As Indiana gears up for its second straight bowl appearance, it’s time to look back at how they’ve done in past bowl games. Overall, the Hoosiers are 3-7 in their 10 bowl games.
Let’s recap this mostly sad and incredibly familiar-sounding bowl history!
1968 Rose Bowl
USC 14, Indiana 3
To this date, the first and only Rose Bowl appearance for the Hoosiers. To give you an idea of how weird the Big Ten was in 1967, Indiana tied atop the conference for first place with Purdue and Minnesota. The 9-1 Hoosiers benefited from the rule at the time where a team could not go to the Rose Bowl twice in a row - which meant Purdue couldn’t go again - and were voted in by B1G coaches over the Gophers. To add to this season’s weirdness, Indiana was ranked 4th going into the Rose Bowl.
Once the Hoosiers got to Pasadena, however, it was all downhill. Their opponent in the game, USC, was eventually awarded the national title that season. A young Trojan running back by the name of O.J. Simpson scored two touchdowns in the 14-3 victory. Hmm, wonder what happened to that guy?
If you watched the tremendous O.J.: Made in America documentary earlier this year, you’ll see clips of this game during the first episode. To this day, this is the only time the Hoosiers have ever made it out to Pasadena.
1979 Holiday Bowl
Indiana 38, BYU 37
Lee Corso’s only bowl appearance as Hoosiers coach was an epic one. The 7-4 Hoosiers faced off against undefeated and ninth-ranked BYU, coached by the legendary LaVell Edwards. This was an evenly-matched and high-scoring game throughout, but the Hoosiers clinched it late, thanks to a 62-yard punt return by Tim Wilbur.
1986 All-American Bowl
Florida State 27, Indiana 13
The first of six bowl appearances by Bill Mallory came against another legendary coach in Bobby Bowden. Played in Birmingham, the now-defunct All-American Bowl resembled many recent IU games against tough opponents, as it was a one-score game in the fourth quarter until FSU put the game on ice late, thanks to a tremendous performance from running back Sammie Smith.
1988 Peach Bowl
Tennessee 27, Indiana 22
A year later, the 8-3 Hoosiers (who beat OSU and Michigan this season) faced off against the 9-2-1 Vols in Atlanta. Tennessee took a commanding 21-3 lead early, but the Hoosiers bounced back, scoring 19 unanswered points to take a 22-21 lead midway through the fourth, thanks to rushing touchdowns from Tim Jorden and Anthony Thompson. But Reggie Cobb was the difference maker for Tennessee, scoring a nine-yard touchdown late to seal the Volunteer victory.
1988 Liberty Bowl
Indiana 34, South Carolina 10
The Hoosiers jumped out to a 17-0 lead and never looked back, as Bill Mallory easily got his first bowl victory at IU. Anthony Thompson rushed for two scores for the Hoosiers, and Dave Schnell threw for two more, while kicker Pete Stoyanovich tacked on two field goals during the rout.
1990 Peach Bowl
Auburn 27, Indiana 23
Look, the more things change about Indiana football, the more they stay the same. Auburn was up 10 in this game entering the fourth quarter. Then IU mounted a furious comeback in the fourth, and thanks to two touchdown runs by QB Trent Green, the Hoosiers held a three-point lead late.
You’ll never guess what happened next!
Auburn scored the game-winning touchdown with 39 seconds to go, sealing the victory over the Hoosiers.
#CHAOSTEAM forever, baby.
1991 Copper Bowl
Indiana 24, Baylor 0
Long before the Hoosiers were drawn into the Big Ten East, Indiana was still playing tough schedules. In this season, they not only played on the road against Ohio State and Michigan, but they also faced Notre Dame in South Bend, and traveled to play a top-10 Iowa team. These were IU’s only four losses on the season, but the defeats prepared them well for their bowl game. Led by Trent Green and Vaughn Dunbar, the Hoosiers shut out the Bears in Tucson to easily take the Copper Bowl victory. To this day, it’s Indiana’s most recent bowl win.
1993 Independence Bowl
Virginia Tech 45, Indiana 20
My friend is a Virginia Tech alum and a huge fan. He’s mentioned this game to me before because it was the first bowl berth for Frank Beamer as Hokies head coach. The 21st-ranked Hoosiers and the 22nd-ranked Hokies both entered the game at 8-3, but in Bill Mallory’s final bowl game, Indiana could not keep up with Virginia Tech.
While at Tech, Frank Beamer’s hallmark was “Beamerball,” which meant scoring points on special teams plays. A prime Beamerball example happened in this game. Down 21-13, the Hoosiers attempted a field goal to end the first half. The kick was short, and Virginia Tech returned it for a touchdown to take a 28-13 halftime lead. From there, the Hokies never looked back.
2007 Insight Bowl
Oklahoma State 49, Indiana 33
14 years and four coaching changes would take place before Indiana made it to another bowl game. Bill Lynch rallied the Hoosiers to a 7-5 season after Terry Hoeppner’s untimely passing, and as a reward, the Hoosiers got to play Oklahoma State, fresh off head coach Mike Gundy’s famous “I’m a man! I’m 40!” rant. The game was never close, as the Cowboys raced out to a 21-3 lead after the first quarter and a 35-10 lead at the half.
2015 Pinstripe Bowl
Duke 44, Indiana 41 (OT)
Say it all at once everyone...
THE KICK WAS GOOD.