Hawkeyes overpower sloppy Hoosiers, 42-16

Marcelino Ball lined up his target and moved to pounce.

It took two seconds for the sophomore defender to charge off the edge and into the Iowa backfield, where he lunged at quarterback Nate Stanley and hoped for the best. As Ball tried to drag him to the turf, an act that ended in vain, Stanley spun free. First, a shimmy to his left, then a sprint to his right.

It should’ve been a sack. Instead, it turned into another first-half Iowa touchdown.

Stanley stayed on both feet, rolled right and found Nick Easley wide open in the back of the end zone for a 12-yard scoring connection.

It was that kind of frustrating day for IU, which saw its homecoming drought stretch to eight years in a 42-16 loss to the Hawkeyes on Saturday afternoon at Memorial Stadium.

“Disappointed in how we performed, absolutely,” Indiana coach Tom Allen said. “Just weren’t good enough today, and that’s all on me. It’s my responsibility to get our team ready to compete and play at the highest level, and based on how we performed throughout the game, it wasn’t to our standard.”

The Hoosiers (4-3, 1-3) offered a lackluster effort that was full of penalties, defensive breakdowns and missed tackles. An opportunity to build off last week’s effort at Ohio State went for naught, with Indiana offering an empty effort on an afternoon that went to waste.

Indiana was flagged 10 times for 99 yards, including two calls against the IU sideline. The Hawkeyes gashed the Hoosiers both on the ground and through the air, finding little resistance along the way.

“We were hurting ourselves, most of all,” safety Jonathan Crawford said. “Missing tackles. Our coverage wasn’t good at all … I thought it was the worst game we’ve played, as a defense.”

Iowa out-gained IU, 479-330, while the Hoosiers allowed an opposing quarterback to throw for six touchdown passes for the second consecutive week.

Stanley amassed 320 yards on 21-of-32 passing, leading an Iowa offense that averaged 7.4 yards per play.

IU’s young defense, which has shown signs of promise and growth throughout the year, played uninspiring football from start to finish. It lost the line of scrimmage and allowed Stanley to open the field and pick apart IU’s defense as he saw best. Iowa tight ends T.J. Hockenson and Noah Fant were as much of a nuisance as expected, combining for eight catches for 208 yards and three touchdowns.

“Those big tight ends were tough for us to match up with, more difficult than I was hoping for it to be,” Allen said. “But that’s the reality of what happened. Those big bodies, they could run. They outran both of them, 87 and 38, both of them outran us, which it is what it is.”

During recent seasons, Indiana has seldom performed this poorly against league competition, especially teams possessing comparable collections of talent. But the tone seemed set by the time the Hoosiers’ defense took the field.

IU helped the Hawkeyes to the end zone with back-to-back penalties — a pass interference call against corner Raheem Layne and an unsportsmanlike call against the Indiana bench — that put Iowa at the 9-yard line. From there, Stanley immediately found Hockenson on a touchdown connection. Allen challenged the play to no avail, leaving the Hoosiers without another challenge for the duration of the game.

Hockenson and Fant were each active in the early goings as Iowa challenged Indiana’s secondary. In single coverage on third down, Fant caught a 28-yard touchdown pass from Stanley to put the Hawkeyes ahead, 14-3, at the end of the first quarter.

Just when Iowa seemed poised to make it a three-possession game after a second consecutive IU three-and-out, the Hoosiers caught a break. Stanley tossed a pass directly to IU linebacker Thomas Allen, who returned it 29 yards to the Iowa 34. Two plays later, the Hoosiers produced a touchdown courtesy of a 33-yard throw from Peyton Ramsey to receiver Ty Fryfogle.

“We went over that during the week,” Thomas Allen said. “They were showing times, when they get in empty (set, with nobody joining the QB in the backfield), that’s kind of what they tend to do. So we repped that all week.

