IU falls short to No. 9 PSU, 34-27

In recent weeks, Indiana coach Tom Allen has been upbeat postgame, freshly removed from triumphant locker room celebrations.

But as the No. 24 Hoosiers’ four-game conference winning streak came to its end Saturday following a 34-27 loss at No. 9 Penn State, it was evident that IU’s head man had just returned from a very different kind of locker room talk.

“I told them I was just ticked off we weren’t able to finish for a variety of reasons, and I didn’t want to hear any talk in that locker room,” Allen said. “And they understood that. They were as upset as I was. It’s a different feel, for sure.”

For a building program, recently placed in the top 25 for the first time since 1994, a battle to the end with one of the Big Ten’s big dogs was a step forward. But all of the steps back IU took at Beaver Stadium were painful to recount.

Like the punt after Penn State’s initial three-and-out, which, as far as the officials could tell, grazed Whop Philyor and went back to the Nittany Lions on a fumble. Just 27 yards removed from the end zone, PSU quickly took a 7-0 lead.

“You just gotta get away from it,” Allen said.

Then there was a fourth-and-1 to start the second half, which the Hoosiers called timeout to debate, opting to send out the punt team in an unorthodox alignment. With one blocker to long snapper Sean Wracher’s right, and Peyton Hendershot behind him — and four Penn State defenders staring them down — the snap went to Hendershot.

“As you noticed, Peyton was surprised to get the ball,” Allen said. “He wasn’t supposed to.”

The Hoosiers had a chance to beat a top 10 team for the first time since 1987 but ended up contributing heavily to their own demise.

There were positive returns, particularly on the offensive side of the ball. Going into the week as IU’s starting quarterback for the first time this season, redshirt junior Peyton Ramsey threw for 371 yards on 31-of-41 passing.

But it wasn’t enough. Penn State’s Sean Clifford, someone Ramsey dueled during high school games in Cincinnati, not only threw for 179 yards but ran for another 55, leading the Lions (9-1, 6-1 Big Ten) on a nine-minute, 18-play drive, converting multiple third and fourth downs, to claim a 34-24 lead with 1:44 remaining. 

It’s a game they could win but just didn’t. And there is only one way to feel about that.

“It hurts,” Ramsey said. “So many opportunities, both sides of the ball, that we just didn’t capitalize. And at the end of the day, that’s what it’s about. When you get your chances, you gotta make ’em. We just didn’t do it often enough today.”

IU (7-3, 4-3) didn’t appear outmatched. Ramsey was also effective with his legs, spinning away from PSU pass rushers on scrambles, getting the Hoosiers within three points, 27-24, with 10:45 left in the final quarter.

Allen’s words on Ramsey played like a rerun from previous weeks.

“Just tremendously effective, tough, gritty,” Allen said. “Seems like I say that all the time, don’t I? That’s what he is. Got some big runs, made some good throws against a very, very good defense.

Even without junior receiver Whop Philyor, who went into concussion protocol in the second quarter after a blow to the head and another fumble, the IU offense produced 462 yards to the Lions’ 371.

“We played a good football team today,” Allen said. “We’re a good football team, too.”

This game was lightyears removed from the Hoosiers’ last trip to Happy Valley, filled with blunders that led to a 28-0 hole in the first quarter. This time, victory seemed just out of reach. Back and forth, it kept going.

IU muffed a punt, and PSU scored. But then, on the very next drive, Ramsey hit junior Ty Fryfogle for a gain of 24 on third-and-8 — then for a 38-yard touchdown over the middle, wide open on a busted PSU coverage.

With IU ahead 14-10 late in the first quarter, things nearly swung the Hoosiers’ way when redshirt freshman linebacker James Miller punched the football out of tight end Pat Freiermuth’s hands during a 15-yard completion.

Miller’s hands were oh-so-close to snatching the pigskin, but Freiermuth used his legs to keep the ball with Penn State.

On the very next play, Clifford ran 38 yards for a touchdown to reclaim a 17-14 advantage.

