The last time Indiana had defeated a top 20 ranked team on the road, Hoosier great Anthony Thompson was the running the ball for IU.
The date was Oct. 10, 1987 and the Hoosiers knocked off No. 9 Ohio State that day, 31-10 in Columbus.
Thompson, a sophomore that season, would go on to run for 1,014 yards and 12 touchdowns that year. IU played in the Peach Bowl after an 8-3 regular season record in 1987.
Thompson, IU’s all-time leading rusher with 5,299 yards, is now an associate athletic director at Indiana for engagement, sports performance and sports medicine. He is also the sport administrator for the IU football program.
Thompson was on hand Saturday in Columbia, Mo. to watch the Hoosiers knocked off the Tigers and AllHoosiers.com was able to catch up with him for a few minutes after the game.
The IU legend said he thought IU’s victory could have a lasting effect on the Hoosiers.
“This could be a program-changing win,’’ Thompson said. “To come in here and beat a top 20 ranked team, as coach said, you don’t come in here and win easily. That doesn’t happen through happenstance. That happens through hard work that they’ve put it. But they’ve persevered.
“They could have lost twice against Bowling Green. They could have lost there and then come back here and lost here. That would have been like a double loss for them. But the kids sucked it up, they believed in themselves, and they stayed together and it’s just a really nice win for the program.’’
Thompson said a win like that also does wonders for the IU defense.
“It gives them a lot of confidence,’’ Thompson said. “They were blitzing a lot, they were stunting a lot and they just believed in each other on the back end. It was just really a team victory on both sides of the ball.’’
Thompson said it was also important for IU to win a close game. Coming into this game, IU coach Kevin Wilson was 1-7 in his IU career in games decided by four points or less.
“When you win the close games that builds a lot of character,’’ Thompson said. “When you win a close game on the road it just shows that this team believes in what coach Wilson is doing and that’s promising.’’
Since 1987, the Hoosiers have played a total of 47 games on the road against ranked opponents.This isn't just top 20 teams but teams ranked in the top 25 in the either of the main polls.
IU's record in those games? 3-44 and that includes Saturday's win over Missouri.
Indiana's other wins over ranked opponents on the road included No. 24 Oregon in 2004 and No. 22 Michigan State in 2001.
Since Oregon in 2004, IU had dropped 14 in a row on the road to ranked opponents before winning on Saturday.Game Analysis from publisher Terry Hutchens
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