WHAT LOOKED GOOD:The Indiana defense made play after play Saturday and was clearly the difference for the Hoosiers. The IU defense limited Penn State to 336 yards of offense, held the Nittany Lions to 13 points and scored IU’s only touchdown on a 47 yard return by Mark Murphy. The Hoosiers registered a season-high five sacks (they had four against Indiana State) and had 11 tackles for loss. That number was recorded by 10 different plays. Five different players had sacks including Forisse Hardin, Antonio Allen, Bobby Richardson, Ralph Green III and Nate Hoff. The special teams field goal block team came up with one on a blocked field goal by Richardson. And IU had a goal line stand on that drive, too, when the Hoosiers held Penn State after the Nittany Lions had claimed a first-and-goal at the 1. Along with Murphy, freshman Greg Gooch also had an interception.
WHAT NEEDS TO IMPROVE:The defense gave up one big play, a 92 yard touchdown run late in the first half, that tied the game at 7. Take away that one play and IU would have only surrendered 244 yards for the game. Besides that one defensive miscue, most of IU’s problems on Saturday rested with the offensive side of the ball. Indiana managed just 221 yards of offense on 68 plays. It ran the ball 40 times and threw it 28 times. The Hoosiers were forced to punt 11 times. Zander Diamont was better than he had been in the previous two games but still could not move the ball in key situations. Nothing spells that out more than the fact IU was 3-for-17 on third down. One of those came on a 15 yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty. Indiana also had problems with penalties again. The Hoosiers were flagged for 10 penalties for 82 yards.
MOMENTUM CHANGER:The momentum changed in this one on back-to-back plays late in the first half. Indiana made the first one to seize momentum when Mark Murphy jumped a route and picked off a pass by Christian Hackenberg and returned it 47 yards for a touchdown. That gave IU a 7-0 lead and on a day like this you had the feeling that IU could have held on to the lead. On the ensuing kickoff Penn State got the ball at its own 8 yard line. On first down, though, Bill Belton took advantage of a mistake on defense by IU and raced 92 yards for a touchdown to tie the game at 7. IU’s momentum boost had lasted a total of 20 seconds.
COLEMAN’S STREAK ENDS: Tevin Coleman’s streak of 10 consecutive 100-yard games which led the nation is over. Saturday, he rushed for 71 yards on 20 carries. His long run was 17 yards. Coleman now has 1,371 yards through nine games.
UP NEXT: Indiana will travel to face Rutgers next Saturday. As of late Saturday afternoon, there was no official game time for the game yet. It was expected to be released either Saturday night or Sunday morning.
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Last Word: It’s time for Diamont Part 3