Final Score: Indiana 52 Eastern Illinois 0
Brief Recap: This was exactly the kind of performance you’d like to see from Indiana against an FCS team. From start the finish, the Hoosiers dominated both sides of the football. The defense was tackling much better than it did a week ago against Ball State. The offense still didn’t run the ball as well as they’d like, but both Michael Penix and Peyton Ramsey threw the ball well from under center. After struggling last week, Donovan Hale had a bounce-back performance with five catches for 110 yards and a touchdown in the victory.
Key Moment: Blowout games can be hard to find that one key moment that defined a game. The truth is, the Hoosiers dominated the game from the get-go. Things got a little sluggish in the second quarter, with IU sitting on a 21-0 lead for essentially 15 minutes. Near the end of the half, though, IU put together a 10-play, 80-yard drive to go up by four touchdowns and essentially seal the victory.
Key Stat: Eastern Illinois couldn’t run the football against the Hoosiers. The Panthers rushed for just 52 yards on 31 attempts, for an average of 1.7 yards per carry, that’s how you win football games.
Key Player: Another category where you could have a lot of options. Considering how poorly he played against Ball State a week ago, Hale’s five receptions for 110 yards and a touchdown are a big deal. That’s the kind of receiver the Hoosiers need moving forward.
What it Means: Yes, this performance comes against an FCS squad, but Indiana looked much better than it did in the opener against Ball State in all facets of the game. Mistakes were corrected and there weren’t nearly as many mental errors as we saw last Saturday. That’s exactly how you want to be playing when Ohio State comes to town next weekend. Lights, camera, action in Bloomington.