“He just scooted it,” Miller said of Freiermuth’s leg grab. “It wasn’t really frustrating. ‘Dang, it just snook.’ Next time, we’re going to capitalize on it.”

Try as they might, the breaks just didn’t go IU’s way.

That botched “fake” punt gave the Lions a 40-yard field to take a 27-14 lead, requiring only two long runs by Journey Brown.

At the end of the game, as Penn State burned the clock, the decision to burn a timeout to discuss that fourth-and-1 loomed large. A second timeout was used at the very beginning of that drive, with 9:21 remaining, because the Hoosiers were ill-aligned on a third-and-9 at the PSU 42.

“It’s better than having a call you don’t want and then giving up first down. That changes the game,” Allen said, reflecting on that second timeout. “Bottom line is we chose to use it. Wish we could have had it back.”

The Hoosiers wish they could have back so much of what transpired Saturday.

“I bought them all together and I was very honest, I was highly disappointed. We did not come here to be close,” Allen said. “Day by day, step by step, we are building this thing. Next step is winning these kinds of games.”

52 comments

  1. Here are imperical facts on this season. Allen/Wommack 3rd down piss poor defensive scheming and needless penalties cost wins against MSU and PSU.
    If you can’t stop teams on 3rd and long, which this team hasn’t, you will not win. If you shoot yourself in the foot every game you will not win. + Debore’s red zone offense leaves a lot to be desired for someone making nearly $900,000.

    1. Brad, the word is empirical. You certainly are entitled to your opinions, but they are not facts. The failure of the I U defense to stop the QB runs certainly did contribute to both the MSU and the PSU loses.

      1. BP: I ‘begg’ to differ. IU’s 3rd down D against legitimate teams has been horrible all year,….3rd and 12, 8, 16, 7 on and on. Not just QB runs for huge gains (inexcuseable) but passing conversions, no end containment. The non dead ball offensive penalties speak for themselves. In the red zone, you can’t have fades to the corner as main option or Smith III getting 1 or 2 yds up the middle. Pass plays must be well designed, shallow and vert quick. I did like the Ramsey runs today inside the 5. But so far, this team’s ‘breakthrough’ was on the road against one of the worst teams in the BIG. This team continues to make the same mistakes week end week out. It never changes, year after year, coach after coach, player after player. If I weren’t correct IU would actually win one of these.

          1. Auditioning for what?
            All of these ‘wishful’ posts,…ha, ha. ‘If’ Penix, “young players”, “competitive”, “officials”, etc.
            Allen supposedly has put an emphasis on special teams. Just look at this game and the debacle at East Lansing. Winners win and those that don’t make excuses. Prediction: Wolverines 42 IU 17. Better hope Rondale Moore doesn’t play, if so, 7-5.
            This recruiting class currently stands at #12. So much for the future. Finally, I’m “thrilled” that so many of you find criticizing me on a personal level supercedes any objective performance observations I might point out.

          2. Clarion: I see that the pollsters were so ‘impressed’ with IU’s progress with a hard fought loss that they dropped them out of the poles altogether. Looks like normality has raised its ugly head. Oh well, maybe 26 years from now they’ll reappear like this little, short lived visit? By all means, keep us up to date with all of those rose colored progress reports.

  2. They blitzed way too much on 3rd and long situations and that fake punt or whatever you wanna call it failed spectacularly, im gonna disagree about DeBoer he wasn’t the problem they weren’t going to run the ball on their front 7 and they knew it Donovan Hale’s dropped touchdown and Whop Philyors fumble and injury has nothing to do with the offensive coordinator in the end they couldn’t get the stops on third down in the 4th quarter

  3. IU showed they can match up with any team in the B1G except OSU. It would have been nice to win but once I was playing from behind winning wasn’t likely. The defense did enough to win the game but could have done more, they held PSU to less than their average score despite being put in bad situations twice. The offense had chances but couldn’t quite pull off the plays to take the lead and win the game but they never quit.

    There will be people that can’t look for the positive in this game and only accept IUFB when they win major championships because I guess that is the only way to have a break through. IU still has work to do but I don’t think anyone didn’t know that.

