Look at you.
Yes, you. Look at how dumb you look.
Through roughly 13 minutes of football today in College Park, Maryland had run roughshod over the Hoosiers 21-3. It looked as if the Hoosiers were defensively hapless -- and the offense not much better. An early injury on the first drive forced Jordan Howard out of the game. There wasn't much hope.
This was the general consensus on Twitter, or at least in our mentions.
13 minutes of football ain't changing my mind, big cat. https://t.co/UtkYdNUHbN— Crimson Quarry (@crimsonquarry) November 21, 2015
Look, look how dumb you look. This is dumb. Calling for a coach to be fired is usually dumb, anytime. It's especially dumb in the first quarter of a football game.
One thing y'all should learn: Save judgement until after the game, maybe?
Let's talk about three more.
1. Indiana finally might have figured out how to put a game away.
This game did not follow any of the established Big Ten script for the Hoosiers. Where it's previously been good early, bad late, this team took the opposite approach and came away with a different result. How'd the do it? Defensive stops. Outside of one Brandon Ross run on the second play of the the third quarter, Indiana didn't give up a point after the 5:30 mark of the third quarter. Sure, Maryland's offense was limited and hardly potent -- but so was Rutgers'. Indiana's hallmark this season has been the ability to make pedestrian-to-bad offenses look like world-beaters. They didn't do that today -- and that's worth celebrating. For context, Indiana gave up 28 points to this Maryland team. The vaunted Penn State defense surrendered 30.
2. Simmie Cobbs has the ability to be an NFL reciever.
Sure, he still had a pair of drops that would have led to big plays -- but Maryland's secondary was known as a fairly solid unit heading into this game. Despite those two drops, he hauled in 9 catches for 192 yards in College Park. Several of those yards came after the catch on throws on 10-15 yards, showing his ability to be a true top target and possession receiver at Indiana for the rest of this season and next at Indiana. If he's able to fix his issues with drops, he could be a valuable draft option in the future. Of course, it helps to have a future NFL quarterback throwing you the football -- Nate Sudfeld threw for 385 yards and 4 TDs on only 35 attempts on Saturday.
3. Indiana might have clinched a spot in a bowl game with a win -- and that's enough to solidify Kevin Wilson's future at Indiana.
I'll expound on this later this week, but -- Kevin Wilson's done more than enough to save his job at Indiana. He's done enough to earn an extension. You can holler about wins and losses as much as you'd like but the reality is this: Indiana's on-field product is improving year over year. Anyone who thought Indiana's evolution into a Big Ten contender would occur quickly isn't dealing in reality -- that's why Fred Glass and Co. gave Wilson a 7-year-contract to start the job way back when. But now Wilson will only have two years left on his deal after this season -- and he's horribly underpaid for a Power 5 football coach, raking in only $1.3 million a season.
Like the #CHAOSTEAM identity or not, Kevin Wilson has made Indiana known for something nationally. And that's something. There's been no time in the last 20 years of Indiana football when the Hoosiers have consistently challenged and punched the top teams in the country in the mouth. That's happened this year. And, sure, those games didn't end in wins. But programs go through a process.
Lose big. Lose close. Win close. Win big.
Indiana's probably dropped directly in the middle of that continuum, somewhere in between losing and winning close games. This team's been incredibly fun to watch not only for those that follow the program -- but also for those nationally. You've got to think that's something that's going to pay off in recruiting -- the appeal of playing in an up-tempo, fun offense that's played with everyone in the country.
Indiana can seal up a bowl berth for sure next week at Purdue, not have to worry about an asterisk next to the bowl bid, bring the Bucket home for the third straight year, and undoubtedly ascertain Wilson's future at Indiana. That's the ideal scenario, and the one the Hoosiers will be expected to carry out -- inside the program and out. But even if it doesn't occur, Wilson's done enough. Indiana's program is headed in the right direction.
Pay the man his money, and keep the ball rolling in the proper direction. It won't be quick and it won't be easy -- but Indiana is making continued progress at one of the toughest places to do it in all of college football.