Indiana has two weeks to prepare for Penn State as the Hoosiers have a bye in the schedule this week. It's their first of two byes. IU has another one on Saturday, Oct. 26.
Tuesday, several IU players and head coach Kevin Wilson spoke to the media.
One of the topics Wilson addressed was IU's quarterback play and specifically and evaluation of true sophomore Nate Sudfeld after having time to watch the film of Saturday's 45-28 loss to Missouri.
In his second career start, Sudfeld was 21-of-39 for 229 yards and a touchdown. But he also had three interceptions including one late in the second quarter that was returned 49 yards for a touchdown.
Wilson said the three interceptions are a little misleading. One of the three was a desperation pass at the end of the first half on a fourth down call with just a few seconds remaining on the clock.
On the interception returned for a TD, Wilson said there was a protection breakdown.
"We were missing some stuff on a protection where we tried to go firmer and we soften up and a guy makes a heck of a play on that pick,'' Wilson said. "On the last one they dropped eight and he actually worked it pretty good and thought his receiver was going to come back to the ball. So they were out of sync.''
Wilson blamed some of Sudfeld's problems on Indiana's lack of a running game against Missouri. The Hoosiers managed just 98 yards on 26 carries.
"Nate didn't get a lot of help the other day,'' Wilson said. "When you don't have a running game and they're teeing off and the protection is breaking down and you're getting behind the chains in second and long and third and long you're getting one dimensional.
"I just think the product of the way the game plan got called, put together , how we practiced, not getting the run game going and the performances of certain guys made us one dimensional. And he didn't get a lot of help. He didn't play poorly but they're always going to look better when everybody is clicking and everybody is looking good. And they're going to look kind of average when they hung out to dry and he hung out.''
Wilson said he's not worried about Sudfeld though moving forward.
"He has responded to it good,'' Wilson said. "It was nice to be in that arena. He'll learn and grow from it. It's his second start.''
Center Collin Rahrig said the offensive line needed to take the blame for the fact that Sudfeld spent a lot of the game on the run and not being able to get comfortable.
"A lot of pressure on Nate came from us,'' Rahrig said. "We didn't do a good job. He was getting hit way too much.''
Rahrig said protecting the quarterback is a big emphasis for the offensive line during the bye week.
"We're going to figure that out,'' Rahrig said. "We're going to do that right now. That's what this week is all about. Today we really pressed that a lot. (Sudfeld) can't do his job if we're not doing our job. It's 11 guys out on the field. We have to work together.''
Follow Terry Hutchens at Twitter.com/Foxsportshutch