Game Analysis: Navy 41, IU 35

This is a quick game analysis of Saturday's 41-35 loss to Navy. Nate Sudfeld was the star and Indiana's defense struggled once again.

Instead of a traditional game story, we'll do more of a game analysis at Here's the second one of the season, following IU's 41-35 loss to Navy Saturday night at Memorial Stadium.

WHAT LOOKED GOOD: After a sluggish start, first with Tre Roberson at the helm and then Nate Sudfeld who threw an early interception in the red zone, Indiana's offense was very efficient. The Hoosiers piled up 481 yards of offense and Sudfeld was on target throughout. He completed 31-of-42 passes for a career-high 363 yards and four touchdowns. He was also IU's leading rusher with 35 yards on six carries. The fact he led the Hoosiers in rushing probably isn't a positive and we'll address that later. But overall, Sudfeld accounted for 398 yards of offense. That ranks eighth all-time in Indiana history. Ben Chappell holds the all-time record there of 475 yards against Michigan in 2010. Ted Bolser had another solid night for the Hoosiers, catching two more touchdown passes to give him four on the season. Kofi Hughes went over 100 yards receiving.

WHAT NEEDS TO IMPROVE:Defense comes to mind. Over and over again. The Hoosiers gave up 444 yards on the ground alone. Navy ran it 70 times and threw it only four. Indiana had no answer for the triple-option despite the fact the Hoosiers practiced for it often over the last six weeks. The difference is that IU didn't have the speed to replicate what Navy could do during practice. Indiana struggled in not changing up the defense enough. The Hoosiers pretty much played a 4-3 throughout with little variation in terms of stunting or blitz packages. It seemed like the Hoosiers needed to do something to disrupt Navy's rhythm. IU had one sack in the game. Defensive pressure is clearly an area where IU needs to improve.

MOMENTUM CHANGER: It wasn't one play but rather one big play after another that Indiana was unable to make. IU had two excellent chances to recover an onsides kick for example but came up short in both tries. The first one IU completely caught Navy by surprise as Ewald squibbed it up the middle. But Navy had one player make the play amidst a season of charging IU players. The second one was a perfect high bounce onsides kick to the right that Nick Stoner got an arm on and Cody Latimer just missed securing. But it was more than those two plays. Navy converted several huge fourth down plays including the biggest of all with just over 2 minutes to play and the ball at midfield. If Navy doesn't convert there, the way Indiana's offense was moving, it would have been difficult to keep IU out of the end zone.

SUPERLATIVE INDIVIDUAL EFFORTS: Sudfeld's 363 yards passing and four touchdowns were impressive. Kofi Hughes had six catches for 102 yards and a touchdown. Ted Bolser caught five passes for 56 yards and two touchdowns. The touchdowns were the 12th and 13th of his career and he now has four in the first two games this season. Junior cornerback Tim Bennett set a career-high with 12 tackles, five solo, and a TD-saving pass break up. Fifth-year senior Mitch Ewald went 5-for-5 on extra points to break the school record with 120 in his career. Scott Bonnell held the old make of 117 from 1989-92.

BEST POSITIONAL UNIT: The offensive line has to be considered here. For the second week in a row, the unit did not surrender a sack. The run blocking wasn't great but IU still managed to get more than 100 yards rushing. In a game like this there weren't a lot of candidates. The wide receivers had a decent game though Kofi Hughes dropped a pair of touchdown passes. In both cases, IU still managed to score touchdowns on the drive so they didn't come back to haunt the Hoosiers.

NOTEWORTHY: There were a lot of things that could end up in this category from the game. Here's some of the bigger points:

*** With 108 points scored in the first two games, Indiana set a school record for most points in two consecutive games surpassing the previous mark of 106 set in both 1943 and 1945.

*** Each of IU's five touchdown drives covered at least 76 yards and took less than 4 minutes.

*** The Hoosiers finished with 363 passing yards, making it back-to-back games with 300 yards or more passing and four in a row dating back to the 2012 season.

*** Nate Sudfeld set career highs with 31 completions, 42 attempts and 363 yards to go along with four touchdowns, matching the career-high he set last week in that department. The 363 yards rank 10th all-time in school history.

UP NEXT: Indiana will face Bowling Green (2-0) next Saturday at Memorial Stadium. Kickoff is Noon.

Follow Terry Hutchens at Top Stories