Court’s In Session: So close, yet so far

If you had Indiana beating Ohio State in football late in the third quarter on Saturday, I’m going to need you to fill out some lottery numbers for me.

After Tevin Coleman did what he does week after week— run for a long touchdown— the Hoosiers were up by six with an upset over the No. 6 Buckeyes in their sights.

Then reality set in, the Earth went back to its normal rotation and Ohio State dominated the final quarter, beating IU 42-27.

Normally I’d say there is no such thing as a moral victory. Normally I would say a loss by 15 points is unacceptable. But in all honesty, did anyone actually expect IU to even be in this game come the second quarter, let alone the second half? I consider myself an IU football optimist, and even I thought the Hoosiers would lose by 50.

This loss was a moral victory. We saw flashes. We saw potential. The defense continues to make progress, as we saw sophomore safety Antonio Allen snatch two interceptions. This team had fans on the edge of their seats into the fourth quarter wondering if the world was coming to an end and IU was going to beat another ranked team on the road in the same season.

The Hoosiers gave fans a reason to keep their TV’s on in the second half— and that’s more than anyone thought we’d get.

Zander Diamont has gotten a bit more comfortable at quarterback, he still lacks arm strength and isn’t the best decision maker, but he has gotten better and could possibly be a serviceable backup in the future. He was 11-for-27 passing for 114 yards and a costly interception.

Tevin Coleman gave everyone a show running for 228 yards and three touchdowns on 27 carries, as he closes in on 2,000 yards for the season (1906). He remains second in the nation in rushing behind Wisconsin’s Melvin Gordon who has 2,109 yards.

Do I think IU is even close to as good as Ohio State? Of course not. But IU played a heck of a game for about 42 minutes. This team just needs to learn how to make it a full 60 minutes. However, it could also have been that the Buckeyes simply went through the motions until they realized that they couldn’t beat IU unless they kicked it into another gear.

IU was playing for pride, while Ohio State was playing for a playoff spot.

The Hoosiers did all they could against one of the nation’s best teams, and hopefully it’ll create a bit of a buzz for the final home game against Purdue next Saturday.

Purdue is a team that IU can beat, and should beat. But it won’t be an easy task. The Boilermakers are better than they were last year. It will all come down to whether or not Coleman can continue to be this team’s savior and carry the team. With another performance like the one against the Buckeyes, the Old Oaken Bucket should stay in Bloomington.

I just hope Coleman’s back doesn’t hurt too much.

Follow Andrew on Twitter @AndrewVcourt and listen to him on “The War Room” Fridays from 6-7 pm