Playing against Bowling Green gave Cody Latimer the opportunity to honor his late father.
Latimer's father Colby, who played for Bowling Green, died of colon cancer when Latimer was 12. With two of Colby's former teammates in attendance— Kyle Kramer and Ron Todd have both mentored Latimer in his father's place — Latimer picked the perfect time to have a break out game.
"It gave me a little bit more juice," Latimer said. "It just kept me focused and let me know what I had to really do. I was talking to him earlier and told him I was going to put on a show against this team — try to, at least."
Mission accomplished. Latimer finished with six receptions for a game-high 137 yards and one touchdown.
"Throughout all of practice, Cody talked about it and coach harped on it but at the end of the day Cody was really ballin','' said IU senior tailback Stephen Houston. "It was more of Cody pushing us. Even though Cody was playing with a heavy heart, as a team we were playing with even a heavier heart from last week's loss. We all got that bad taste out of mouths together and now we're going to focus on Missouri.''
Coming into the game, Ted Bolser, Shane Wynn and Kofi Hughes had all already have had big performances through two first two games. Laitmer, IU's leading receiver and a second team All-Big Ten selection by the media in 2012, had just five catches for 73 yards coming into today.
"It felt really good and I knew I wanted to, when all things are equal, try to give him an opportunity especially with the connection he has with Bowling Green and his father played there," sophomore quarterback Nate Sudfeld said. "I knew I was going to try to look to him a little bit more this week, and he was just running some good routes and making some big catches."
Sudfeld found Latimer for a 33-yard touchdown with 10:11 to go in the third quarter. Both said they made eye contact before the play and knew he would get open against single coverage.
"It was just a relief like, ‘Oooh I finally got me one so let's go work to get some more,'" Latimer said.
That Latimer had a limited role in the offense through two games can largely be attributed to the number of talented weapons in the receiving corps. Any one of them can break out at any time.
Bolser, for example, had two touchdowns against Navy last week. He picked up where he left off, catching Sudfeld's first pass of the day for a 12-yard gain. It would also be his last catch of the day.
"We feel like they're all really, really good and you feel bad when they all don't get their touches," Sudfeld said of the receivers. "But they're all very selfless and Cody was so awesome. He only had five catches coming into this game and he's been such a good teammate and leader. He hasn't complained once. He's really a team player and the sky's the limit for Cody."