    1. The defense didn’t do enough to get off the field in the fourth quarter when they needed to so, no, they didn’t do enough to win. Not sure how someone who claims to have coached wouldn’t see that.

      1. By the 4th quarter the defense had been on the field too long as a result of offense not converting enough 3rd down plays. During the 4th quarter the defense didn’t make the necessary plays to win but ignoring how long they were on the field is wrong.

        Looking at game stats : PSU averaged 37 points. We gave them 34.
        They allowed 13 points – we got 27.

        They allowed 74 yards rushing – we got 91
        They allowed 226 passing – we got 371
        IU had 462 yards against a defense averaging 316 yards
        PSU had 361 yards they average 426 yards

        IU lost a game but played well most of the game. They showed they don’t back down from the better teams in the B1G. I want them to clean things up and beat UM at home.

        1. I didn’t ignore how long they were on the field but refuted your claim that they did enough to win the game. They didn’t, and that included their inability to get off the field during that endless 4Q drive. The stats look nice and show that IU was competitive, but there were enough mistakes in there to keep them from winning. Anyone who actually coached would realize that.

          1. Did you every play or coach football? Being on the field before the drive and being put in too many situations that were short fields against PSU’s offense takes a toll on the defense. Having injured players before the drive also hurt the defense. Yes, I wanted the defense to stop PSU but play in that environment and see how you do.

            Since I don’t know the defensive calls I don’t know how much was on the players and how much was on the DC in that drive. I do know several times players were just short of making a play in the backfield. I have several criticism about the call or play in games but there is no point in trashing the team.

            My point about the defense playing well enough to have IU win the game was about the total game not the last drive. Offensive and ST turnovers hurt the defense but they kept fighting throughout the game.

        2. V, BRAVO for doubling down with real facts. 3 plays by IU were too much to overcome. 2 punts and a fumble. Those weren’t scheming deficiencies. D & O schemes were well focused.

          1. HC,
            You know, I took the time to check out V13’s coaching record based on the hint’s given. Pretty stellar record for a career cut short by physical ailments. Don’t know about you, but I would sure be interested to know the coaching resume of his chief critic on this board.

          2. tai, I’ve been privy about v13 for some time since I live in the same corner of the state he coached, with solid achievement.
            Rewatched the game early, early this AM. Saw lots more than I did yesterday. Probably the norm for everyone. IU lost the game for 3-4 sound reasons. But they also soundly beat PSU. Rather sarcastically but truthfully the Zebras outscored IU 17-0. 1 penalty all day on the NL. If targeting is going to be a penalty then call it for every helmet to helmet violation. If not get shed of the violation so every team has an = chance to scramble some brains. That was the worst. There were 6 other blatant wrong/poor calls against the Hoosiers and ‘no’ calls against PSU. Sour Grapes, yup. But it’s on film.

          3. His commentary here isn’t indicative of any coaching background. If you read it I’m sure you’ll reach that same conclusion.

        3. V13- Would you agree Ramsey was very lucky to not have his first pass of the game picked off for a touchdown? That very fortunate escape from disaster ending differently could have changed the entire tenor of the game.

          1. H4H, Ramsey was more that fortunate that pass wasn’t picked off and returned for a TD. At least Ramsey or coach DeBoer figured out Ramsey can’t throw those passes. I was glad coach DeBoer has taught Ramsey to step up in the pocket instead of bailing out. Ramsey had a very good game against his rival from HS.

  4. Hated to lose this game. Another opportunity for a signature win forfeited by careless and stupid mistakes. But at least we gave them a battle on their home field and did not embarrass ourselves on national TV. I’ll bet PSU fans were very concerned and now have a new appreciation of IU FB. Having said that, this is a young and immature team, and they make way too many stupid mistakes to beat teams like PSU, especially on their home field. Turnovers (fumbles) and penalties cost IU this game, as they cost IU the game at MSU. This team has the physical talent to be 9 – 1 right now, but they just don’t have the mental toughness/discipline to beat well-coached teams on the road. Not sure if anyone’s to blame or if this is just the learning curve that young teams must go through. But you’d think that after a week off to work on the little things, Iu would not have shot itself in the foot so often.

