Rapid reaction: Indiana bounces back in big way by clobbering Idaho
After a disappointing performance against Iowa one week ago, Indiana responded.
In its home opener on Saturday in Bloomington, Indiana came out of the tunnel ready to play. The Hoosiers scored 3 touchdowns in the first 13 minutes of the game, putting Idaho away pretty early at Memorial Stadium. They did it in all three phases, too.
Forcing a 3-and-out on the Vandals’ first possession, Indiana methodically drove down the field, putting together an 18-play, 75-yard drive to get the first touchdown of the game. The drive was capped by a 2-yard run by Stephen Carr.
Indiana’s defense forced a fumble on the following possession and need just 2 plays to get back into the end zone from 13 yards out. On the next Idaho drive, IU’s special teams blocked a punt and Noah Pierre returned the loose ball for another score.
The Vandals had no chance of catching the Hoosiers after that.
Indiana took a 35-7 advantage into halftime then scored 3 more touchdowns in the second half to coast to a 56-14 win. Michael Penix Jr. saw limited action, completing 11-of-16 attempts for 68 yards and 2 touchdowns. Unlike last week, he threw no interceptions.
Stephen Carr rushed for 118 yards and a touchdown on 22 carries. Receivers A.J. Barner, Javon Swinton and Ty Fryfogle all scored touchdowns in the game, as well.
Indiana’s offensive numbers weren’t overly impressive, finishing the game with 329 total yards. But excellent special teams play and dealing with a short field for most of the game contributed to the low offensive numbers.
Following such a poor performance at Kinnick Stadium a week ago, it was critically important for Indiana to have a strong showing in the home opener. The Hoosiers needed to prove that last Saturday’s play isn’t reflective of this team’s ability.
The jury is still out on Tom Allen’s Hoosiers right now, since we learned very little after a win over an FCS opponent. What we do know, though, is that IU came ready to play.
Next week, we’re going to find out a lot more about the Hoosiers when they welcome a Top 10 Cincinnati team into town.