Newspaper article Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)

Hoosiers Make Believers with Big Win ; INDIANA 44, PENN STATE 24

Newspaper article Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)

Hoosiers Make Believers with Big Win ; INDIANA 44, PENN STATE 24

Article excerpt

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - Indiana University football coach Kevin Wilson should have walked away from Memorial Stadium with an extra hop in his step Saturday after his players tapped the reset button to overcome the weight of a dismal Hoosier history against Penn State. "I don't know if we played great or overwhelmingly awesome, but we were pretty solid as a team," said Wilson after the Hoosiers upset Penn State 44-24, ending a 0-for-16 losing streak in the series with the Nittany Lions. "We cleaned it up and showed a lot of growth and maturity.

"But good teams become really good teams because they repeat what they are capable of doing. When we start being good, we'll back it up."

Saturday's win should momentarily silence the naysayers who pointed to a 45-28 loss to Missouri two weeks ago as evidence IU football had made very little progress in Wilson's three seasons.

Now at least the IU players have reason to believe they can beat a Big Ten power instead of just hanging close as they did with Michigan State and Ohio State last season.

Saturday's win marked the first time since 2000 that Indiana (3- 2, 1-0 Big Ten) has opened conference play with a victory. And this one was as close to a woodshed beating as anyone could have expected after IU's long history of being on the receiving end of these kinds of games.

The Hoosiers rolled up 486 yards of offense, with sophomore quarterback Nate Sudfeld completing 23 of 38 passes for 321 yards and two touchdowns. He connected with six different receivers for passes of at least 11 yards. His big strikes included a 33-yard completion to Cody Latimer that set up IU's first TD and a 4-yard pass to Isaiah Roundtree with 3:05 left in the first quarter.

Then three possessions later, Sudfeld hit Latimer (26 yards) and Kofi Hughes (37 yards) on back-to-back plays to reach the 7-yard line on a drive that was sabotaged by a penalty, erasing a touchdown pass to Shane Wynn and forcing the Hoosiers to settle for the first of two field goals late in the second quarter for a 13-7 halftime Lead. …

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