Hoosier road woes continue in 45-42 loss at Bowling Green

BOWLING GREEN, Ohio — The last of 10 lead changes went to Bowling Green on a two-yard touchdown pass from James Knapke to Roger Lewis with nine seconds remaining, sending the Falcons to a 45-42 win over Indiana before an announced crowd of 23,717 at Doyt Perry Stadium.

The loss is Indiana’s seventh consecutive road defeat.

The teams combined for 1,153 yards, as Knapke — Bowling Green’s backup quarterback — set program records for attempts (73) and completions (46), while throwing for 395 yards against an Indiana defense that wilted over the final 15 minutes. The Falcons ran 100 of their 113 plays through three quarters, while taking advantage of back-to-back Hoosier pass interference calls on the final drive to set up the game-winning touchdown.

Indiana running back Tevin Coleman rushed for 190 yards and three touchdowns, but a critical fourth-quarter fumble at the BG 15-yard line killed an opportunity for Indiana to take a rare two-possession lead with nine minutes to play.

The Falcons recovered the fumble at the 12 and used 10 plays to go 88 yards to the end zone for a 39-35 lead, culminating with a 31-yard touchdown pass from Knapke to Ryan Burbrink. The BG receiver ran uncovered down the sideline for the score — one of several lapses by the IU defense on the day. Nate Sudfeld’s one-yard touchdown dive, his second rushing score of the game, on Indiana’s next series allowed IU to take a brief 42-29 lead.

Sudfeld completed 31 of 41 passes for 347 yards and one touchdown.

But the Hoosiers left nearly two minutes on the clock after Sudfeld’s dive — enough for Bowling Green to march downfield and for Indiana to let another road game slip away.

Bowling Green entered Saturday’s game with only one scoring drive consisting of 10 or more plays. Against Indiana, the Falcons had seven.


  1. We have seen this movie before: good offense but poor defense!IUis an average football team with 3 NFL prospects on offense: Coleman, Sudfeld and Wynn; and 3 NFL prospects on defense: Richardson, Mangieri and Allen. The offense could be great if the offensive line steps it upand the play calling gets better. The defense is improved, but not by much. There are way too many “soft coverage” first downs and missed tackles on running plays. Can anyone play defensive pass coverage on receivers without fouling? Every penalty call against IU on pass interference was correct! Did you see Sudfeld make that tackle on Coleman’s fumble? WOW! Indiana failed to score 10 more points on the fumble and the missed FG. The “Wildcat” on 2 fourth downs was just stupid and poorly executed-leave Sudfeld and Coleman in and go down with your best! Why did IU “wilt” in the last 15 minutes? The coaches need to address this. The game was there to be won, but IU did not seem to believe that they were “winners”! This will be a huge test of Coach Wilson and his leadership. Can he hold the team together after this disappointment, get the team to play better football, and manage to win 5 more games this season? We shall see.

  2. Same old IU. Tough to change a culture of losing and an inability to make plays, by continuing to play the same guys year after year on defense. Just because you are a year older does not make you a year better. Recruiting has been better on paper the last two years but some of the higher rated guys on defense aren’t on the field consistently. Hunter was brutal at CB so was Mullen at nickel back. Where is Fant? Four star guy that splits time. Rainer was a stud in the spring. No show so far. Nothing from Big Ralph or Hoff at DT. Tired of watching #4 at OLB. Missed an easy pick in the flat. Right through his hands…. I saw a couple of blitzes off the edge and a double blitz by both ILB. Besides that it was as vanilla as you can get. I must admit, I was stooped again. Our average guys did well against our below average guys in the preseason and I talked myself into thinking we were better than we are, I must be an idiot. I root for IU football and the Cubs!

  3. BeatPurdue, I agree. Wilson’s creative “genius” in trying to use the wildcat with a true freshman, converted by from linebacker four weeks ago, is really stupid. You said it; leave Sudfeld and Coleman in if you’re going to go for those fourth down conversions. Either that, or kick a field goal. Not sure our kicker would have made two field goals in those situations, but missing them would not have given BG’s defense such an emotional lift. Wilson’s going to “gamble” himself right out of a job.

  4. Two things really stood out to me while watching this game: IU is terribly undisciplined and is lacking in the basic fundamentals. Makes me wonder what the heck they worked on during spring ball and preseason training camp.

    To have 11 penalties for 143 yards? Absolutely no excuse for that. And all those PI calls? Learn how to cover someone, for crying out loud. As far as fundamentals — how many yards did BG gain after the initial hit? These guys just cannot tackle. The constant overpursuit was ridiculous — break down and make the tackle. The OL’s blocking and DL’s lack of a pass rush were equally embarrassing.

    There was no reason for Wynn to step out of bounds on that long TD that wasn’t. Nobody forced him out; he just wasn’t paying attention to what he was doing — again, a lack of discipline and fundamentals.

    Simply put, this is NOT the type of game a coach in his fourth season at a “Power 5” conference should be losing — particularly to a MAC team with a new coach and backup QB.

    For once, I wish Wilson would just say “We sucked. We were embarrassing. We need a tough week of practice to make sure this doesn’t happen again.” Instead, we get the usual: “We’re getting better. … We’re close … We’re still gonna have a good year.”

    This Missouri game is gonna be an absolute disaster. I just hope they don’t score 70 points.

  5. The IU coaching staff is one of the LOWEST PAID in the Big Ten. The question is are the powers that be at IU seriously trying to compete with the likes of Urban Meyer, or are they just trying to be thrifty?

  6. Yes, they are low paid.
    But, I am confident that they earn more than BG’s staff. How about they earn more money by winning. Year 4 of Wilson. These are his recruits, his strength and conditioning program, play development workouts, etc. No more blaming that he has to wait to get his guys on campus. He has them. I am sick of seeing players blow coverages, shank punts, miss short field goals; come to the sideline and get a lecture and par on the helmet. How about find someone else that can get the job done. Don’t contribute to the wussification of America’s youth… Perform or get out.

  7. AND these guys were coming off of a bye week. Did KW outsmart himself by trying to use the extra practice time in some “creative” ways that flopped on Sat.?

    We’ve all been excited lately by the improved recruiting. What do we have to lose by playing some of these new guys? One Seven is right on about the tired, old act in the secondary.

  8. I will say this…there is absolutely NO excuse for Del Grasso to miss either of his missed FGs. At this point in his life he should be aware that you can;t have your plant (non-kicking) foot aiming anywhere from Ellettsville to Columbus. He’s got to have heard this before (if not, someone has to tell him)…the most important part of technique is ending up with your toe pointed at the spot where you are aiming the ball. (Make believe your big toe nail is your eye). He had it in four different directions Saturday (apparently, he doesn’t think it is important…IT IS, 100% of the time…I was able to yell out ‘no good’ on both FGs BEFORE he ever struck the ball). It is all on plant-foot positioning.

    CKW keeps hoping on ‘his strong leg’. It won’t mean a thing, not a single d_mned thing until Del Grasso pays attention to what he is doing technique-wise. And…it’s not complicated either…it is a very simple thing, pay attention to it. (Get someone from the soccer program to help him with it)

  9. ” is ending up with your toe pointed at the spot where you are aiming the ball.” should have read “is ending up with PLANT-FOOT toe pointed at the spot where you are aiming the ball.”

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