“So I was to stay there, stay locked on the center and then pop out at the last second, and it worked. It was huge momentum for our team. The offense took advantage. Ty got a huge (catch), which was awesome.”

The momentum generated by that sequence was short-lived.

On the following possession, Stanley eluded Ball’s pursuit to find Easley in the end zone and give the Hawkeyes a 21-10 lead before the break.

The touchdown drive was set up by a bizarre kick return by Ihmir Smith-Marsette, who let the kick bounce at the 7 before picking it up at the 3, juking past a couple Hoosiers, sprinting to the outside and hurdling over kickoff specialist Jared Smolar on his way to the IU 38.

Four plays later, Iowa was in the end zone.

“Painful memories right there,” Tom Allen said. “There’s two things that happen usually when the ball is mishandled by a return team. Sometimes it’s disaster for them, and you pin them down inside the 10 or whatever, which is what I thought was going to happen. Or you get everybody down there and a couple guys miss and then you lose your leverage angles. Obviously the second thing happened, and it’s unfortunate because that could have changed the whole complexion of the game.

“Then we (almost) have a sack. Marcelino is one of our better players, and nine times out of 10 he’s going it to finish that play. I don’t know why that was the case today. He had a rough day today.”

Ball wasn’t the only one.

The poor play was contagious, the bad football widespread. IU was hardly ever in this one, another opportunity to change the perception of its program flushed away.

“I’m the head coach,” Allen said. “It’s on me.”

36 comments

  1. The disparity between these two programs in coaching and personnel hasn’t been this wide since, well, maybe never.
    Allen has shown that he’s a pretty good DC but over his head as a HC. He obviously is unable to do both effectively. At minimum, Debord and Shelby need canned. Tonite.
    When the coaching staff racks up more penalty yards than the on field rushing attack, there’s a problem. As for “takeaways”,…if your team can’t tackle, it doesn’t make much of a difference, does it?

  2. National tv and another embarrassment. Same IUFB program. TA is learning how to be a HC and needs to give up his comfort zone as a DC if he wants to become a HC. A game like this is why fans will turn their attention to b-ball now.

  3. I’ve commented about this before. We are in trouble when everyone talks about how in practice the defense is “flying around all over the place”. That is NOT what you want the defense to be doing. That means attempted arm tackles or late to the play. That is what we did all day.

  4. Coaches trying to change IU football program.
    Phil Dickens: Ghost of sanctions.
    John Pont: The Cardiac kids.
    Lee Corso: Elephant show and taking picture of scoreboard vs OSU.
    Sam Wyche: Forward IU logo slant on helmets to move program in positive direction.
    Bill Mallory: Had yearly stretch of success by IU standards.
    Cam Cameron: Color blind black helmets and uniforms. Randel El could only do so much.
    Gerry Denardo: Setting a time standard team members had to run under.
    Terry Hoeppner: Just a short tenure.
    Bill Lynch: Rode coat tails of Hoepp and belongs to DePauw.
    Kevin Wilson: Sternness cut short highlighted by Purdue string of wins assisted by A. Diamont.
    Tom Allen: Enthusiastically, stands by his qb (stand by your man), strength and conditioning program, four fingers start of 4th quarter, remains to be seen.
    IU football needs Thomas Alva Edison (great American of over a 1000 inventions) to turn this ship around.

  5. Keyword in the title, sloppy. 7-8 plays the whole game O or D that could be used for positive examples. Other than that sloppy offense, sloppy defense, sloppy ST’s and most of all disappointingly sloppy coaching. How do you salvage anything from that game?

  6. There isn’t much to slvage from this game and as a coach I always ignored the game with players, coaches learned from the film, and focused on the upcoming opponent. Today was a debacle but one where I am concerned the issues of the offense show up once again. Either Ramsey is not B1G QB or our offensive OC isn’t getting the job done. Ramsey has more negative plays than positive plays and I don’t mean yardage wise. If you chart his plays and whether they help the offense or put it in a negative position, he too often puts it in a negative situation IE run the ball for 2 yd bringing up 2&8. If Penix was playing I could accept negative plays with a chance to have more positive plays knowing he was gaining experience for this season and next.

