, Indiana 14: Another impressive Cardinal drive, or rather a lack of impressive play by IU’s defense. The Hoosiers are getting zero pass rush. On the rare occasion they blitz, they don’t disguise them well. Wenning can basically operate unmolested. IU’s Lawrence Barnett badly missed the tackle on a 10-yard Wenning keeper to set up Wenning’s 1-yard sneak to cap a 15-play, 73-yard march.

12:58: Indiana 14, Ball State 7: The Hoosiers strike back quickly. A play after nearly throwing a pick-six to BSU linebacker Tony Martin, Wright-Baker unloads a 65-yard bomb down the west sideline to Damarlo Belcher, who used his size and strength to beat his defender for the ball and stay inbounds to complete the play.

14:20: Ball State 7, Indiana 7: The Cardinals equalize on a 1-yard TD pass to Barrington Scott, beating Greg Heban over the middle, capping a 13-play, 84-yard drive that took 6:00. IU was very vanilla defensively and, when it did blitz, it was easily handled. The Hoosiers got virtually no pressure on quarterback Keith Wenning.


Ball State is driving and threatening to tie the game, rather easily converting third-down passes against some loose IU coverage. On a 1st-and-10 completion from its own 34, IU’s safeties were playing well beyond midfield as the play developed into an easy 13-yard strike to Torieal Gibson.

Indiana missed a nice opportunity to really put the hurt on early, starting its second possession at the BSU 42, but Ed Wright-Baker took a sack on third down and the Hoosiers punted.

8:56: Indiana 7, Ball State 0. Zoom. Indiana’s no-huddle offensive pace as fast as advertised as the Hoosiers go 76 yards on 15 plays to score on the game’s opening possession. Matt Perez took it in on a stretch play around right end on a 4th-and-1 from the BSU 9. The drive consumed 6:04 on the clock, and probably kept the Cardinal defense breathless.

PREGAME — Finally, it’s time for the fightin’ Kevin Wilsons against the fightin’ Pete Lembos. Two coaching staffs new to their respective institutions will show what they’ve got cooked up tonight here at a sparsely attended season opener in Lucas Oil Stadium. Lots of weather in and around Indianapolis may have made some of the crowd late-arriving, but we’ll see.

There is little question Wilson and his staff have created some considerable buzz around Bloomington and in IU circles, but they’ve also said repeatedly that they know performance — and wins — will be key to support, in terms of attendance and otherwise. This is their first chance to make their case publicly.

As always, here on The Scoop, I’ll share some thoughts on the proceeds as they occur. Thanks for checking in. It feels great to be on the cusp of another football season. And, who knows, perhaps a time will come when those who actually show up tonight can truthfully say, “I was there when Kevin Wilson started that turn-around for Indiana.”


  1. Well, there wasn’t much to like about that. In particular, I had hoped to see some sort of defense for a change. I didn’t like the decision to pass up the field goal and that came back to bite us in the face. It was just a poor performance on many levels. Coach Wilson wasn’t able to ‘coach up’ Coach Lynch’s recruits in this one. I hope it looks better next week.

  2. same story different year. WOW IU SUCKS. We should kill Ball State. This is embarassing. Wilson give some of that money back or give it to the coach who probably makes 1/4 of what you do that kicked your a$$.

  3. I was going to but tickets and attend this game but held back. I am so glad that I did that. I am of course very disappointed in IU’s performance against BSU. But had I been there it would have been even worse. I am happy that this game was not on the Big Ten Network so the pain of this loss will not been seen by many.

  4. If anyone gets a chance, read Andy’s column in the Herald-Times today (Saturday). Very good insight, Mr. Graham…

    No doubt this is disappointing, but you gotta keep everything in perspective.

  5. The offensive play calling was cowardly and vanilla. The defense was pathetic. But neither was as embarrassing as the IU fans. All sitting on their Dairy Queen eating asses on 3rd down. Not even the student section had a clue. BSU fans were loud and energized. So before you criticize the team or coach ask yourself “was I sitting on my fat ass on 3rd down?”

  6. IU’s small defense got exposed again. The defensive line was just terrible. They could not shed blocks and were just getting pushed around by Ball State. They did not protect their linebackers, which are also too small. The only positive on defense was the safety, Atkins. He made some nice plays and actually hit some people.

    Wilson is going to take the hit, but it’s obvious this is why Lynch needed to be fired. Wilson took over a team that is grossly undersized. Ball State was significantly BIGGER than IU! You can’t blame Wilson for that. You can build strength, but you can’t build size. And I don’t care what anyone has too say, in the trenches, a big part of the equation is size. Smaller guys get worn out going against guys that are 30 to 40 lbs bigger.

