Indiana recorded its first win of the 2021 season with a 56-14 dismantling of Idaho in its dwelling opener in Bloomington.
Let’s go position-by-position and check out what went proper and what went incorrect because the Hoosiers performed in entrance of followers at Memorial Stadium for the primary time in almost two years.
The massive query stays — has Michael Penix shaken off the cobwebs? Is he now prepared for a serious week three take a look at towards Cincinnati? We simply don’t know.
Penix was 11-of-16 for simply 68 yards. At one level he accomplished eight straight passes together with two very effectively thrown touchdowns passes — one a nook fade, the opposite a again shoulder toss. He moved right into a share of Tenth on the college’s profession passing TD listing with 27. However Penix is understood for his sturdy arm and his deep throws. So far we simply haven’t seen plenty of explosive performs delivered by the fourth 12 months quarterback.
“I assumed that it was a very good subsequent step,” head coach Tom Allen stated of Penix’s development from week one. “If I simply sort of undergo it and also you say, you have a look at it, consider it. Clearly final week was actually tough, and to have the ability to come again from that; and I perceive that it wasn’t the identical opponent.”
It was encouraging to see Penix escape the pocket and run after enduring a pair early sacks, and it was additionally a optimistic signal Indiana used him in a quarterback sneak. The teaching employees didn’t seem like defending Penix. They usually simply can’t with the schedule upcoming.
Jack Tuttle noticed the sphere for the second straight recreation. He confirmed as soon as once more IU has a gradual backup they’ll rely on if the necessity arises.
RUNNING BACKS (B)
Stephen Carr posted his first 100-yard speeding recreation as a Hoosier and the second of his profession with 118 yards on 22 carries (5.4 common) and one landing. He posted Indiana’s first landing of the season on a 2-yard rush within the first quarter. It marked Carr’s first TD as a Hoosier and the thirteenth of his profession.
Carr as soon as once more confirmed he has mixture of energy and shiftiness when given operating lanes.
Indiana had 195 sack adjusted speeding yards with 4.1 yards per carry. That common improved over the course of the sport
Stroll-on Davion Ervin-Poindexter scored his first profession landing with a 4 yard plunge. He carried thrice for 17 yards, and Chris Childers carried 4 instances for 19 yards.
WIDE RECEIVERS / TIGHT ENDS (B)
It wasn’t an evening the place Indiana relied closely on the passing assault. Solely three Hoosier wideouts caught passes, and solely 4 gamers in complete caught IU’s 13 completions.
Senior huge receiver Ty Fryfogle hauled in his first TD of the 12 months with a 9-yarder within the second stanza. Fryfogle made 5 receptions for 29 yards and shares Tenth on this system’s profession receiving scores listing with 14.
Senior D.J. Matthews was a bit extra concerned with 4 catches for 21 yards.
Sophomore Javon Swinton returned from suspension and recorded his first profession landing, a 9-yarder, within the opening quarter. He completed with three receptions for 33 yards and added a blocked punt return rating.
A.J. Barner confirmed off his immense potential with a 76-yard yard landing reception that highlighted his palms, fast ft and straight-line velocity. He’s going to be an element within the offense this 12 months.
OFFENSIVE LINE (D)
Let’s face it — it was disturbing to see IU battle to create operating lanes early within the recreation towards a FCS opponent.
Much more disturbing was watching Penix get sacked on consecutive first half performs, one when the road didn’t deal with a stunt correctly and the opposite when deal with Luke Haggard was beat on the sting. Haggard began the sport after lacking the Iowa recreation with an damage, so maybe some rust was concerned. His man obtained upfield on each sacks and disrupted every play.
With the sacks factored in, IU averaged simply 3.3 yards per rush within the first half because the Hoosiers couldn’t generate any explosive performs within the run recreation.
The beginning 5 of Haggard, Michael Katic, Dylan Powell, Matthew Bedford and Caleb Jones is the group IU has appreciated since fall camp.
“That’s little question that’s the mix we would like,” Allen stated. “Really feel prefer it places our greatest 5 guys on the sphere, and that to me, they only must preserve working collectively.”
