Hoosiers’ win worth the wait

Indiana was cruising to victory Saturday afternoon.

The Hoosier defense had just forced the eighth of nine punts on the day late in the third quarter when the proceedings came to a sudden halt.

The wind and rain had been steadily picking up throughout the second half, and when an official spotted lightning in the sky, both teams and spectators were forced to take shelter.

Often times such a delay is brief and relatively inconsequential. This one turned out to be the latter, but not the former as it would be one hour and 47 minutes before play resumed.

“I think we handled it pretty well,” senior defensive lineman Greg Gooch said. “It was our first one since I’ve been here, so I think we handled it pretty well. Guys were in the locker room relaxing and getting treatment and stuff like that.”

IU coach Tom Allen said the goal was to keep his team relaxed and rested.

“Sat there and watched college football games, really tried to get the guys off their feet,” he said. “Got the TVs going. Let them relax. Gave them some snacks to keep their stomachs full.

“It was weird. I don’t think I’ve ever had one like that before, definitely not one that long. Went up and saw my family up in my office, which I don’t usually get to do during the game. Said hi to a bunch of coaches’ wives and their kids. It was just a very unique environment that we had had today.”

And when his team returned to the field, it regained the same edge that had produced a 34-0 lead before the break.

“We came out ready to play,” Allen said. “You play like that and have that long of a break, and I’ve seen teams come out just flat as can be, watching games and experiencing that too at all levels. Once again, it’s a testament to the leadership of your guys. Proud of them.”

Lump of Cole
After accumulating just 28 carries in his first six games of the season, redshirt freshman running back Cole Gest is building up a more robust work load down the stretch of the season.

After 12 carries at Maryland and 17 at Illinois, Gest carried a career-high 23 times on Saturday for a career-high 104 yards, including a fourth-quarter touchdown.

“I feel so much more comfortable,” Gest said. “Like I said earlier in the year, I was only getting a couple carries here and there, so it’s kind of hard to get in a rhythm. But as you continue to get in the process and getting rep after rep, you get a feel for the game. I felt a whole lot more comfortable, so it worked out.”

Gest has emerged as the lightning complement to Morgan Ellison’s thunder.

“(Cole)’s been huge. We had two 100-yard runners, rushers today, Cole and Morgan,” Allen said. “When you have that complement, it’s hard for one guy to keep getting rep after rep after rep. Once Mike Majette went out and just to be able to have two guys to give us that punch, we just tag team them and let them keep coming.

“I love how hard they run, how downhill they run, how decisive they run. Cole’s been huge for us. He’d been dinged up a little bit, but he’s back now and really, really proud of his performance for sure.”

Highlight-reel catch by Watercutter
It could go down as IU’s best catch of the year.

Few, if any, have been more dazzling than the grab made by backup tight end Ryan Watercutter late in the first quarter.

Hit as the reached to make the catch over the middle of the field, Watercutter kept control of the ball by pinning it against his helmet as he fell to the turf on first-and-10 at the Rutgers 37. The play was reminiscent of David Tyree’s memorable catch for the New York Giants late in Super Bowl XLII

“It was great,” IU tight end Ian Thomas said. “We even talked about it during the rain delay. He actually said that he caught it, then dropped it, then caught it with one hand again.”

End zone
Seniors Chase Dutra and Chris Covington led IU with six tackles apiece. Covington also recorded a tackle for loss. … With two field goals, kicker Griffin Oakes now has 68 for his career — tying him for fifth in Big Ten history. … Safety Tony Fields recorded his first career sack and later recorded a fumble after a strip sack by defensive end Greg Gooch.

3 comments

  1. Not to be too far off topic but did anyone see that punt return by USC. That was brilliant special teams coaching right there.

  2. I saw the punter for UCLA screw up on the punt left and kicked to the right sideline. UCLA had no defenders over there other than the punter and the USC player made a great play.

    It was good to see IU come out of the delay and still play with the intensity they had at the start of the game. It was great seeing the back ups preserve the shutout. Now it is on to the Bucket game against an improved Boiler team.

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