Hoosiers come apart in 42-39 loss at Maryland

COLLEGE PARK, Md. — After two weeks of narrow defeats to ranked opponents, Indiana allowed a lesser foe off the hook.

The Hoosiers’ supposed breakthrough season is nearly broken.

Indiana turned in its most discouraging defensive performance of an otherwise fine season. It missed too many opportunities offensively and suffered critical breakdowns on specials teams.

By the end of Saturday’s trip East, it all added up to a 42-39 loss to a rebuilding Maryland program before an announced crowd of 34,144 at Capital One Field at Maryland Stadium.

The defeat extends Indiana’s current losing streak to three games, keeping the Hoosiers (3-5, 0-5) winless in the Big Ten and seemingly without any momentum entering the final month of the season.

A win against the Terrapins, led by their fourth-string quarterback and owners of the Big Ten’s worst defense, would have provided IU with an important cushion in its pursuit of a winning season.

“It’s tough, man,” freshman receiver Whop Philyor said. “They always tell me Indiana’s been like this. They always lose the close ones. I’m tired of losing the close ones, man. We gotta change it. We gotta break through.”

That season-long mantra rings hollow when Indiana can’t get out of its own way in a winnable scenario.

Besides, Saturday afternoon differed from the recent script. This wasn’t a valiant effort that ultimately fell short. Simply put, this was just bad football.

“This was not about being close. This had nothing to do with being close,” IU coach Tom Allen said. “This was about us and how we play the game. We made too many mistakes to win the game against a Big Ten team on the road.

“You lose by three and you get a punt blocked, you give up an (82-yard) kickoff return that ends up in points. You don’t get a stop. To me, this was not about, ‘Oh man, we’re just fighting, we were close.’ You just gotta go out there and stinkin’ play to win the game.”

IU started well, but never fully recovered from a disastrous second quarter. Maryland put up 21 points in the period and took a 28-23 halftime lead.

In the process of Saturday’s defeat, Indiana also lost starting quarterback Peyton Ramsey to what appeared to be a lower body injury.

Ramsey left the game twice during the second half, forcing backup Richard Lagow into action. Lagow entered for the first time midway through the third quarter and shoveled a pass to Philyor for an 11-yard score that put Indiana back in front 30-28.

The Hoosiers extended their lead to five later in the period on a 41-yard field goal by Griffin Oakes.

But the special teams unit suffered a critical breakdown on the ensuing kickoff, when Maryland’s Javon Leake returned the ball 82 yards to the IU 18.

Six plays later, Terps running back Jake Funk rumbled in for a one-yard score to open the final period. It was the first of back-to-back goal line touchdown runs from Funk, who later boosted the Terrapins’ lead to 42-33 midway through the quarter on his second one-yard touchdown run.

Lagow connected with Cobbs for a five-yard touchdown pass in the corner of the end zone with 8:09 remaining in regulation, but Indiana had little else to offer.

It was a disappointing performance, especially considering the auspicious beginning for the Hoosiers.

“It’s disappointing when you leave that many plays out there, and then of course it comes down to a three point game,” Lagow said. “We could just as easily be the ones celebrating right now, but instead we’re a little bit short.”

Indiana’s first touchdown came on a beautiful deep ball by Ramsey, who used a free play to hit Cobbs in the end zone. Ramsey hit the IU receiver in stride, capping a 10-play, 75-yard scoring drive on the game’s opening possession.

Indiana’s second touchdown was set up by an interception by defensive back Tony Fields, who picked a deep ball from Maryland quarterback Max Bortenschlager and returned it to the Maryland 38.

Four plays later, IU was in the end zone. Cole Gest, starting in place of injured running backs Morgan Ellison and Mike Majette, trucked a defender in the secondary on his way to a 23-yard scoring reception.

After two IU possessions, Ramsey was 9-for-10 for 97 yards and 2 touchdowns. But a freshman mistake on Indiana’s third drive of the day helped Maryland get its first points.

Ramsey was intercepted trying to force the ball over the middle to Luke Timian. It allowed Maryland to take over at the IU 14, where Lorenzo Harrison pounded the ball into the end zone on the first play and cut IU’s lead to 14-7.

Indiana’s defense boosted the score to 16-7 just before the end of the first quarter when defensive end Allen Stallings tackled Terps running back Ty Johnson for a sack.

But the Hoosiers squandered their fast start due in part to Ramsey’s inaccuracy. A handful of passes should’ve gone for chunk gains, but Ramsey too often missed the mark.

He had Gest wide open down the near sideline midway through the second quarter, but overthrew the pass. Two plays later, Maryland blocked Peyton Whitehead’s punt and Darnell Savage returned it 16 yards for the score, cutting IU’s lead to 16-14.

