IU Insider Blog: The Right Move

I was outspoken three years ago when I thought Wisconsin ran up the score on Indiana in an 83-20 rout. I thought Kevin Wilson's approach of taking a knee Thursday night was the better way to go.

I must admit there was a time in the fourth quarter Thursday night when I flashed back to Madison, Wisconsin in November of 2010.

That was the day that Indiana was pummeled by Wisconsin, 83-20.

Ultimately, that embarrassment probably cost Bill Lynch his job. It's hard to recover from 83-pointers.

In the fourth quarter of that game Badgers backup quarterback Jon Budmayr threw a 74 yard touchdown pass with 7:26 to play in the game to make the score 76-13.

I thought it was unnecessary to be throwing the ball at the time. And that's what I wrote the next day in my blog. I got buried by Badger fans. ‘Oh, but he's the backup quarterback, you can't put handcuffs on him,' was the comment I heard over and over.

Later, another backup, running back Nate Tice scored on a 17 yard run with 1:57 to play to make the final score 83-20. Once again, what I heard from the Wisconsin folks was that I had it all wrong. They told me that Bret Bielema didn't run up the score that day. The constant line was ‘If Indiana wasn't good enough to stop backup running backs in that situation, then it deserved to have 83 points scored on them.' I also heard the reasoning that ‘How can you expect a backup to go in there and take a knee? How is that fair to a young man who may never get that chance again?'

If you haven't figured it out by now, I still haven't gotten over that. I just thought it was excessive. I didn't see any good to come out of a situation like that. I thought Bielema should have stepped in. I thought at the time that if Lynch had been in the same situation with things reversed that IU would have taken the high road.

Which is the perfect transition to the next paragraph.

Now, let's contrast IU-Wisconsin to what happened Thursday night at Indiana when the Hoosiers put up 73 points in a 73-35 rout of Indiana State.

Here is how it was different:

Indiana ran 19 plays in the fourth quarter. The play selection was 19 runs and no passes.

IU did score a touchdown with 10:18 to play after a drive that had seven runs. That made it 73-28.

Indiana State came back and scored a quick touchdown when a couple of IU's true freshmen got mixed up and botch a coverage on a deep ball. Now it was 73-35.

IU got the ball back at its own 25 with 8:36 to play.

The Hoosiers ran it and ran it and ran it some more. Eventually they got to the Indiana State 5 yard line where they had first-and-goal with about 2 minutes to play.

Now how they could handcuff the reserves by not going for it in that situation? I'll tell you how. Redshirt freshman quarterback Nate Boudreau, who is fourth on the depth chart, took a knee three times in a row and then a delay of game penalty and the ball game was over.

IU could have scored 80 points and set a school record. The Indiana State kids probably felt bad enough at 73. Another seven just wouldn't have been necessary.

I just wanted to tip my hat to Kevin Wilson and his staff for calling off the dogs at the end. Classy move in my opinion.

The score could have been worse but it wasn't for a reason. That's because Indiana handled it at the end the right way.

Follow Terry Hutchens at Twitter.com/Foxsportshutch


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