It can never just be simple.
Indiana is simply averse to a normal football game, that would upset the natural order of things. If the Hoosiers played a normal football game, it’d cause a rift in spacetime like the finale of Star Trek: The Next Generation.
No, the Hoosiers are just Like This and you, the loyal fans, must sit and watch every second of it.
There was week one, when Indiana managed a last-second drive to defeat Illinois after a largely lackluster second half from the offense. There was week two, when Indiana scored approximately zero points in the first half against FCS Idaho in a torrential downpour.
And then, whatever on Earth just happened here.
It felt a bit like the Illinois game albeit with more scoring. Western Kentucky’s offensive playbook was written by a wizard’s council, and the Hilltoppers shredded the Hoosiers for 545 total yards on the day.
Most of those yards, 329 to be exact, came through the air.
When Indiana got the ball, the Hoosiers were... interesting. The run game was non-existent for large portions of the game, with Indiana’s backs running into a brick wall.
(That shouldn’t happen against the likes of “Idaho” or Western Kentucky, but more on that later)
Then there was the fourth quarter. Indiana was helped down the field in its final drive by a few pass interference calls on the Hilltoppers secondary before managing to get the ball into the end zone courtesy of some quick moves from Connor Bazelak and Cam Camper.
Walt Bell was In His Bag, and continued to do so on the ensuing 2-point conversion attempt by scheming Donaven McCulley open in the back of the endzone to tie the game at 30-30.
Weird score, right? Well, we got there thanks to a previous 2-point attempt that was no good and a backwards pass-fumble that in all Hoosier honesty was probably a forward pass and therefore an incompletion.
Still, whatever. Tie game.
Western Kentucky got some pass interference of its own and then the Hilltoppers’ kicker missed a 44-yard attempt to send us to overtime.
The Hilltoppers went three and out in the first overtime period and, when their kicker was again sent onto the field, his attempt was blocked and very nearly returned by Indiana.
Oh yeah then Indiana found roughly as much success on offense before Charles Campbell, who should be kicker for life, delivered the win off of his hammer of a leg.
Okay that part was pretty standard because Chuck does that on a reliable basis, but it still got there in the first place. Still weird!
Are there problems? A great many that we’ll talk about later! But for now the Indiana football Hoosiers are 3-0. Buckle up because it’s only gonna get weirder from here.