IU Insider Blog: An offensive offense

Indiana came into the game ranked ninth in the nation in scoring with an average of 41.3 points per game. The Hoosiers were held to three. What happened. Get my take here.

First, let me make it perfectly clear that I didn't make the trip to Camp Randall on Saturday and instead covered it from my home in Indianapolis. I don't want to misrepresent myself in any way. I opted to cover Indiana basketball live on Friday night and Sunday and not try to add 13 hours of driving in between.

And since I was there in 2010 for the 83-20 beat down and I've been there for a few other drubbins over the years, I decided to cover IU basketball this weekend rather than heading to Madison. Interestingly, even though Wisconsin didn't put up 83 points the day was very similar in terms of the weather. What I remember after that one was over was that we had parked six blocks away and it rained (and I didn't have an umbrella.)

When asked for my prediction on the Wisconsin Scout.com site I had figured that Wisconsin would handle the Hoosiers and score over 50 points. But I never saw the offensive offense coming.

That has been the one constant in the chaos this year. You could always count on Indiana putting up points and gobbling up yards. Saturday the Hoosiers failed on both counts. IU had 224 yards of offense and scored three points.

So what happened? Good question.

First of all, the elements clearly had an effect on Indiana. Kevin Wilson told the TV folks at halftime that wasn't the case but the Hoosiers simply did not look prepared for the rain. And perhaps teams that throw the ball first and run second will have more trouble in those conditions but a lot of IU's problems weren't necessarily throwing the ball.

Stephen Houston botched an exchange from Nate Sudfeld when the sophomore put the ball right in his bread basket but Houston didn't look like he even knew the ball was supposed to be there. That one was puzzling and troubling. And that was a huge play. Wisconsin already had the momentum for the 93 yard TD run and then that allowed them to go up 14-0 with 3 minutes played in the game.

But Sudfeld also miss handled a shotgun snap from center Wes Rogers. Not sure who that one was on. Rogers had a couple of snaps last week in good conditions that almost got away from Sudfeld, too, so that one may be worth watching the video to see.

Tre Roberson also had trouble on an exchange. Those were the only three fumbles credited to Indiana Saturday but they were all big. They either resulted in a turnover or took IU out of sequence in a drive.

What I found to be the most troubling play of the game was when the Hoosiers finally mounted a drive in the third quarter and looked on their way to getting the first TD of the game. IU trailed 30-0 and went on a 14-play, 70-yard drive that had them with a first-and-goal at the 1.

Houston tried the middle on first down for no gain. D'Angelo Roberts tried on second down (and I thought came very close on his lunge but it wasn't reviewed) and he was stopped, too. At this point, the coaches inserted Roberson in the game. He seemed to take a lot of time at the line, going up and down talking to the linemen, possibly changing a play. Ultimately, he ran out of time on the play clock and IU was assessed a 5-yard penalty of delay of game.

On third-and-goal at the 6, Sudfeld was back in and threw an incomplete pass. And then Mitch Ewald booted a 23-yard field goal.

But how does that happen? I mean the way this game was going it probably wasn't going to matter any way. But still, 30-3 was much more of a victory for Wisconsin than IU coming out of the locker room and scoring a touchdown.

My question is where is the sideline recognition by the coaching staff to get that timeout? Somebody needs to call it. Yes, Roberson should have seen the play clock winding down and called the TO, too. But I still there needs to be sideline recognition as well.

I thought that turned out to be a huge play in the game.

So where does Indiana go from here? The easy answer is Columbus, Ohio and Ohio Stadium next Saturday to play Ohio State. That's a bad place to go in a must-win situation.

I expect that Indiana will score some points against the Buckeyes. But I don't know any reason to believe that the Indiana defense will put up much of a fight. My guess is that Indiana will go into the Bucket game with a 4-7 record and playing for pride.

It's too bad when you look back at eight home games and a lot of promise to think that another Indiana football team will likely be shutout of postseason play again.

Very disappointing.

Follow Terry Hutchens at Twitter.com/Foxsportshutch


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