Indiana beat North Texas on Saturday 49-24 at Memorial Stadium. The win was nothing special— and that’s just fine.
Coming off of an ugly loss to Maryland, the Hoosiers simply needed to get back on track. The offense, which looked stagnant last week, returned to a form fans are more accustomed to.
Tevin Coleman ran for 151 yards and a touchdown, D’Angelo Roberts ran for 102 yards and two touchdowns. Nate Sudfeld looked much better this week as he improved on his accuracy, completing 23-of 29 passes for 230 yards and three touchdowns- two of which went to Shane Wynn who also had 127 yards receiving.
This was a must-win game for IU, and they got it done just like they should have against an opponent like North Texas.
To make a bowl game, IU now needs to win three of its final seven games—a task that will prove challenging, but nevertheless one that can be done by this team.
I can’t sit here and tell you the offensive explosion Saturday afternoon is what you should expect every Saturday, but I also think the showing goes a long way in boosting the confidence of a team that has a Jekyll and Hyde personality, and lacks consistency.
Fans never know whether the good team will show up as it did against Missouri, or the bad team will show up as it did against Bowling Green and Maryland. Beating the teams that you’re supposed to beat has been a struggle for the Hoosiers in the past. This week won’t wow anyone, but it should relieve fans as it gives the Hoosiers a clear path towards the bowl appearance that has eluded them since 2007.
Sudfeld, who I was hard on after last week’s loss, played much better, and looked to get into a rhythm with his receivers, most notably Shane Wynn, who blew by the coverage twice for long touchdowns. Wynn played more in the slot than on the outside, which is good for both him and the Hoosiers. Not only did he look more comfortable, but after the game he said he is more comfortable in the slot since he has played there for three years. If IU Coach Kevin Wilson continues to play him in the slot, the offense could become more dangerous, and allow Wynn to make plays like he did Saturday.
Saturday’s win was all about making adjustments and coming out and showing the Maryland loss wasn’t weighing on the minds of the players. IU responded well. Coleman’s touchdown marked the 14th straight game he got in the end zone, and it was also his seventh straight game with over 100 yards rushing. Both are the longest active streaks in the country. The running game opened up the passing game, and the passing game opened up the running game as the Hoosiers look to keep the offense balanced.
As Bachman Turner Overdrive would say, the Hoosiers are just takin’ care of business.
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