IU Insider Blog: One more look at BG game

Indiana couldn't afford a second loss in a row Saturday. But what IU did to Bowling Green was more than just picking up a win. The Hoosiers took a major step forward against a good football team.

I wanted to take one last look back at Bowling Green before we turn our attention to Missouri this week.

Bottom line: Indiana passed a big test Saturday afternoon at Memorial Stadium.

People can say what they want about what it would have meant had the Hoosiers slipped to 1-2 on the season heading into the Missouri game, but I'll tell you what folks wouldn't have been able to jump off the bandwagon quickly enough had the Hoosiers lost for the second week in a row.

But the fact that IU won, and did so convincingly against arguably the best team the Hoosiers have faced is a major positive.

All of a sudden Indiana has a win this year over a team that will likely go to a bowl game. And again, it wasn't just the fact that IU beat the Falcons. It was how they beat Bowling Green.

The offense scored 35 unanswered points. The defense did not allow a touchdown. IU got turnovers and made stops when it needed to make them.

After Indiana beat Indiana State and put up the 73 points it was hard to tell just how good this Indiana team actually was.

After IU got beat by Navy and its option attack, it was difficult to tell just how bad this Indiana team actually was.

Against a Bowling Green team that had received votes in last week's Associated Press poll to put up 601 yards of offense is a significant accomplishment.

One thing I said when IU beat Indiana State was that if nothing else this was what a Division I football team should do against essentially a Division I-AA squad. And I felt the same way after IU beat Bowling Green. This is the way a Big Ten football team should dismantle a team from the MAC. I'm not taking anything away from the MAC as Akron almost knocked off Michigan this weekend. But I will say that good Big Ten teams should be able to beat good MAC teams the majority of the time.

And for one game anyway, Indiana looked like a good Big Ten team.

The encouraging thing Saturday was that IU was able to have a balance between its running game and its passing game. IU ran the ball 48 times and passed it 26. Sometimes when games get out of hand those numbers are going to tilt heavily in favor of the run.

But the balance was there from the beginning in this one. In the first quarter, IU ran it 18 times and threw it 15. In the second quarter, IU ran it 10 times and threw it six. So the offensive game plan was to run it from the beginning and the Hoosiers finally got some significant productivity out of the running game. Indiana ran for 266 yards and threw for 335. Get that kind of balance and you're going to win a lot of football games.

Next up is Missouri and a completely different set of challenges but for one game any way, I thought Indiana football took a major step Saturday afternoon against Bowling Green.

Follow Terry Hutchens at Twitter.com/Foxsportshutch


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