Instead of a traditional game story, we’ll do more of a game analysis at AllHoosiers.com. Here’s our analysis following Indiana’s 45-42 road loss to Bowling Green on Saturday afternoon in Bowling Green, Ohio.
WHAT LOOKED GOOD:The balance returned to the Indiana offense Saturday afternoon. Nate Sudfeld threw for 347 yards and a touchdown, while Tevin Coleman erupted for a big second half effort to gain 190 yards and score three touchdowns. IU had three receivers catch six or more balls led by Shane Wynn with 10 catches for 139 yards. Indiana piled up 582 yards of offense. That means in two seasons against Bowling Green, IU has piled up 1,184 yards of offense, scored 84 points and somehow only has a 1-1 record to show for it.
WHAT NEEDS TO IMPROVE:If you want to make excuses for the defense you can point to the fact that Bowling Green ran 113 plays on Saturday. The Falcons ran 50 in the first half and 63 in the second. That is twice as many plays as Indiana State ran against IU in the opener. If you don’t want to make excuses, here’s some numbers to point to. Bowling Green put up 571 yards on a defense that was supposed to be better this year than it has been in recent seasons. Bowling Green had 39 first downs. The Falcons’ quarterback threw 73 passes. Indiana was penalized 11 times. All of those numbers are too big to give up to a Big Ten team much less a team from the MAC.
WHAT ELSE NEEDS TO IMPROVE:The kicking game simply isn’t cutting it. Aaron Del Grosso missed a 39 yard field goal on the first drive of the second half. He is now 0-for-2 this season and both kicks have faded to the right. The first one hit the upright against Indiana State and bounced back. Del Grosso had a kickoff that went out of bounds. And Erich Toth had a 10 yard punt in the second quarter. Into the wind? Maybe. But you simply cannot have 10 yard punts in college football and be successful. Until Indiana improves its kicking situation it will be hard for IU to be successful.
MOMENTUM CHANGER:No question it was Tevin Coleman’s fumble with 9:04 remaining and Indiana driving inside the Bowling Green 15 yard line. IU had just scored to take a 35-32 edge and the way the offense was moving it appeared as if the Hoosiers were on their way for another score. IU had a first down at the Bowling Green 22 following a 7 yard run by Coleman. He ran for 7 more yards on first down but as he tried to fight for extra yards was stripped of the ball by Bowling Green’s Charlie Walker and the ball was recovered by Ryland Ward. Bowling Green marched down the field and scored to retake the lead at 39-35.
SUPERLATIVE EFFORTS:Coleman got off to a slow start with just nine yards in his first nine carries. After that, though, he gained 181 yards on his next 15 carries. He ended up with 190 yards on 24 carries and scored three touchdowns. … Nate Sudfeld completed 31-of-41 passes for 347 yards and one touchdown without an interception. He also scored two touchdowns rushing. … Shane Wynn had 10 catches for 139 yards and no touchdowns. J-Shun Harris had seven catches for 68 yards and his first career touchdown and Nick Stoner had six catches for 59 yards and no scores. … True freshman Dominique Booth had his first catch of the season but more importantly had a head’s up play on an onsides kick attempt by Bowling Green that set up IU in good position.
BEST POSITIONAL UNIT:Give it to the wide receivers in this one. Four wide receivers combined to catch 24 passes for 281 yards and a touchdown. Shane Wynn led the way with 10 catches, J-Shun Harris had seven, Nick Stoner had six and Dominique Booth had one.
UP NEXT: Things get even more difficult next week when the Hoosiers travel to face top 25 ranked Missouri at 4 p.m. ET in Columbia, Mo.
Follow Terry Hutchens at Twitter.com/Foxsportshutch