Both Indiana and Ball State were expected to come away with easy victories in their college football season openers Thursday night. The Hoosiers and Cardinals were home against Football Championship Subdivision teams, and while both experienced some anxious moments, it was a positive start to the 2013 campaign for fans of both schools.
Indiana 73 Indiana State 35
The Hoosiers set a Memorial Stadium record for points in a game and also set a school record for points in a half while using all three of their veteran quarterbacks. Tre Roberson started the game, but the biggest bright spot might have been Nate Sudfeld. He threw four touchdowns passes and was 12-for-17 through the air for 219 yards. Tevin Coleman rushed for 169 yards and two more touchdowns in a game that was dominated by the Cream and Crimson.
Former Warren Central running back Shakir Bell had a solid first half for Indiana State, rushing 18 times for 113 yards, but injured his shoulder late in the second quarter. Bell did not return due to a separated right shoulder. Indiana State plays at Purdue next Saturday.
The Hoosiers hope the season-openers is proof of how much improvement they have made. Last year, Indiana State trailed by just eight points in the closing minutes and had the ball in Indiana territory.
This year, no chance at a Sycamore upset as the Indiana jumped out to a 24-point halftime lead. Even though Indiana State cut the deficit to 17 points on a Connor Underwood interception return for a touchdown in the third quarter, IU answered with four consecutive touchdowns.
Indiana’s first five games are at home, next up is a 6 PM kickoff September 7th against Navy.
(photo courtesy of Big Ten Network)
Ball State 51 Illinois State 28
Unlike Indiana, Ball State had a fight on its hands in the first half of its first game of the 2013 season. The Cardinals trailed Illinois State 21-9 late in the second quarter at Scheumann Stadium. However, a Keith Wenning touchdown pass to Jordan Williams with :04 remaining until halftime gave Ball State momentum despite a five-point deficit.
The Cardinals dominated the third and fourth quarters outscoring the Redbirds 35-7 the rest of the way to pick up a comfortable 23-point victory. Senior quarterback Keith Wenning accounted for five touchdowns, three through the air and two on the ground. Wenning was 24-for-40 for 340 yards passing. His favorite target, Willie Snead caught nine passes for 164 yards and and two touchdowns.
This was the first meeting between Ball State and Illinois State since 1993. Much like Indiana, the Cardinals host a service academy next Saturday as Army visits Muncie for a 1:00 pm kickoff.