Nate Sudfeld's return certainly benefitted the Hoosiers in the first half of their homecoming game. The offense returned to its old form, but so did IU's defense.
Rutgers leads Indiana 27-24 at halftime at Memorial Stadium as the Hoosier defense gave up lots of big plays in the first half.
Sudfeld was 21-for-27 with 301 passing yards and two touchdowns in the first half. It was the first game back for Sudfeld after missing last week's game against Penn State as a result of reaggravating an ankle injury against Ohio State the week before that.
Sudfeld completed his first five pass attempts and led Indiana on a 10-play, 81-yard scoring drive on the Hoosiers' first offensive series. His 178 first-quarter passing yards exceeded the combined total of 155 IU quarterbacks Zander Diamont and Danny Cameron threw for against Penn State last Saturday.
Indiana's defense didn't do much to help out Sudfeld, though, as it gave up quite a few big plays on the ground and through the air.
Rutgers running back Robert Martin's 24-yard touchdown run gave the Scarlet Knights their first lead of the game. After Indiana responded with a scoring drive capped off by a 17-yard touchdown pass from Sudfeld to running back Mike Majette, Rutgers answered with a 58-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Chris Laviano to wide receiver Leonte Carroo.
Indiana extended its lead to 24-13 with 8:57 remaining in the first half on a six-yard touchdown pass from Sudfeld to tight end Jordan Fuchs, a play set up by a 55-yard reception by wide reciever Mitchell Paige. The reception gave Paige a total of 79 receiving yards in the first half, a career-high for the redshirt junior.
A five-play, 75-yard scoring drive capped off by a 30-yard touchdown run from Martin made it a one-possesion game again for the Scarlet Knights with 7:29 remaining in the first half.
Rutgers regained the lead and closed the first half with a 23-yard touchdown pass from Laviano to Carroo.
Carroo led all receivers in the first half with five catches for 106 yards in addition to the two touchdowns. Martin led all players in rushing with four carries for 70 yards and two touchdowns.
The Hoosiers will receive the second half opening kickoff.