Bowling Green, Ohio– Some things never change. Just ask fans about the Indiana Football defense. It was on full display Saturday against the Bowling Green State Falcons.
Indiana faced the same issue that plagued them all of 2013: powerful offense and no defense. The Hoosiers had their way with the Falcons. Nate Sudfeld airing it out for 347 yards through the air and the team put together 235 yards on the ground. And even though they narrowly edged them in total yards (582-571), Bowling Green kept controlled the ball for a large portion of the game. In all but one of their seven scoring drives, IU moved the ball up the field for the score in under a minute and forty seconds, while the Falcons maintained the ball for 33 minutes.
Wasn’t the point of emphasis that the Hoosiers were sporting a new-look defense? Well, yes, that was indeed the talk. But let’s look at the final two BGSU drives that led to touchdowns. With 9:04 remaining in the fourth, the Falcons began the drive on their own 12. Of the ten plays, six of them were passing plays for gains of anywhere between 1 yard and 31 yards. And of the running plays, minus the one rush for no gain, the other three James Knapke averaged just over 6 yards a carry.
And now to the final drive that sealed the deal. 88 yards in 11 plays starting on the BGSU 12 again. Knapke stats for the drive: 8-10 passing, 57 yards and a TD. Throw in a two-yard scamper for Fred Coppet and back to back Indiana pass interference penalties for 19 yards and there you have it: a three point lead for the Falcons with nine seconds on the clock.
Here’s the stat that makes you scratch your head about this defense: Bowling Green punted the ball one time on Saturday. Granted, the Hoosiers did cause two turnovers and two others by downs, but ten of their fifteen drives ended in some sort of score (if the math isn’t adding up, one drive was ended by halftime). A third of the times the defense stepped on the field, at least three points were put on the board. Indiana once again sees where the focus needs to lay as they head to Columbia, Mo. for a Big Ten/SEC faceoff with the Missouri Tigers.
Dylan St. Clair is a Writer & Social Media Director for the Indy Sports Report. Follow Dylan and theIndy Sports Report on Twitter
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