In a game where the opposing quarterback throws a touchdown to go with his touchdown reception and Indiana’s punter hits one of his own players in the back on a rugby punt; there are very few positives to glean from this rout. In fact the only real positive that I can pull from this performance is that it was at least on the road in one of the hardest places to play in the Big Ten.
The number four ranked Badgers set the dogs on the Hoosiers right away and never looked back. The only score came from a Stephen Houston 67-yard touchdown run in the second quarter. Houston did have himself quite a game as he ran for 135 yards on 19 carries but even that is a bit skewed as you take away the outlier run of 67 yards and he only ran for 3.8 yards an attempt. Not good but not bad either. So by far the best performance from a Hoosier today can be described with a great big "meh". Hopefully this does show that Houston could be capable of great things against lesser competition and when you’re playing the fourth ranked Badgers, everything out there is lesser competition.
What was likely the most interesting thing about the Indiana offense is that they’re attempting to find yardage in any way possible and the most recent wrinkle is the Wildcat offense. WR Kofi Hughes took seven snaps behind center yesterday. We have come to the point where none of the quarterbacks seem to inspire confidence in Kevin Wilson. Hughes never did throw the ball, instead he carried the ball 6 of 7 times for 4.4 yards a carry, so it was a mildly successful scheme.
On the defensive end there are no positives to 59 points allowed. The Hoosiers didn’t give up much in the passing game but that’s because the run defense was so overmatched Wisconsin had no need to throw the ball. The defensive line averaged 45 lbs lighter per man compared to Wisconsin’s offensive line, so they were pushed all over the field. Wisconsin finished with over 300 yards on the ground. The one small positive is true freshman safety Mark Murphy set a career high with 10 tackles with 8 being solo.
Next up the Hoosiers have to head to a struggling Iowa where they have had some recent success in making it a game. Right now as a fan of Hoosiers football that is all you can really hope for. In every game they have just looked overmatched on an individual basis and that isn’t going to fix itself this year. Much like the position the baskeball team was in for the last few years, this team just needs better talent. The guys that are there have given a fantastic effort but it just isn’t enough in the Big Ten and would be a struggle in many lesser conferences as well.