    Our defense got exposed again this week and until the players gain more experince I don’t see it changing soon. IU needs to regroup and play solid football again.

    I hope coaches are to the point to seeing they need to make some hard choices if they want this team to go to a bowl this year.

  7. We were at the game and this was a very poorly played game by I U in all areas of the game. I U got an ass kicking today from a team that executed their plays and weren’t fooled by I U’s offense or defense. I U has a week before Penn State comes to town and if I U plays like they did today it could be a real long afternoon for I U fans.

  8. With all the negativity about this game, warrented in many ways, just look at today’s games Georgia 16 LSU 36, MSU 21 PSU 17, or last year’s OSU Iowa game 55-24 when OSU was ranked 5th against a 5-3 Iowas team. Let that sink in for a minute, #2 Georgia got handled as much as IU got handled today but with a roster much more talented than IU’s. College games are hard to predict as young men have up and downs in their life and you never know how they may play any given week.

    I agree IU has some issues that need to be addressed and changed this off-season it not sooner. let’s keep some perspective on the team however.

    1. V, appreciate what you are saying but none of the teams you mentioned have our decades of program failure. I asked the question at the beginning of the season, why are we hiring OCs and DCs as our HC? IU is not the program to teeth HCs. And I used Brohm as an example of a coach with experience and a readymade staff. Was told to look at their early record. I am looking.

    2. I don’t have a warm and fuzzy feeling as the same issues keep me happening and now it appears to add another with 12 gold strikes against the D in 2 weeks helped along with PI flags. But sissy play calling and a very sissy performing OL both damningly on display all this season and all of last season cannot be resolved by the coaches responsible. I’ve never coached a minute but I’m very certain in 2 weeks I could have the OL so mean they would eat concrete. Whats Hiller do read them poetry? What a damned ole mess.

  9. Pretty sure the red shirt strategy has some holes. I’d really like to know what is happening in practice that makes keeping the red shirt the best option in TA’s mind. Is the guy unable to learn the playbook? Is there an eyelash of difference between the two or a valley?

    This was a train wreck. What is the norm? Letdown from OSU? What happened to…everything?

    There is a lot to address this week.

  10. Yet another breakthrough that got away? What’s that? Oh, TA’s not talking about the breakthrough thing anymore? Probably wise. Oh, really? I see. It’s now the breakdown instead. Well, that does seem much more accurate. Pining for Wilson.

  11. It’s been a month since IU played anything close to a good game. Same situation last year- the team regresses as the year goes along. For all those saying look at the bigger picture, that is the bigger picture. No blow-out loss like this last year. No growth in QB play, no growth in running game. Defense getting worse. The team is not progressing. Shades of Bill Lynch.

    1. IU is 4-3, with wins over a good U VA, and s good FL Int; loses to a good MSU, a great OSU, and a good IA. If IU can beat PSU on Saturday, the season looks pretty good!

  12. From a physical standpoint, IU looked like a Sun Conference team. When I think of other programs with fewer resources like West Virginia it is mind boggling. In theory I thought TA was a solid choice. For one thing, he wanted to be here. In retrospect, Glass needed to (still does) get a proven winner. When a Big Ten homecoming ends up with 3000 people in the stands, a 2000 of which from the visiting team 600 miles away,….you’ve got BIG problems. If you were a 4* would you commit to IU after that game?

  13. HC when you gain coaching experience with having success then you can claim you could make the OL mean in two weeks. Until then you are like Texans talking about a big talker “all hat no cattle”. Football is a physical game and you can’t just make players physical. You can try like I did having a drill I called the SOB drill for OL. We would have a challenge and the OL voted who won the challenge to move into the next round. It was about being the toughest meanest blockers but our OL that were physical didn’t get meaner. My best did learn how to dig in and drive but not all players did. It is about mentality and strength. Our S&C coaches commented that our OL was woefully lacking strength and explosiveness. They have improved in strength and explosiveness but not enough.