    Running game and running defense remain issues.

  5. Let stop dancing around the issue. The defense was going to eventually be worn down by PSU if IU could not stay with them offensively. PSU was there for the taking, but when their defense can play 8,9, & 10 men in the box, not going to win. Give credit to DeBoer for doing the best he could with what he had to work with, but if you can’t spread the field on the PSU defense, you are not going to win.

    Saw too many passes which should have gone for 6 on the weak PSU pass defense that the receiver had to come back to get the ball. Shouldn’t have been necessary to play the dink and dunk with Whop, that’s how you get your receivers hurt. Got to get a durable B1G caliber QB who can spread the field. Defense is still young, but next year should solidify. Tough to beat PSU at home playing both them and the Zebras. Too many calls which probably would have gone the other way if it had been PSU at OSU.

  6. It’s frustrating being in the game having so many errors. 3 TO’s if you count whatever that botched fake punt thing was, Hale’s drop in the end zone, etc. Reduce a couple of those and we may just win.

    But this wasn’t a game we were expected to win. And we showed we were not at all out of our league against this competition level. Michigan and Purdue are playing better. What would not be good is backing into a bowl with 3 consecutive losses to end the year. Really need to get at least one of our last two.

  7. Penix changes this game immensely. Ramsey nearly played flawless for his skill sets, but Penix changes a lot of things. Not only the bigger arm, but Penix seems to allow us to play at a faster pace (awareness/vision) and we needed that today.

    Ramsey’s first pass of the day could have easily been a ‘pick six’…He had some fortunes early. A pick for a PSU touchdown on the opening series may have change the entire complexion of the game. For all we had go against us (refs, bungled plays, drops, questionable play calling ), we that early escape. And Peyton’s lone touch down pass was a blown coverage (granted he stayed composed and placed the ball right in stride).

  8. Offense wasn’t the problem. Scored 27. 4 less than Minny last week. If Hale doesn’t drop a sure TD, the last drive might have been for the win. Ramsey threw for just under 400 yards and ran for 2 scores. Heck of a day. We just couldn’t get them off the field on 3rd down. I don’t think Whop touched the ball on the punt, but he can’t even be near the ball at that point. Can’t fault him on the second fumble, he was knocked out. Another frustrating loss, but we are closer than ever. Still have the potential for 10 wins this year. Lets take it to Michigan!!!!

  9. I hope, but doubt, that TA and DeBoer watch ABC’s broadcast on replay. They might learn a few things from the men who called the game.

    I just watched the game a second time on my DVR. And I am convinced that IU had the physical talent to beat PSU today. But I agree with whoever said that IU was out-coached. Botched fake-punt was a disaster (doesn’t matter whose fault it was). Two illegal substitution penalties (one to start the second half) killed drives. Muffed punt resulting in fumble and PSU’s first score. Hale’s dropped TD pass in end zone cost IU four points. Those stupid mistakes and some home cooking from the refs cost IU the game (did you note how many times the refs picked up flags resulting in no penalties against PSU?). But in the end, it was the team whose players were more disciplined and better prepared who won the game today.

    And although I give PR credit for doing the best he could with what he’s got, playing with courage, being accurate in his passes, and not making mistakes, IMO a healthy Penix would have allowed IU to win this game. PSU’s defensive backs are vulnerable, especially against IU’s taller receivers. But PSU just does not respect PR’s arm, so they load the box, which eliminates IU’s running game, and then prepare to defend against PR’s short passes. PR simply does not have the arm talent to beat a top-ten team. He can’t stretch the field in spite of his taller receivers. So once PSU got the lead in the second half, they could just force IU to matriculate the ball down the field and eat up valuable time.

    I thought IU’s defense played very well. But you can’t expect them to prevent scores when you give PSU the ball deep in their own zone twice (muffed punt and failed fake punt). The two TDs they scored after those mistakes was the difference.

