IU Insider Blog: One more look back

There is still a lot of shaking of heads going on today with Indiana fans everywhere. Many still can't believe the final events of Saturday's game with Minnesota. Check out my take on it here.

Just when you thought you had seen Indiana lose in every conceivable way, Saturday's Minnesota game reared its ugly head.

Really?

It was suggested to me that we were, first of all, assuming a lot in thinking that Indiana would have scored on that final drive.

To my way of thinking though, it was almost a sure thing that the Hoosiers would have come away with at least a field goal. Mitch Ewald has been money and that would have basically been an extra point.

But the way IU had been moving the ball, the Hoosiers may very well have scored a touchdown, too. I'm not sure why you don't hand the ball off to Tevin Coleman or Stephen Houston in that situation. Both had rushed for more than 100 yards in the game. Both had been very effective in the fourth quarter.

Instead, IU tried back-to-back passes. On the first one, the Minnesota defender made a good late break on the ball and knocked it away in the end zone. On the second play was the lateral pass that resulted in the most costly turnover of the season.

So I think it's safe to say that barring a bad snap or placement on a field goal attempt that at the very least that game should have been 42-all heading into overtime.

Now what would have happened in overtime is too difficult to guess. Both offenses would have been over 500 yards and had scored more than 40 points. Yes, IU would have had the momentum from rallying from the 35-13 deficit but it's still saying a lot to suggest that IU would have automatically taken that game into overtime to win.

But still, how does something like that even happen?

I saw a Facebook friend suggest that that one single play was a microcosm of the last 20 years of Indiana University football. There may be some truth to that. Good teams, good programs, find a way to win games like that. The programs that historically struggle in football, like the Hoosiers, just don't seem to find a way to finish games of that fashion.

Phil Bower, my parish pastor at Holy Spirit Geist Catholic Church in Fishers, Ind., is a huge Purdue fan. He bleeds black and gold. He came up to me before church Sunday morning and said at least the Boilers game with Ohio State was over in the first few minutes. He wondered how Indiana people were feeling today?

But he also said losing like that to Minnesota had to be far worse than getting blanked by Ohio State 56-0.

In terms of losing a game that you very likely should have won, I have to agree. But I think Indiana fans at least have a little promise for the future right now. I'm not sure even the most loyal of Purdue fans are really thinking along that line today. That's a bad football team. There's no way to sugarcoat that.

Unfortunately, there's also no way to sugarcoat what happened at Memorial Stadium Saturday night either.

And when Indiana finishes the season with five wins, it's only going to make the memory of that game live on and on and on.

In 16 seasons covering Indiana football, I truly thought I had seen it all with the Hoosiers.

Apparently I was wrong. That one took IU's futility to a new level.

Follow Terry Hutchens at Twitter.com/Foxsportshutch


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