Indiana tried to create separation late in the first half on a pretty touchdown catch by Luke Timian over the middle, giving the Hoosiers a 23-14 advantage. But the Hoosiers’ defense conceded a pair of Terps touchdown receptions to close the half, a 14-yard strike to Taivon Jacobs and a two-yard strike to D.J. Moore.

“We’re a better team than we showed, in my mind, as a team,” Allen said. “That’s disappointing for me.”

38 comments

  1. Well this works out well because i didn’t want to have to figure out travel plans to the Urinal Cake bowl.

  2. During my lifetime I was seeing if an IU football coach would retire from IU football with a winning record. That would be 1 game above 500. It is always the coach quickly goes down 4 or 5 games below 500 and by the time season 1 is over is down even more games below 500. By the end of season 2, 3,and 4 the coach is below 500 in the area 10 to 15 games. If the coach stays longer the below 500 number increases accordingly. I will never see a coach of IU football to retire from the football program with 1 game above 500 win record who completes at least a full season. I wonder if there will ever be a human being created that will ever witness such a happening?

  3. Ridiculous, what was ranked this week as the # 25 defense in the country gives up 42 points to what may be the worst team in the Big 10, oh, wait a minute, since we lost to them, we must be the worst team in the Big 10. The more things change, the more they stay the same!! I really thought this year was going to be different, shame on me! Same scenario for the last several years. Sure glad that according to the media, this was the start of the easier schedule down the stretch…..

  4. Time to turn to basketball seasons!!!!! If IU football goes 0-9 or 1-8 in the Big Ten will Fred Glass feel the heat for hiring Tom Allen?? Will be interesting to see what the attendance will be at these last two home games. Everyone agrees that special team play lost this game, but IU overall talent matched up very well with Maryland. Looking ahead on the schedule the only beatable team seems to be Illinois (also win less in the Big Ten). Did Tom Allen inherit a bare cupboard of a team to go 0-9 in the Big Ten. when the IU just went to back to back bowl games. Lets hear from all you IU fans, that Tom Allen does not have a very talented team, which is a bunch of bull. All you fans that advise the offensive line player where a miss, well they looked fairly good today…..Oh, maybe we can say Kevin Wilson missed on the special team players and the defensive players because neither side of that IU team played very well today.

  5. There are good points. I just wish one year we were the Iowa State story instead of the same ole Hoosier football story. Allen is in over his head and we all know how this story will end. He is a nice guy though. So was Lynch.

  6. IU has talent but they don’t have as much talent as all but a few Big Ten teams. The hurry up offense means a longer game with more plays run. More plays means more opportunities for injury. The end result is always the same- by mid-season, too many positions filled with inexperienced or under talented players. No breakthroughs just breakdowns.

  7. Hey Purdue, what part of this game looked any different than many games we have played over the last several years during the Wilson era? Playing our asses off against ranked teams game after game and then losing to teams that are no better than we are? There is no doubt the talent has gotten better over the last 3 or 4 years but, we continue to come up short! Our defense plays Michigan and Michigan St. but, can’t hold Maryland under 42 points? A team that might have been ranked last in the conference in offense?? Yes, special teams hurt us but, the defense failed time and time again to get Abigail stop. As I said before, same old same old. As IU79 said, thank God basketball is right around the corner!!!

    1. No one in college football can stop Moore from making big plays! Harrison (5.5/carry) and Johnson (7.0/carry) are good backs. IU has only Ellison and he was in Bloomington. Which of those players played in your history? None. This was a game that IU should have won, could have won, but made too many mistakes to win. The blocked punt, scoop and score was one. The next punt, “kick it short”(?) was another. This is a new season. Lose to WI, but win the 3 after and a third bowl is there. Nothing is predetermined!

  8. Hey Purdue, not just cranky whining here….IU just lost to a fourth string quarterback!!! That basically was recruited by MAC conference teams. An this quarterback just put up 35 points on the IU top 50 defense!!! Not to mention how bad special teams look today. All this from a team which many of us on this blog had them winning 8 to 9 games this years…..my initial though is most of us on this blog are very bias, toward IU and where hoping that IU would be good this year. Either the talent that is suppose to be on this team is not up to par or the “FIRST” year coaching staff is not yet up to par.

  9. The Virginia win was all on Allen and the staff. This loss is all on Allen and the staff. 39 points wins almost all games. Adjustments of responsibilities in house are screaming to be made. HCing, DCing and STCing are to heavy a load for near any coach but especially crushing to a 1st year man. Proof cannot be more clear than the results before us. The hardest part about being a successful boss is properly Delegating. I’ll bet v is hovering over the same thought.