Maybe with extra time collectively issues will enhance.
DEFENSIVE LINE (B)
With Idaho centered on fast passing performs, Indiana’s entrance 4 didn’t get to the quarterback. However the Vandals had simply 80 sack adjusted speeding yards together with 20 on a quarterback scramble, and Allen felt just like the group set the tone.
“Dominated them up entrance and I anticipated us to. I assumed we wanted to,” Allen stated. “I assumed we should always. That’s nothing (towards Idaho) — I simply felt like our guys wanted to play that means and so they did.”
Ryder Anderson had 4 tackles, two solo and a deal with for loss.
Weston Kramer began and recovered a fumble deep in Idaho territory.
Indiana appeared extra intent on getting its linebackers within the backfield, and that strategy delivered at instances.
Micah McFadden helped get the blowout going with a two-play drive involving a deal with for loss after which a strip-sack that IU recovered on the Idaho 13 yard line.
Versatile husky Marcelino McCrary Ball had 5 tackles.
Fellow linebacker Cam Jones additionally recorded a sack. Aaron Casey and James Miller every additionally had three tackles.
DEFENSIVE BACKS (B)
Tiawan Mullen was all over the place, producing a team-high 9 tackles together with seven solo — each profession highs. He was beat on Idaho’s first landing move, and Reese Taylor on the second — each by wideout Hayden Hatten, an FCS All-American who Tom Allen praised after the sport.
The Hoosiers have been with out two starters — Jaylin Williams and Devon Matthews — and nonetheless this group held up comparatively effectively. Josh Sanguinetti and Noah Pierre at security, and Chris Keys and Larry Tracy III at cornerback, all noticed prolonged motion.
Good recreation, fellas. pic.twitter.com/M9M3PWeXme
— Indiana Soccer (@IndianaFootball) September 12, 2021
SPECIAL TEAMS (A)
The story of the sport was the particular groups, a unit that delivered two Indiana touchdowns for the primary time in a recreation since 1969.
Pierre and Barner each blocked punts, with Swinton scooping up the primary block and returning it for a rating.
D.J. Matthews might have taken over the punt return job with an electrifying 81-yard return after a powerful over the shoulder catch. Nonetheless, Taylor was spectacular on his returns with an 11 yard common.
“We make such an enormous emphasis on particular groups,” Allen stated. “I’m in each single assembly, and that’s on goal. I need our guys to know the way vital they’re. I interject lots. Kasey (Teegardin) does an incredible job and Ryan McInerney, high quality management man, does an exceptional job finding out movie and getting us in nice place.”
The Hoosiers additionally averaged 37 yards on three kickoff returns and didn’t have any lapses of their return protection.
Punter James Evans averaged simply 37.5 on his 4 kicks.
Allen had his crew prepared and so they did what they needed to do towards Idaho. The true take a look at of the place this crew stands comes subsequent week towards top-10 Cincinnati, however a blowout win was simply what this crew wanted. The Hoosiers scored 56 factors, tied for the Tenth-most factors scored in a single recreation in program historical past. IU final posted 56 factors in a 56-36 victory over Purdue on Nov. 30, 2013. The 42-point margin of victory is the biggest for an Indiana crew because the Hoosiers shut out Jap Illinois, 56-0, on Sept. 7, 2019. The win is the third underneath Allen of 40-plus factors.
There are nonetheless extra questions than solutions on offense. Idaho’s scheme appeared much like Iowa — they put a shell across the back-end and compelled IU to make quick throws and maintain lengthy drives. IU was in a position to maintain some lengthy drives, together with an 18-play journey within the first half — however whether or not they can try this towards high-end FBS defenses is an open query. That is nonetheless an offense that seems to be too vanilla to maintain success within the Massive Ten.
Total it was a powerful defensive effort towards a Vandal crew that scored 68 factors the week prior. Idaho scored touchdowns on consecutive drives on the finish of the primary half and starting of the second towards IU. However these drives have been sandwiched between ten Idaho possessions of 5 performs or fewer.
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