BLOOMINGTON – Known for his intricate offenses in which success can ride on just the small details, Kevin Wilson hoped for once that his team wouldn’t sweat them.
Coming out on a near perfect fall day at Memorial Stadium on Saturday, the coach wanted his Indiana team to keep things as basic as they could in their minds to get rid of a bad memory that happened just a week earlier.
“We talked today about playing as hard as we could and have some fun and quit worrying about the result,” said Wilson of his Hoosiers, who the week before were frustrated in a 41-35 home loss to Navy in front of a near sellout crowd. “Because last week I think we started looking at the scoreboard and pressing and trying and all that.
“Don’t worry about scoring touchdowns. Don’t worry about the season, don’t worry about being a bowl team. Worry about today and this week.”
The often cliché “Single Train Of Thought” philosophy was actually what Indiana needed-and the results back that up.
Against a Bowling Green team that was 2-0, averaging 37 points and considered on of the better non-BCS teams in the country, the Hoosiers looked as impressive as they’ve been in the Wilson era in picking up a 42-10 victory Saturday afternoon at Memorial Stadium.
Trailing 10-7 in the first half, Indiana (2-1) dominated the final 40 minutes as they ran off the final 35 points of the game.
“Going through this last week of practice we just focused on having fun,” said running back Stephen Houston of the team’s mindset. “Had the music blasting, everyone was laughing and there wasn’t no sad faces. You saw out their on the field what we were doing in practice.”
Their fun in practice showed on game day. The Hoosiers racked up 601 yard of offense including 266 on the ground from Houston (team-high 155 yards) and Tevin Coleman (129 yards, touchdown). Quarterback Nate Sudfeld took the majority of the snaps and accounted for all of Indiana’s 335 passing yards on the day which included a pair of touchdown tosses.
After Coleman put the Hoosiers ahead with a 43-yard run in the second quarter, Sudfeld helped his team add more before the half with an 8-yard touchdown pass to Kofi Hughes to make it 21-10 at the break. Sudfeld would hit Cody Latimer for a 33-yard strike in the third quarter to increase the lead and then ran in a touchdown himself in the fourth to put the game away.
Tre Roberson completed the 35 unanswered points by the Hoosiers with a 3-yard run of his own.
All of this offensive production came after the offense had two drives stall inside the Bowling Green five-yard line and had a punt blocked for a touchdown.
“Were older and with age comes maturity,” said Sudfeld of the team’s ability to overcome early problems. “I think guys are more mature and they’re ready. We believe in each other.”
Indiana’s defense is a prime example of that. A week after allowing 41 points and 515 yards to the Midshipmen, the Hoosiers managed to hold the 37 point-per-game Bowling Green offense to just three points over 60 minutes, which included a second half shutout. While they did allow 409 total yards, they held the Falcons to just 8-of-20 on third down conversions and stopped them four times on fourth down.
“We talked about how the defense was holding us back,” said defensive back Greg Heban. “We let up 444 rushing yards against Navy and that is something that never needs to happen on the defensive side. I think the chip grew a lot bigger and going back to our old scheme, I think we did a good job.”
While also having a little fun too.