An Indiana game has never entered garbage time quicker than Saturday’s throttling of Eastern Illinois. The game, which was the biggest shutout in Memorial Stadium history at 52-0, was over in the first quarter and the starters, notably Michael Penix, Jr., was pulled before halftime.
Every ensuing takeaway that follows is going to come with the massive caveat that Eastern Illinois will be the worst team the Hoosiers will play this year by a large margin.
This offense is good
Grab footage from any half against any opponent from last season’s offense and compare it to today’s first half. It’s night and day. There’s a ton of reasons why this is the case.
Penix is a substantial upgrade over Ramsey
The offensive line is a year more experienced
Kalen DeBoer is a HUGE upgrade over Mike DeBord
The roster as a whole is a year older
The third reasons is probably the biggest as Indiana’s offense looks just more creative than last season’s. But Indiana also relied on a lot of young guys, notably freshmen, last season and they’re all a year older and more experienced.
The defense improved from Week 1
Even if it was EIU, the defense took a step forward this week after a struggle of week one. How big of a step forward it was is not yet clear but they shut out an opponent and held them to 116 yards over four quarters.
Heading into Big Ten play on a high note
Listen, there’s only so much you can take away from. But Indiana is going into one of its biggest games of the year at home against Ohio State. It’s worth something to have a performance like they did this week before hosting a top-five opponent.
Two wins down, seven to go.