    On offense, it was obvious that IU has a new quarterback and a new staff. EWB did O.K., but he flushes from the pocket too early and was late on too many passes. He’ll improve rapidly.

    Wilson is going to have to go after some JC talent for the o and d lines. Not sure he can afford to wait to develop HS recruits for those positions.

  7. I think it was asking too much of Wilson to win with Lynch’s recruits. All the recruits that actually had other BCS offers are redshirt freshmen at the oldest. Building year for Wilson, hopefully we win 2 or 3.

  8. We should still beat ball state, ball FREAKIN state, are you kidding me? I like Wilsons attitude, but he needs to deliver on the field with Ws

  9. After a day watching football (on either side of a great motorcycle ride) I have come to hate with a passion schools that play their fight song after every f#^$&$*#g play. That should get the NCAA death penalty. So lame.

  10. I thought we were winning recruits away from MAC schools. It seems we’re still getting the ones that couldn’t make it in the MAC.

  11. Emotion is your enemy!!!! I suggest patience. We live in an immediate return life. It is just not real!! Only my opinion

  12. Defense is pathetic. You have to be able to stop a very basic off tackle running – short passes to the backs MAC offense. Sadly – good coaches make half time adjustments to stop or change what they’ve seen. BSU was identical in the 2nd half – even better. Killing us 3.3 yds at a time. A dull knife of clock eating death. Any Big Ten team should have enough talent to stop a MAC team – period.

    We have two D an O coordinators? TWO heads aren’t better than one if they’re both stupid. Matt Canada – why do you still have a job..staff to staff..who would keep him?
    Kevin Wilson. Way to much talent in coaching to settle.

    PS – take the FG when your down 7. You still need to have it to win even if you score a TD. PS – DON’T ASSUME YOUR DEFENSE WILL SHUTOUT ANY OPPONENT FOR THE REST OF ANY GAME – TAKE EVERY POINT YOU CAN GET WHEN YOU CAN.

    I don’t throw in the towel on a coach after one game – but – I really don’t know what this staff has been doing to prepare for the last few months after watching this.

    Really dissapointed.

  13. Will be hard to put up alot of points with a new QB. He didn’t do horrible, but didn’t look like anything special. As everyone else already noted, our defense is still looking pretty weak. If Ball State runs you over, what’s going to happen against Big10 teams? Hoping the IU/UVA game is better. Go Hoosiers!

  14. Hello Lynch recruit haters…………Wilson himself has said multiple times that he thinks the incoming class was pretty strong and that alot of kids would play early.

    FOlks this team is about a 4-5 win team with no QB. I was at the game and both lines got beat. They went for 5+ yards on every 1st down run. It was rediculous. Just pull back on the expectations if you thought this was a bowl team or something. Give it a few years and then maybe we can get rolling.

  15. As I sat there in Lucas oil stadium, I kept waiting for something to change; the defense to come out of there deep/soft cover 2, the offense to create a hole, the defense to put some pressure on the qb, our qb to throw the ball to belcher who was typically in 1 on 1 situations, etc. To my surprise, nothing. This team was not prepared. WIN TODAY???? I think the team read too much of the “Wilson our savior” articles. Lynch’s offense seemed more explosive and more creative and more prepared than the alternative from the “offense guru”. I hope that this team turns around quickly or we better be prepared for a 2 win season. DAMN!

  16. Tom gets my vote for smartest guy on here. Keep that train of thought and you will be a billionaire. Tough year, Go Hoosiers.

  17. Wilson’s praise of Lynch’s last class may be sincere or it may be psychological, considering he is going to have these guys for four years what else can he say? He needs these kids to believe in themselves. Patience (and support for the program) is important. It is going to be tough to recruit to IU if the fan base remains cynical and bitter. That said, it does hurt to lose game 1 to another school with a losing record and a new coach. On the bright side, it sure was nice to see experienced coaches on the sideline who were not mostly hired based on nepotism. As for me, I choose to believe.

  18. Yes, emotion. Once it has faded to the background and the poor judgment of hops slowly follows…I realize this will not be an”immediate return”. I commend the Cardinals. I’m still so disappointed in the IU fans. BSU played with a 12th man tonight.
    IU had no such advantage. Especially on 3rd and long.

  19. The freshman class may be good, in relative terms, but you can’t win with freshman. IU is just too small. Ball State dominated the line of scrimmage with bigger and stronger players. IU’s defense was terrible, again. The difference was that we did not have an offense capable of scoring 38 points today.

    Can’t blame Wilson for the personnel that his predecessor recruited. Just too small.

  20. There’s a big difference between football and basketball. That’s why the NFL has a three year rule. You can win with a couple of talented freshmen in you lineup in football whereas in basketball you can have a freshman dominated team. Physical maturity just means more in football.