    Unless I or you are at practice and see what is happening we don’t know if it is the coaches or the players. You claim the OL was tougher under Frey and Wilson but the team struggled mightly on3rd/4th and short along with inside the 10 yard line. If a coach can make a difference why is the OL so bad at FSU this year under coach Frey? I think he is a good coach and don’t think the OL at FSU represents what kind of coach he is.

    1. v13 just as I posted above, I’ve never coached a minute. So you can take all the issue with that you please. By the way I not only have a hat but cattle also(4 head of limousin). The OL and their sissy play of last year mirrors this year. No improvement. I don’t believe for 1 second coaching can’t toughen them up and make them aggressive. The military does it in 8 weeks. Coach Allen accomplished it in an off-season with the D before ’16’. Hiller is a mear boy in the B1G and his boss can’t get his job done without high* level talent. They both need to back up to collect their final paycheck and head out of town. The results of the season will be the same without them. They’ve now been in Bloomington 15 games to long. Remember the Meatchicken game last year? 3rd and 5 yesterday on the 15 and he calls a run for the rookie RB. DeBord is a lard brain. Traded a TD for a FG. He has learned nothing. What a shame.

  14. One team is 3-3 and one is 4-3. Which team has momentum and will likely end up at least 7-5 and which team is in a downward spiral and will likely end up 4-8 ? I am sure everyone on this board knows the correct answer.

    Purdue lost it’s first 3, but even after those close losses, their experienced coaching staff was able right the ship and now they appear poised to possibly even challenge for the Western Division crown. IU, with the exception of the Ball State game, has looked very mediocre, to put it kindly, and is floundering badly. I really don’t see how IU can possibly get to 6-6 and bowl eligibility. PSU and Michigan will be absolute blowouts. Maryland is good, with a quality win against Texas, and a victory against them appears to be out of reach. Minny at MN will be tough, and I don’t see IU winning that game either. Then comes the final against PU. PU’s passing game will put up 500 plus yards against our porous pass defense, so unless we improve drastically on offense, this game will likely be another blow out loss.

    I guess I can be accused of being pessimistic, and of course, I am after being a fan for 50 plus years, but I just don’t see much positive happening right now. The hype about our new strength and speed program seems just that, hype. The team is still having lots of injuries and having 23 players running NFL caliber straight line speed sure wasn’t evident yesterday. Hell, our linebackers and defensive backs couldn’t even keep up with Iowa’s big tight ends!

    I don’t know if Penix playing QB would make any difference, but TA better try something to shake up this team. We have to score more points to have any chance of winning another game. Would Penix be able to get the ball deep downfield to our big wide receivers, and if so, would this help the running game? If all we do is throw short passes, does that not help the other team defend the run as well? So far, Reece Taylor has been a non factor. Could having Penix play QB also help open things up for Taylor where he can use his speed and agility in the open field? Something has to be done to try to salvage what was portrayed by TA as a potential break out year.

  15. I don’t think I U will win another football game this season. I wouldn’t use Penix’s red shirt year, just play him for two games and save his eligibility for the next four years. It will become apparent that Ramsey isn’t your starter after the remaining games are played . Don’t burn a year of Penix’s eligibility in a losing season for I U Football. The team is young and we have hopes for a better season next year. The Big Ten needs to come a solution on the two divisions, the West division is a weak bunch of teams and you have the East Division that has all of the league’s power teams and will beat up on each other and will lose any chance for the playoff’s. I U’s Football hope for the future will be if the Big Ten goes back to eight (8) league games.

  16. Xs, Os, strength & conditioning, young team experienced team, Penix or Ramsey, west or east, new facilities, crowd support, whatever. The product on the field is not acceptable. Fix it!