    TA now has the challenge of matching his team’s passion and “belief” with discipline. If he can accomplish that, IU FB’s future will be very bright.

    1. Out coached because a microphone jockey says so? How many champions has he coached? I’ll bet tall cash Franklin made just as many poor game decisions as Allen. But he had the luxury of higher level talent. Frankly I’m shocked IUFB shined so bright in Pa.

    2. Po,
      As frustrating as the mistakes this team makes, we still have to remember this is a very young team. A lot of these mistakes will clear up as the team matures over the next couple years. The recruiting classes of ’18 and ’19 were the best quality IUFB has brought in as far back as I could research. IF TA is able to keep recruiting at a this level or higher, once he has a full roster of his recruits IUFB could possibly become a serious threat in B1G. Barring any regressions against UM Saturday, IUFB will have held their own with 2 of the top 3 in the very much tougher B1G east.

      MSU is the one everybody will hate got away from IUFB. Hopefully the combination of a maturing team continuing to add higher level talent will lead to consistent performance on the field in the years to come. Also hoping IUFB can hold the coaching staff together for a couple more years to build the foundation for more success.

      1. thinkabout: You thinkabout it! This class will not exceed 19 scholarship players, they have 14 and are currently 12th out of 14 teams. As for ‘youth and keeping this staff together’, think about this; ALL collegiate teams are ‘youthful’,…the top players often go pro after 1 or 2 years. As for coaches, let me quote Urban Meyer in an interview last year with Gerry’s Pizza on BTN. “I can find guys all day long that coach x’s and o’s. If they can’t recruit, I can’t use ’em.”

        1. Don’t be surprised if this class ends up in the low 20’s. There are several players who are likely to graduate and move on, and there are a couple others who will probably explore their options elsewhere after the season concludes.

        2. little b,
          It is always a good idea to think about what you say before you say it, which some folks don’t seem to know how to do. In a normal size recruiting class the only thing which matter is what is the player average, not the team ranking. At this point IUFB is at a 3* average. Of those “12” teams above IU in the B1G, did you know that 1 has a lower average than IUFB? Did you know that 1 is tied with IUFB? Did you know that only OSU & UM are more than .5* above IUFB?

          If all you see is ranking, then you see nothing. It not the number of players recruited, but the number of players combined with the average ranking that means the most. Iowa has a 2.95* average, but is rated #26 nationally. That’s nice, but they had to recruit a bunch of players to be that much above IUFB. In the past before TA, IUFB had some high team rankings, but around 2.5* averages, did that produce 7 wins?

  10. I love Peyton Ramsey! He is a fantastic young man and a great competitor. He gives his all for IU. He is clearly the best #2 QB in the B1G, if not all of college football. However, he is not as good as Michael Penix! With Penix IU beats PSU! But we don’t have him for the rest of this season. However, Indiana showed today that even without Penix, we are good enough to beat both Purdue and MI. Keep playing hard. Play smarter. Be mature and focused in our decision making. Have belief! Go IU!

  11. Today was alright. This loss felt very different. I don’t really care about national opinion, but I feel like we have a football “program” on the upswing. There’s so much like, also so much to work on. The trajectory is nice. But that just shows the gap between the PSU’s, OSUs, etc vs the middle of the pack teams.

    Speaking of national opinion: I watched Gameday this morning, and boy, was Kirk Herbstreit dismissive. Corso didn’t say IU would win, but he said they’d give ’em a game, and Kirk just brushed him off.

    I hope the Hoosiers show up next week with a chip on their shoulder vs Michigan. Also, remember what a d-bag Harbaugh was after we fired his brother-in-law. Would be really sweet to finally get these guys this year.

    1. Herbstreit is, and always will be, an arrogant analyst that is ‘married to the chalk’. Unimaginative and dismissive. Pretty much like he played at OSU.

