I was out of town for the weekend, out of range of the maiden voyage of the Big Ten Network, so I'm writing this post as I try to drink from the firehose and catch up on the weekend's outcomes and the IU-Indiana State game. With just a cursory glance at the box score, unquestionably I am more excited about the 7 than the 55. I didn't have much doubt that IU's offensive weapons, particularly James Hardy, would allow IU to score against Indiana State. My concern was that nearly everyone gains yards against IU. In 2005, IU played I-AA Nicholls State, a team that nearly had to play in IU's practice game because of Hurricane Katrina-related difficulties, gained 459 yards against IU, including 408 on the ground, and nearly won. In 2006, albeit under trying circumstances, IU allowed 386 yards to Southern Illinois.
On Saturday, IU outgained ISU 526-176. IU completely shut down ISU's rushing game, allowing only 46 yards and 1.6 per carry. ISU was 20-36 passing, but for only 3.6 yards per attempt. ISU punted 10 times, IU only 3 times.
On the individual side, while it's hard to draw many conclusions from a I-AA game, of the four Hoosiers who carried the ball 9 or more times, all averaged at least 3.9 yards per carry. Senior punter Michael Hines, in his first season as the starter, averaged 42.3 yards and placed two inside the 20.
In sum, this game is more important for what it wasn't than what it was. The game was not in doubt at halftime. The game was not competitive, either statistically or in reality. IU didn't give up a bunch of yards to a I-AA team. While beating a bad I-AA team convincingly does not predict future success, losing to or looking unimpressive against a bad I-AA team can be a red flag. No red flags this week, and on to Kalamazoo.