Bloomington, Ind. – The Indiana Hoosiers ran themselves to a 3-0 start after beating the Kentucky Wildcats at home 38-14 in front of a crowd of 40,240. Indiana was finally able to get the ground game going behind Chris Taylor who rushed for a career-high 176 yards.
"We said we needed to run the ball," said Indiana head coach Terry Hoeppner. "Well, we got the running game exactly like we needed to. We executed better. We stayed on blocks. The backs ran harder, ran tough and didn't want to go down. The play was inspired. We were more consistent."
The offensive finally got the push needed to help Taylor break five rushes for more than 17 yards, including rushes of 38 and 25 yards in the first quarter. Taylor finished with an average of 10.4 yards a carry.
"All of the offensive coaches challenged us," said senior left tackle Isaac Sowells. "We didn't run the ball too well the first two games and we took it upon ourselves to really be able to run the football. What better game to get the ball moving than against our rival Kentucky?"
The Hoosiers racked up 305 yards on the ground against the Wildcats, surpassing the 223 yards Indiana gained on the ground in the first two games combined after depending on the passing game to secure wins against Central Michigan and Nicholls State. Yamar Washington pitched in with 20 carries – 16 coming in the second half – on his way to 67 rushing yards and Indiana's only rushing touchdown of the evening.
"We ran the same plays we did the first two games," said Sowells. "The only difference was we went out there and executed. Sometimes it takes a little time to get that together. We just came out there and did it."
Sowells, a product from Louisville who had lost his first three games against UK, was a large reason Indiana was able to move the ball with success against the rivals from his home state. One of his main goals of the season was to ensure Indiana got the win to be triumphant in the series.
"This win feels great," said Sowells. "I knew the whole time we were capable of doing this. We played as a team and it showed out there on the scoreboard. It's just a great feeling winning out there today with the series being tied going into the game, we finished on top. We knew we were ready to play this game. It all just clicked on all cylinders."
Laying It On the Line
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