  12. BP, you described my opinion of PR perfectly. I love the kid. He gets every ounce of ability out of his body, he’s smart, and both physically and mentally tough. Today, he only threw one bad pass, which should have been intercepted and returned for a touchdown. Thankfully the PSU defender dropped it. But that play was the perfect illustration of the difference between PR’s arm and Penix’s arm. Penix would have gotten the ball to the receiver, PR’s pass floated a bit, making it an easy pick.

    On another note, IU’s freshman left tackle did a great job today. I think he only gave up one sack. And the PSU’s defensive end he was up against will be playing in the NFL next year. That’s encouraging!

  13. Will IU play USC in bowl game this year. The more games IU wins the tougher the opponent will be in bowl game and tougher it will be to get a bowl win.

  14. Looking forward to cheering the Hoosiers in W. Laffy two weeks hence, so I thought I’d buy an IUFB sweatshirt or something like that. Go to the Indiana University official website, right? Click on men’s gear. IU basketball? Yep. IU baseball? Check. IU soccer? Yes. IU cross country? Got it. IU women’s basketball? Sure, it that’s your thing. But if you want anything that says IU football, you’ll have to click through about five pages to find a boring, grey t-shirt. Get with it, Glass.

  15. Thinking back on the game I realized PSU won two games on IU and UM players dropping passes in the end zone near the end of the game. Both IU and PSU made plays during scoring drives that they need to make. This was a big time game that both teams battled to win. Yes it is disappointing that IU lost another close game against a highly rated team but we are much closer to winning these games. Iowa has lost three of these games this year before beating Minnesota this week.

    We haven’t seen this IU team playing up and down since the OSU game. They have played tough each game and risen up and played tough in two tough stadiums with huge crowds. It is time to come home and beat UM getting a 8th win heading into the bucket game.

  16. Such a joy coming to this site and hearing from “experts” such as Brad and Bear Down. I learn so much from reading their posts and I always feel way better about the improvements the team is making! I was expecting this team to go 12 and 0 regular season, or at least 11 and 1, so I see why B and BD are so disappointed in the team’s current 7-3 record. Which of us sane fans would have predicted a mediocre 7-3 record at this point last August, with the opportunity to still win 8 or even 9?

    V13 – All jesting aside, I enjoy your posts and the insights you provide! The team exceeded my expectations yesterday and they played well in an extremely hostile environment. This team is not good enough, however, that it can afford to have a 5th year wide out drop a sure TD pass, or a junior punt returner let a punted ball appear to graze his leg resulting in a turnover, or a mixup on whether to fake a punt or not.

    The fake punt mix-up is on the coaches. First, they wasted a time out before setting up for the punt. If you are going to fake it, put your punt team in and do it, don’t call a time out to discuss it and put the defense on alert. Also, how in the world did the staff allow 12 players on the field on offense twice? Those penalties are dumb and hard to overcome.

    This season can still be a great success, but the team has to beat Michigan and/or Purdue to make it so. Three straight losses going into a bowl game would tarnish what these kids and the coaching staff have accomplished. Will be interesting to see what kind of a crowd shows up Saturday and if they stay past halftime. Early weather forecast doesn’t look promising.

  17. Last year, Penn State played a prevent defense that allowed IU’s receivers to be wide open. It was bend but don’t break. I think the thought was IU couldn’t keep up with Penn State’s scoring and they were right. This year, IU went toe-to-toe with a Penn State team playing their best at home. Yes IU lost, but they showed they belonged. Yes IU made too many mistakes, but how many honestly thought they would play as well as they did? I have been more than critical of TA, but he is getting better every game as a head coach. IU looked like a better than average Big Ten team which is more than any IU team can say since the Mallory days. Hoosier fans should acknowledge and appreciate the growth.

  18. IU looked like a better than average Big Ten team which is more than any IU team can say since the Mallory days.

    2015 was an interesting year…Only lost to OSU by a touchdown.. Took Michigan to double OT. Only lost to Iowa by a TD….Had one very bad homecoming loss to Rutgers. Lost @ PSU but not completely destroyed.
    But in many games, it certainly looked like we belonged against the Big Three of the Little 10.