  10. Yesterday was a terrible loss that shouldn’t have happened but we knew it could. We have seen bad losses after playing good teams tough over the past few years. We have never beaten OSU,PSU after sanctions were removed, UM, and only beat MSU the year they went 3-9. This years record would have been the same in B1G play with maybe the Maryland game being a win but don’t forget about the Rutgers debacle. With Wisconsin coming in next week this schedule has been brutal in the B1G and teams without a lot of depth, like IU, suffer. I watched parts of OSU-PSU, MSU-NW and I didn’t see starters missing the way IU has suffered this year. Defensive starters missing 3, offensive starters/rotational players 5. The B1G better figure out the East West divisions are very uneven.

    1. v13 – It would not matter how the divisions are divide up, IU football would still be the weak link in the divisions (Legends and Leaders) they are placed in…..Kevin Wilson said it best, you have to beat the teams you play, no matter the opponent. An really does the BIG ten really want a weak divisions. An injuries have happen to all teams (ie Maryland was playing their fourth string quarterback, missing a couple of defense (Jesse Anebonan) starters)…IU fans need to stop making excuses for the current team. Tom Allen is a first year coach in the BIG Ten and some far this experiment by Fred Glass has been a “DEBACLE”. We have to wait and see what the future holds in the next two or three years., maybe longer (some favoritism, because Glass hired him and reasonable salary) . An one of the 4 main story lines was for IU defense to be concern about DJ Moore, an who did they have guarding DJ Moore most of the game Andre Brown Jr, why wasn’t your best cover cb Rashard Fant covering DJ Moore all game. It is decision like this that make you question this coaching staff.

  11. Can’t believe I spent 3 1/2 hours watching this game (and ignoring the two grandkids we were baby sitting) fully expecting that it would turn out to be another heartbreaking loss. Why do I continue to torture myself year after fruitless year? I can remember when Northwestern was the team in the Big 10 with the most losses and when there were other teams in the country who had more losses than IU, but now IU is firmly ensconced in that position for the foreseeable future. I need to start taping the games and only watch them if IU wins!

    HC, agree that a successful boss has to delegate. I think TA is going to totally wear himself out trying to do too much himself. At some point he has to make Mark Hagan his DC.

    I wonder how serious Ramsey’s knee injury will turn out to be? He certainly looks beat up, and I wouldn’t be surprised if Lagow starts next week. If Ramsey can’t go or is out for the year, will TA burn Tronti’s red shirt? It has become pretty apparent that Ramsey lacks arm strength and can only throw a high arching long pass.

    Vesuvius, have you seen anything in Tronti’s films from high school to indicate he has a stronger arm or is a faster runner than Ramsey? What did Ramsey look like in high school? Tronti appears to be much more muscular and physically developed than Ramsey. Can a qb develop a stronger arm in college, or is it pretty much mechanics and either you have it or you don’t?

    Since I am in the question asking mode, why did Lagow throw a 7 yard pass on 4th down on that last series? Bad, bad decision. If we get a first down, there is still a chance to force overtime or win. He would have been better off throwing it to Cobbs and hoping for a miraculous catch or pass interference.

  12. Since I am in the question asking mode, why did Lagow throw a 7 yard pass on 4th down on that last series?

    On 4th & 11 with just over a minute to go and no timeouts if they give the ball back?…..Because it’s Indiana.

  13. No ability to block or run the ball. Only 2 lineman recruits in next year’s class. A spread team that runs a 3-yards-and-a-cloud-of-dust conservative offense. Lots of short passes that stop the clock stretching out games. Longer games equals more plays equals more opportunity for injuries on a team already lacking depth. A lack of quarterbacks and explosive players but recruiting has no quarterback and a bunch of slow possession receivers. I don’t get the strategy and I don’t see the road map for improvement on offense. The schools that compete with less talent like Army, Northern Illinois or Navy all run the ball to shorten the game, use bigger dual threat qb’s and recruit smaller but quicker lineman. Winning games starts with a winning strategy.

  14. Hey iu79 I stand in agreement that IU first year coaching staff sucks! Say what you want about the talent, but tell me what’s so impressive with the same old, predictable, bad play calling I mean, a ten year old can frigure it out. How many times you going to send a RB up the middle, play after play and end up with the same stupid result. Just one example. No imagination, afraid to take a chance. There is plenty of talent, good coaching knows how to draw it out! Let’s put the blame where it belongs

  15. Watched PUke play Huskers. 4th time I’ve watched them play this season. Exciting, energetic brand of FB like Wilson used to give us. Certainly apparent Brohm knows how to motivate lower rated talent to execute his schemes. Unlike DeBord. Although I must say Gest doesn’t need motivation. His TD catch and run to the EZ were a bright spot of hope for the future. Doubt DeBord and Hart recognize that fact. More Majette is a losers mentality and a continuing downward spiral. How far IUFB has fallen in such a short time.

