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Indiana 45, Umass 6: Hoosiers produce first complete performance of Wilson era.

Sep 8, 2012; Foxborough, MA, USA; Indiana Hoosiers quarterback Cameron Coffman (2) passes the ball against the Massachusetts Minutemen during the first half at Gillette Stadium.  Mandatory Credit: Mark L. Baer-US PRESSWIRE
Sep 8, 2012; Foxborough, MA, USA; Indiana Hoosiers quarterback Cameron Coffman (2) passes the ball against the Massachusetts Minutemen during the first half at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark L. Baer-US PRESSWIRE

It's obvious and undeniable that the injury to IU's sophmore quarterback, Tre Roberson, who will miss the remainder of the season after breaking his leg in the second quarter, will be the lasting memory from this game. It says something about the snakebitten nature of IU football that IU's first FBS win in nearly two years, the second win of the season after going 1-11 last season (and the first win in white helmets since the 1960s!), simply couldn't stand alone as a good thing. Still, both before and after Roberson was injured, IU played well on both sides of the ball. I certainly don't mean to overstate the significance of the win. UMass looked like a bad, bad team that would have difficulty with a good FCS team, let alone any team in FBS. I would be very confident that Indiana State could beat up on the Minutemen. Here are a few accomplishments of note:

  • The Hoosiers' 45 points were the most they have scored in the Wilson era and the most against an FBS program since beating Michigan State 46-21 in 2006. The Hoosiers matched last year's best, 38 points (against South Carolina State and Northwestern) by halftime.
  • I have read in other sources that IU's 611 yards of offense were IU's most since the epic win over Wisconsin at Camp Randall in 2001.
  • IU's 611 yards of total offense were only 39 yards short of IU's record output, 650 yards against Kentucky in 1994.
  • IU'd 34 first downs were one short of the school record of 35, set in the aforementioned Kentucky game and tied against Michigan in 2010.
  • This is the first time IU has held an opponent of any sort to a single digit score since Murray State in 2008, and the first time a FBS opponent has failed to reach double digits against IU since the Hoosiers' 13-7 win over Purdue in 2001 (yes, I know, MONSOON!).
  • This is the first time IU has held a road opponent to single digits since 1996, when IU won 40-6 at Toledo and lost 3-0 at Kentucky.
Again, I don't mean to overstate it. UMass has a long way to go even toward competing in the MAC. Still, for a program that couldn't get out of its own way last year, this is a nice step forward. IU averaged 6.5 yards per play and ran a whopping 93 plays. IU held UMass to 3.8 yards per play and 2.2 yards per rush. IU punted on its first position but the second punt came when the score was 38-6. IU forced four consecutive three-and-outs in the second and third quarters. While Roberson was still in the game, IU ran 33 plays and gained 307 yards. Under the direction of Cameron Coffman and Nate Sudfeld, IU gained 303 yards on 67 plays, so not as explosive. Obviously, Roberson's two long TD runs of 50 and 39 yards accounted for nearly a third of IU's offense while Tre was in the game. On defense, IU continued its solid play on third down, holding UMass to 4-18 (although IU was only 4 of 16).

So, what about Cam Coffman? I thought he looked reasonably good. He completed 16-22 passes (72 percent) for 159 yards and a TD. He certainly doesn't add the running threat that Roberson showed in the first half, but he looked reasonably comfortable. More on the quarterbacks as the week transpires. Other individual performances:
  • Tevin Coleman ran 16 times for 86 yards.
  • Isaiah Roundree gained 62 yards and scored a TD on 10 attempts.
  • D'Angelo Roberts gained 53 yards on 10 carries.
  • Stephen Houston gained 29 yards on 9 carries but scored a TD.
  • True freshman Nate Sudfeld, whose redshirt has now been burned by necessity, was 3-4 passing for 28 yards.
  • Eleven different Hoosiers caught passes, led by Cody Latimer (5-68), Shane Wynn (4-28, TD), and Jamonne Chester (4-27). Charles Love III caught two passes, including his first career touchdown.
  • Mitchell Voss was a bit better, averaging 38.5 yards on 4 punts and putting two inside the 20.
  • Mitch Ewald had 6 touchbacks on 8 kickoffs.
  • 28 different Hoosiers recorded tackles, with Kenny Mullen, Greg Heban (who also had two pass deflections), and David Cooper leading the way. Tim Bennett and Ryan Phillis each recorded a sack.
Again, I'm not going to be making reservations for Pasadena or even for Detroit on the basis of this performance, but it was as good as could have been expected before the game. I was particularly impressed that the team held together so well after the Roberson injury. I was shaken up watching it at home, so I can't imagine how it affected those who saw it in person and who know Tre personally. Still, the players and coaches fought through it and continued to play well. If nothing else, it's the first unmistakable sign of progress in some time.

Finally, I'm curious what those who watched the game on ESPN3 experienced in terms of the quality of the picture. I don't have the greatest connection in the world (eight year-old AT&T DSL router), but I'm able to stream Netflix and to get a high quality picture on BTN2go. The quality of the broadcast was, from my perspective, deplorably bad. I'm really glad most of IU's games aren't broadcast by ESPN3.

Well, now it's on to Ball State. The Cardinals are 1-1, having defeated Eastern Michigan and having lost badly at top 10 Clemson. The Cardinals will pull out all of the stops, and this is an extremely important game for IU, both for this season and for the program's long term reputation. Two losses in a row is two too many. Let's hope that the Hoosiers can build on what we have seen in the first two games.