  17. It is amazing that Purdue goes 0-3 at the beginning of the seasons and Indiana goes 3-0. Most people on this blog was anointing Indiana as the better team and advise bloggers that a train wreck was going on at Purdue. As I said previous on this blog Purdue has a better chance of getting 6 wins vs Indiana winning 6 games (history proves this – Indiana rarely wins 6 games). Fred Glass had tunnel visions when it came to hiring Tom Allen (The same type of tunnel vision that AD Josh Wittman had in hiring Lovie Smith (defense minded coaches – takeaways win games versus tackling) at Illinois – both programs are in a downward spiral. Fred Glass had an opportunity to find a coach that knows how to build a winning program (will Minnesota program get better under PJ Fleck before Indiana under Tom Allen) he chose to go with an assistant coach vs an establish or mid-major coach (someone who would challenge (made-waves) his decisions (no names on jerseys). Maybe the real reasons Kevin Wilson was let go (I regress). This year of Indiana (2018) football should be consider a rebuilding year for Tom Allen, the following years (2019, 2020) will tell the true story Tom Allen and Mike Debord recruits will start showing up on the field. Tom Allen and Mike Debord advise that Reece Taylor was just a good of an athletic as Rondale Moore at Purdue, which HC and OC has gotten the most out of their recruit. Reece Taylor still trying to find a position and Rondale Moore an electrifying receiver (heading toward being the best) in the BIG TEN.

  18. For whatever reasons, teams periodically just do not show up for a game. It even happened in IU hoops under RMK. I’m curious to see how this team responds. Are they going to shrug their shoulders, be defeatist and have a mentality of we’re IU football, here we go again? Or is the team, players and coaches, going to rise up and take it upon itself to really be competitive, even if they don’t win another game? It’d be interesting to know what morale is like amongst the players, along with their true thoughts of the coaching staff. I agree that TA needs to shake things up. I wouldn’t expect any great turn around, but it looks like he might as well give Penix a shot, at least for a couple of games. Oh the perennial joys of being an IU football fan…..

  19. IU79, great post, and I agree with almost everything you wrote. But Fred Glass did not have tunnel vision for T.A.; he had tunnel vision for his budget. T.A. was an easy, inexpensive option. He was a slightly better version of Bill Lynch, and we all know how that turned out. We’re now seeing, once again, that you get what you pay for. T.A. may recover from this season, which is bound to be another losing one, but the odds are he won’t. Another losing season will diminish recruiting, and I’ll bet you, after next week, we’ll start reading about IU’s most touted recruits switching their commitments. I mean, you watch the MI vs. WI game, and it’s obvious that this year’s IU team just does not have the combination of size and speed to compete with most Big Ten teams. We simply don’t pass the eye test.

    The bottom line is that the Big Ten is no place for a head coach who needs training wheels. This Conference requires experienced, proven head coaches who can come in and significantly improve recruiting immediately, like Purdue’s coach is now doing. Facilities have been significantly improved, so that excuse for why quality coaches won’t come to IU is eliminated. Now we have to get an Athletic Director with the stones to offer enough compensation to attract a proven head coach. Otherwise, that all-too-familiar cycle will start all over again.

  20. fish, as I’ve written before, a coach can be proven by leading a mid-major program to success. Purdue got a coach who had proved himself at Western Kentucky. Hep had proved himself at Miami of Ohio before IU hired him. Mallory proved himself at Colorado and Northern Illinois before IU hired him. A coach can prove himself without being in charge of a Power-Five conference program. Look at what Minnesota’s coach did at Western Michigan before he went to Minneapolis! And my point is, if you offer enough compensation, there a lot of coaches who would be excited to take the IU job and coach in the Big Ten. But you have to offer them a competitive compensation package, something ?Fred Glass is unable or unwilling to do. Money talks and BS walks, and Fred Glass ………..

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