  16. Ranger, it is my experience that QBs either have a strong arm or don’t as it is more about genetics. Can they develop a stronger arm than they have, yes with the proper mechanic but it will still be limited by genetics. I could tell by a kids throw to me from ten yards away if he had the pop or not.
    Tronti on film looked to lift his team to winning while Ramsey was a good game manager in HS. I am not sure how Tronti’s skills will translate to the B1G but until he hits the field we will never know. I think he will be more like PSU’s QB who has a knack for big plays but remember PSU’s QB has as his running back.

    IU has pieces of a good offense but it is hurt by either missing injured players or freshman talent.

    HC explain how IUFB has fallen so far by telling me what games the team would have won that they didn’t win? I will give you the Maryland game as one we should have won but I would point out UVA was a game IU would have lost to in the past. 2018 recruiting is improved over the past three years and the staff is going after higher rated players for 2019 and 2020. I get you don’t like Debord as OC and I admit I am not sold on him either but I do understand the limitations he is working with this year.

    1. He cannot identify The playmakers in the talent he’s got so the schemes aren’t right he doesn’t motivate the lower level talent that he’s never experienced before to get them to play a game that they can win(like DC Allen). He’s inept because he cannot adapt. As you’re just starting to figure out. The spiral down will continue until has top level talent to work with or he is replaced. In other words he owns zero.

      1. Vesuvius – thanks for the response. I agree some athletes have that will to win, and Tronti appears to have that and he carried his his high school team to the state finals. I guess the question is, have you seen anything or heard anything to indicate his arm is stronger than Ramsey’s? Some people seem to think the qb out of Indy who is committed can play qb in college. I just don’t see how a 5′ 10″ – 160 pounder could survive in the Big 10, no matter how shifty he seems to be. Chances are, he will have trouble putting on weight like Diamont.

  17. Just out of curiosity based on the usual comments regarding the usual results of the IU football program. Has anyone ever bothered to go and look at the NCAA historical records for D1 programs. IU has arguably the worst football program historically in NCAA history. This problem didn’t begin in the last 20 years or 50, or even 100. This problem is 130 years in the making and it won’t correct itself overnight.

    When analyzing won loss records, IU has more loses than any other team with more than 1000 (actually more loses than anyone) games played. Only Northwestern comes in close, but they have 50 more wins having played football a few years longer than IU. Interesting reading if one takes the time to look at the reports. Coaches and AD’s have come and gone but the results remain the same.

  18. Ranger, from what I saw off of Tronti’s high school film his arm is stronger but he doesn’t have a rifle for an arm. I was thinking over this weekend what DeBord really sees with Ramsey maybe Tronti. I think he sees the same type of QB that Tom Brady was for UM. People complain about Ramsey but ignore that Brady [I am not saying Ramsey is this good yet] has excelled with what is considered a “weak” arm and I woud add Peyton Manning had a “weak arm. No matter if Lagow or Ramsey is QB until we can run effectively they will be limited.

      1. DD, Heard that arm strength story over a decade ago having dinner at St. Elmo’s while impolitely eavesdropping on the table next to me. I don’t know who they were but they possibly were FB people.

          1. Sorry about my lazy shortcuts, ‘football’. Again I have no idea who the other diners were. But apparently 1 of them knew about the arm strength drill.

          2. Ah, ok.

            Yeah, the Peyton arm-strength thing was always a puzzler. Well, maybe not. There are always competing camps out there spreading misinformation out there to try and influence decision makers. Never a Colts fan, but Peyton had some serious zing on his passes, especially in the early days. These combines do have a role.

  19. I always thought Tom Brady had a weaker arm because he never seems to be throwing hard. Turns out his throws are considerably faster than most. He generates 61 mph at release on crossing routes while most QBs only generate about 50. He also has a much faster release. His mechanics are so good that he just never looks like he’s throwing hard:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kl7ZK3a0TkU

  20. The issue about arm strength of NFL QBs is not base on how well they throw the ball as all are near the top of that list. An exampe is former Colts QB Bert Jones who was seen to throw an
    105 yd pass in practice, it didn’t help him excel in the NFL. Brady throws with enough velocity but never throws passes of 60 yards or more. The NF has been littered with “strong” arm QBs that didn’t turn into all Pro QBs.

    The more important skill at college and the NFL level is finding the open receiver based on your read and getting the ball to them where the defense can’t get to the ball. People get too wrapped up in arm strength but with all things being even having a strong arm is better.

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