We learned a lot about Indiana football during Saturday night’s four overtime 29-27 win over Akron at home, and absolutely none of it was good,
It truly shouldn’t be possible to feel this uneasy about a team after it has one a football game, but the innovation moves forward. It was a miserable watch for everyone involved and should’ve ended sooner, with an Akron victory at that.
Let’s break down three things.
This team is deeply, deeply flawed
You can’t really have any other takeaway but this.
It feels like there’s an ever-present disconnect between the players and coaching staff on both sides of the ball. The defense looks lost and the offense has pieces that aren’t being used well at all.
Indiana had a chance to go up 14-0 with eight minutes left in the first half following a massive interception. All they needed was four measly yards in as many attempts against a low-tier MAC defense and somehow they came away with zero points.
It happened in the fourth quarter against Louisville and it happened again last night. Twice. If you can’t run through your line against a MAC team (already an issue in itself) you need to accept that weakness and find a way around it.
Indiana got outgained by a mind-boggling 474-282 margin. At home. Under the lights. With a defense that showed promise against Ohio State and Louisville in the second half. That’s beyond unacceptable.
Too much is wrong to narrow it down.
What could the immediate future look like?
Indiana has to travel to Maryland next week and there’s no way of knowing how they’ll look on Saturday.
Will they come out looking to prove a point? That they’re not the team that should’ve lost to Akron? Or will it be more of the same, another losing effort from the jump that paves the way for a defining performance from Maryland?
Nothing, absolutely nothing, inspires confidence.
This shouldn’t be happening in year seven of a head coaching tenure
Suffering a loss to a low-level Group of Five program is something that happens in year one of a rebuild at a lower tier Power Five program, not one entering year seven of a head coaching tenure.
The team has fallen completely flat since the breakout 2020 with all that momentum going to waste. That’d be bad on its own, couple it with whatever we say Saturday night and you have a disaster.
There’s no tangible way forward from here, it’s too late to turn things around, this was the season for that if it was happening at all. They’re on their heels in week four.
It might be too late to fix anything.