Instead of a traditional game story, we’ll do more of a game analysis at AllHoosiers.com. Here’s our analysis following Indiana’s huge 31-27 road upset victory over No. 18 Missouri Saturday afternoon in Columbia, Mo.
WHAT LOOKED GOOD:This one could have several parts to it. You have to start with the defense especially after the way the Hoosiers looked last week at Bowling Green when they were on the field for 113 snaps and just didn’t seem to be aggressive in their approach. That wasn’t the case Saturday. IU spent more time in the backfield than most of Missouri’s running backs. The Hoosiers were credited with two sacks and 11 tackles for loss. Missouri did manage 498 yards in 82 plays but 155 of those yards came on three plays. That means it had 343 yards on the other 79 plays. Another thing was how IU was able to consistently force Missouri off the field. And holding Missouri to a field goal in the closing minutes after the Tigers had managed a first down at the IU 20 was particularly impressive.
WHAT LOOKED GOOD PART 2:Indiana ran for 241 yards against a really good Missouri defense. Tevin Coleman, who played about two and a half quarters of the game because of cramps in his legs ran for 132 yards on 19 carries. He also caught three passes for 57 yards including a 44 yard reception on IU’s final scoring drive. D’Angelo Roberts had 65 yards on 15 carries and scored two touchdowns including the game-winning 3 yard plunge with 22 seconds to play. And a true freshman, Devine Redding gained 49 yards on 10 carries in the first half when Coleman was out of the game. Overall, it was just an impressive effort by Indiana’s running backs against a really good SEC defense.
WHAT NEEDS TO IMPROVE:Perhaps the biggest negative statistic of the day was that Indiana was 1-of-14 on third down. It did convert three fourth down chances (the official statistics only said two but they didn’t count that 15-yard pass interference penalty apparently on Indiana’s game winning drive on a fourth down play). … The other negative was that Indiana gave us some big plays again. Missouri had a couple of big runs including a 68 yard touchdown scamper and also a 45 yard touchdown pass.
MOMENTUM CHANGER:The momentum clearly changed when Missouri’s Maty Mauk completed a 20-yard pass to Bud Sasser to the IU 20 with 3:44 to play. Indiana appeared to be on its heels after giving some big gainers on a drive that had started at the Missouri 8 yard line. But IU got pressure on the first down play and forced Mauk to settle for a short 2-yard reception. On second down, Russell Hansbrough was corralled for a 1 yard gain as Tim Bennett came up to make the tackle. After a 5 yard penalty for a false start on Brad McNulty, Mauk tried to throw a pass toward the end zone to Sasser but he over threw it with Michael Hunter in coverage. Missouri was forced to settle for a 40 yard field goal and a 3 point lead and IU had the ball back with 2:20 to play.
SUPERLATIVE EFFORTS:Coleman had another big game with 132 yards rushing and 57 yards receiving for 189 all-purpose yards …. Nick Stoner had an incredible 47-yard reception that set up IU’s first touchdown. It was a deep ball down the right sideline and Stoner found a way to haul it in. … D’Angelo Roberts ran hard and was a consistent threat. His leap into the end zone from 3 yards out was an impressive game-winning play … Erich Toth came back from a tough day at Bowling Green to average 44 yards on eight punts. He had a long of 52 and three kicks that went inside the 20. …. Griffin Oakes, the redshirt freshman kicker, had two extra points in the second half and had four kickoffs, three of which went into the end zone. … IU’s defense was on the field 31 plays less than last week … IU’s 11 tackles for loss were credited to 12 different players and totaled 43 yards. Tegray Scales and Zack Shaw each had sacks for the IU defense. … Mark Murphy had a big interception on the first Missouri play of the third quarter.
BEST POSITIONAL UNIT:The running backs were impressive but I think you almost have to give a team game ball to the defense. A much-maligned unit after the loss at Bowling Green, IU’s defense came back and stepped up and helped will this Indiana team to victory Saturday afternoon.
UP NEXT:IU opens up Big Ten play next Saturday against Maryland at 1:30 p.m. at Memorial Stadium in Bloomington. Maryland is 3-1 overall and 2-0 on the road after beating Syracuse on the road on Saturday, 34-20.
Follow Terry Hutchens at Twitter.com/Foxsportshutch