    Kevin Wilson had everything to do with turning IU Football in the right direction and taking us off the level of mockery that prevailed for decades….
    We’ll see how PSU handles themselves against OSU. After losing at home to MInny…and having a close call against us, the OSU game will likely be more telling.

    I do agree with thinkaboutit…The level of talent(average talent) is increasing and our athletes/size appears to be finally getting closer to some of the better teams. Our kicking game is much better as well.
    I did enjoy the hurry-up under Wilson…and I often wonder how this team would fare with more pace and a qb with a ton of mojo on his toes and on his throws. Ramsey performs admirably considering his limitations.

    1. 2015 Indiana Hoosiers Stats
      Record: 6-7 (71st of 128) (Schedule & Results)
      Conference: Big Ten (East Division)
      Conference Record: 2-6
      Coach: Kevin Wilson (6-7)
      Points For: 475
      Points/G: 36.5 (24th of 128)
      Points Against: 489
      Opp Pts/G: 37.6 (117th of 128)

      The 2015 team was one of the best offensive teams in the Big Ten but still gave up more points than they scored. The defense was terrible. Their stats and record say they were a less than average team. I loved watching them- very exciting on offense, but that defense? The expression wing and a prayer comes to mind…

  19. WOW!! we all are very happy that this team has a winning record of 7-3, the best record in years. But everybody must admit that those seven wins came against 7 teams with losing records..which four of the teams from the Big Ten have a combine Big Ten record of 3-25. If you are going to say that this team has improved they need to beat some team with a winning record….IMO, this years Indiana University football team is catching the rest of the Big Ten football programs/teams on a very down year. If Indiana does not beat Michigan on Saturday, but then turns around and beats (hopefully) Purdue the following week…Indiana will have and 8-4 record, but not beating any team with a winning record. Granted this is a very good accomplishment, Indiana would have won the games they where suppose to win…In normal years Indiana football would have made a missteps (had a lost) along the way. Personally, I cannot get over the punt debacle from the football game. An this all goes back to the special teams coach (William Inge and Tom Allen)…as a coach you decide to go for it on fourth down (your choice), then you let the clock run down an you have to call a timeout (your choice) then you send in the punt team and lineup in some ridiculous punt formation to see if maybe you have some advantage, you end up in no punt advantage and now you want to punt the football — An as everyone on here is quick to point out this is a young team — your Freshman long-snapper has a low snap….WOW!! This was a part of the Indiana football team (special teams) that had all kinds of issues last year. So as a Indiana football fans has this coaching staff really improved??

    1. Some honesty from IU79….Refreshing. It’s called perspective. We have yet to win against a quality team from the conference. Most likely, we will finish without a quality win in the conference. It will be a slightly better bowl. There is nothing earth shattering here…
      There are no moral victories. What was there for the taking at PSU was left at PSU. We gave that arrogant bald coach and his arrogant qb(friend of Ramsey) enough bungled opportunities lost to make it a Christmas come early.

      It’s fine to be happy with winning against the patsies against the conference. But this is nothing approaching breakthrough. There is yet to be a “signature win.” It’s not all that different than any other season…including the ever-present identifiable injury which stopped us from being world beaters (Penix being are new Mr. World Beater).

      College football in general has very low bars to mark supposed achievement….It’s call over 40 plus bowl games. It may seem like milestones for Indiana, but it’s really just a way the sport takes a lot of average teams to bandwagon blue ribbons for all and make more $$$.
      It should not be a reason to pay a coach 4-5 million/year.

  20. I believe the special teams are much better this year. In the past, every time we kicked off, I was praying to get it to the endzone so the opponent didn’t have a long return. Especially, after we scored. We always would lose any momentum that we had. It seems to me both punt and kickoff coverage teams have been excellent this year. One boneheaded play doesn’t ruin the improvement of the course of this season. I’m just enjoying the improvement in the program. It started with Wilson and I think it is continuing with Allen.

