Indiana blew opportunities to take control of the game in the first half, failed to appear in the third quarter, and appeared dead in the water until freshman quarterback Nate Sudfeld led a furious comeback that culminated in IU taking a 39-38 lead with under a minute remaining. With 7 seconds left, Ball State found itself outside field goal range and without no timeouts left. Junior quarterback Keith Wenning found his receiver, who did or didn't possess the ball inbounds (I think it was close enough that the call on the field would have stood either way) and with just one second left, which set up the winning field goal. As I said in my preview, I anticipated a back and forth game, but I wasn't imagining the big runs by each team. Ball State looked to have the Hoosiers on the ropes at 14-3 in the first quarter, but IU came back to lead 17-14. IU seemed to seize momentum at halftime with a ballsy two point conversion for a 25-24 lead, but the Hoosiers didn't score again until late in the fourth quarter.
Here's the box score. IU outgained Ball State 558-440. Neither team committed a turnover, but IU committed 12 penalties. Ball State committed few until late in the game, when a couple of pass interference calls aided IU's comeback. The decisive period of the game was in the third quarter, when Wenning picked apart the IU secondary, especially poor Kenny Mullen. Cameron Coffman played pretty well, completing 24-35 passes for 251 yards and 2 TDs, but after IU's offense stagnated and Coffman left the game with a hip pointer, true freshman Nate Sudfeld and was very good, completing 13-20 passes for 172 yards and 2 TDs.
Individual performances of note, other than the quarterbacks:
- Cody Latimer caught 4 pases for 115 yards and 2 TDs.
- Kofi Hughes had his first impact game of the season, catching 7 passes for 88 yards and a TD. Unfortunately, the lasting memory will be his second quarter drop of a pass that would have gone for big yardage, perhaps even a TD, when IU led by three.
- In all, the spread-it-around Hoosier offense continued, with 10 different players catching a pass.
- On the ground, Stephen Houston, with 12 carries for 102 yards, led the way.