IU kicker apologizes publicly for late-game blunder
Indiana Hoosier’s kicker Jared Smolar apologized publicly to his teammates via Twitter for nearly costing his squad the game in the final seconds of the 4th quarter.
I just want to apologize to my team and all of Hoosier nation. I single-handedly almost lost the game. Thank you to my defense for bailing me out, that will never happen again. I’ll be better for you guys. Go Hoosiers #IUFB— Jared Smolar (@j_smolar9) October 25, 2020
With the Hoosiers and Nittany Lions tied up following a clutch, last minute drive to tie the game at 28-28, Smolar was tasked with hitting a squib kick down the field to bleed out the final seconds of regulation time. Instead, Smolar botched the job, kicking the pigskin directly to Penn State, who recovered it at Indiana’s 49-yard-line.
Penn State hit a pass for a quick 8-yard gain and lined up for a 57-yard field goal to win the game as time expired. Jordan Stout’s blast came up just short for the Nittany Lions, sending the game to overtime, where Indiana won on a controversial two-point conversion following a touchdown on their first possession.
Smolar received a lot of support from the Indiana fan base beneath his comment, though it’s easy to imagine it might have been the opposite had Penn State hit the kick. Such is the life in big-time athletics.
The Hoosiers wound up ranked 10th in one writer’s poll, and no. 11 in ESPN’s Power Rankings on the strength of the win. The Hoosiers travel to Rutgers next week for their second contest of the 2020 season.