  21. I don’t think TA would argue that the reason his team lost yesterday was because they made too many mistakes. And many of them were really stupid mistakes. I don’t think TA would argue that his coaching staff needs to do a better job preparing their players mentally. And I don’t think TA would argue that it is his coaches’ responsibility to have their players ready to execute plays when the whistle blows. Twice IU was penalized for having 12 men in the huddle. That is ridiculous, and 100% on the coaches. Everything about the fake punt was a disaster and wasting a time-out before the attempt compounded it, and that’s 100% on the coaches. Trying to field a bouncing ball on a punt return is a stupid mistake (especially when committed by a Junior) who should have known that you run away from a bouncing ball that has been punted. Those types of mistakes prevented IU from winning two games this season in which their collective athletic talent was superior to their opponents. IU’s players were not physically dominated by MSU or PSU, but mentally, they’re a step behind those well-coached teams.

  22. There is no sin in making a mistake, but there is in making the same mistake twice. IU’s coaches and players are learning hard and painful lessons from the close losses to MSU and PSU that resulted from far too many mental mistakes. If IU’s coaches are worth their paychecks, we won’t see their players making the same mistakes again. Tom Allen has done an excellent job upgrading the quality of players in the program and overall improving the performance of IU FB. But if he wants his program to take the next step, and then sustain it, he’s going to have to think hard about the changes that are necessary to reduce the number of stupid mistakes. That process starts at the top.

  23. “If you are going to fake it, put your punt team in and do it, don’t call a time out to discuss it and put the defense on alert.” Indeed, Ranger, that is elementary. I rarely yell at my TV set, but that’s a good paraphrase of me Sat. most recent.

    During Allen’s first two years, IU was completely unprepared on many Saturdays. But this year the team has been much more game ready- which most would attribute to Allen giving up the DC responsibilities. But stuff like the fake punt/not fake punt fiasco and the two illegal formation penalties for twelve on the field show that there’s still work to do.

  24. I think it is critical that we bring what t heard from Tom Allen with Fisch post-game. The “fake punt” was an error by the freshman long-snapper. I watched the play again and you can see that when the ball wasn’t snapped to the punter, there was total confusion. Everyone but the long-snapper was in full punt mode.

    This is still a young football team. We have some really wonderful talent. But you can see the difference in playing the top teams in the B1G, they’re experienced and deep. PSU only had 1 penalty in the game against us. Granted, seems the zebras were a little “lenient” with the hometeam (looking at you double targeting play!).

    I still feel like we have a chance against Michigan. Their offense has been beating up against some pretty average/poor defensive teams. Our defense has grown a lot and I think we match up well vs Michigan. My concern is that we have a pretty glaring weakness at safety. There have been some really bad reads that have turned into big plays.

    Also, while I’m on a roll, there’s been some further criticism about our running game vs PSU. PSU leads the country in rushing defense. V13 had a great post about how we actually ran the ball better than what PSU has given up prior to the game. I agree that our offensive line needs to get better in run blocking. But they have been improving a lot.

    No easy task this weekend. But we can pull this game off. Hope Whop is better.

  25. PSU lost to Kentucky in the Citrus Bowl last year…I think we’re making their defense a bit more “elite” than they deserve. There early season schedule was soft as our Charmin. And keep in mind, they only face two of the three elite teams (OSU and Michigan), if, they themselves, our elite.

    If PSU can pull the huge upset in their noon game with OSU, then our game with Michigan becomes far more interesting. Michigan will get OSU at the ‘Big House’ in their season finale. When we kick off around 3:30, Michigan could still be in contention for a first place tie in the East (contingent upon a huge upset win by PSU in Columbus).
    No upset by PSU and Michigan will know all hopes of being atop the division are gone.
    We will likely (hopefully) get the Michigan team deflated …..of hopes.

    Conclusion: We have a very favorable kickoff time because Michigan’s fate(as in no chance to be atop the conference at season’s end) will likely already be determined. Our chances for an upset increase due to said kickoff time. But, in my humble opinion, an upset in Columbus gives us an entirely different Michigan opponent…emotionally charged and still alive.

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