In a word, it was ugly.
In another it was disappointing.
Choose your adjectives and they all add up to the same thing.
The Hoosiers had a chance to position themselves nicely with a win that would have improved their start to 3-1 with North Texas coming up next week. Instad, the loss takes away all the momentum the Hoosiers had garnered with last week’s upset road win at No. 18 Missouri.
The most troubling aspect of the Maryland loss though was that the one constant for Indiana football was a no show.
The defense wasn’t good, had some coverage breakdowns and gave up some big plays. But that happens frequently.
No, it was the ineptness of the offense that really stood out in this one.
Indiana never looked like it could get a sustained drive. Nate Sudfeld was high on several of his throws and missed a couple of deep balls that he normally connects on. Yes, he had a couple of big runs, mostly in scramble situations but this wasn’t a vintage Sudfeld performance by any stretch.
An IU offense that you have come to believe could always put 35 points on the board just look very vanilla and ordinary against the Terrapins. If Tevin Coleman doesn’t score a touchdown in the fourth quarter after the game was well out of hand, the Hoosiers might have been held without a touchdown.
With as good as this offense has been recently, that would seem almost difficult to believe against a Maryland defense that had given up a lot of points and yards in its first four games.
Indiana managed 332 yards on 84 plays. That’s 4.0 yards per play. Certainly not the kind of potent offense we have come accustomed to in recent years.
Sudfeld was a miserable 14-of-37 for 126 yards with no touchdowns. He threw a late desperation situation interception and was also sacked three times.
People will want to look back at this one and point to a couple of huge penalties that negated touchdowns. One was a 73-yard punt return for a score by Shane Wynn and the other a 50 yard Coleman touchdown run.
Now, had Indiana been able to get those scores it might have changed the dynamic of the game. But maybe not. The way the offense looked most of the day, I’m not certain that the Hoosiers could have scored enough point s to win on Saturday.
The mountain just got much more difficult to climb as IU will need to beat North Texas and then find three wins in Big Ten play to become bowl eligible. I’m not saying it couldn’t happen considering some of the competition this fall in the Big Ten.
But the bottom line remains that Indiana missed out on a huge opportunity Saturday afternoon.Maryland dominates Indiana, 37-15