Indiana’s win over Missouri is biggest in school history
By: Andrew Vailliencourt
Coming off of a letdown loss to Bowling Green last week, no one thought Indiana had a chance when they traveled to face defending SEC East division champions in No. 18 Missouri.
However, the Hoosiers have fans believing in them again after a stunning 31-27 win against the Tigers on Saturday.
It is, in my mind, the biggest win in school history.
The expectations coming into this season were bowl game or bust. Kevin Wilson has been at the helm for three years, improving slightly each year, yet no bowl games. Typically year four is where a coach starts to take true form.
The last time IU went to a bowl game was 2007. Before Saturday, the last time IU beat a ranked team was 2006 (No. 15 Iowa). The last time IU beat a ranked team on the road was 1987 (No. 9 Ohio State).
For years, the story for this IU football team has been bad performance after bad performance. IU fans didn’t have that big win to point to and say “we’ve done it before.” Now they do.
This program needed a boost. It needed something that would excite the fans, especially after last week’s debacle.
The Big Ten is down this year. Yet now, IU owns the biggest win over a non-conference team out of the entire conference.
This win allows the team to go somewhere. It gives fans hope. This win not only saved Coach Kevin Wilson’s job, it saved this season.
In a year where anyone can beat anyone in the Big Ten, IU showed it has the ability to make noise. This is the year IU has to put up, or shut up. If there is ever a time this IU football program could become a legitimate contender, and rise up from being in the basement of the standings each and every year, now is the time.
It’s time for the next step.
A week after IU football made the headlines for the wrong reason, they made the headlines again for the right reason. Beating Missouri will make everyone forget the loss to Bowling Green—even though it leaves a lot of fans asking “what if?” in regards to potentially being 3-0.
Memorial Stadium should be packed full next Saturday when a good Maryland team comes to town. The fans should be loud. This team deserves that kind of reception.
Social media went crazy during the game—and rightfully so. The passion can be there. Part of the reason this win is the most important in school history is because it’s wins like Saturday’s that bring the passion back in IU football fans.
Now don’t get me wrong, this is still a team with very bad special teams, (Aaron Del Grosso, I’m looking at you) and that still has issues with consistency. Those problems can’t be completely ignored. But this is a monumental win, and there’s no other way to put it.
IU football has put itself in a position to make it to the next level. This win will mean far less if the Hoosiers don’t beat Maryland next week, but for now it has to be the most important for this program.
Remember that balanced team I brought up after IU’s victory over Indiana State? The IU offense rushed for 241 yards, and passed for 252 yards.
Tevin Coleman was huge again, despite missing a large portion of the first half due to injury, rushing for 134 yards. Perhaps the most important thing was how the defense was actually able to make stops down the stretch when they were needed—something that we can rarely say about the Hoosier defense.
This win is a statement that needed to be made, and the Hoosiers got it done.
As Pat Forde of Yahoo! Sports said, don’t all call Indiana at once, SEC.
Follow Andrew on Twitter @AndrewVcourt