Originally posted on 60 Max Power O  |  Last updated 9/17/12

For the third time in the past five years, IU fell to Ball State. The Hoosiers had a furious comeback late in the fourth quarter and briefly took a one point lead with less than a minute left. It was all for naught, as Ball State was able to drive into field goal range and win the game.

This was a completely disheartening loss that really makes you question your loyalty to a team. The Hoosiers toyed with their fans emotions all game and in the end couldn't lock it up. 

It's a tough loss, and one that doesn't bode well for the rest of the season. IU has a week off before Big Ten season starts.

We'll forgo the usual "Good" and "Bad" because there were issues at every phase of the game.

Offense

  • The ground game was still solid. IU churned out 135 yards on the ground. The majority of the work was done by Stephen Houston, who accounted for 102 yards and a touchdown. Houston was great, the rest of the backs were not. The offensive line was rarely able to block downfield and too often allowed defenders into the back field.
  • Cam Coffman looked good through the first half, but left the game with a hip pointer. True freshman Nate Sudfeld took over and the offense came to a grinding halt. IU had a one point lead at the half but came out flat and failed to score again until late in the fourth quarter. Sudfeld did lead two scoring drives that would give IU the briefest of leads. He was aided with back-to-back pass interference penalties by Ball State on the final drive.
  • Kofi Hughes made an impact. Hughes had seven receptions for 88 yards and a touchdown. He did have a drop in the second quarter on third down that would have gone for big yardage and possibly another touchdown.
  • Play calling and effort are issues that need to be addressed. Calling for a two yard crossing pattern on 3rd and four is inexcusable and unexplainable. 

Defense

  • In a few word, dumpster fire. Defenders were constantly blown off the line, out of position, and unprepared for the game. While we didn't expect much out of the defense this season, they were embarrassed by Ball State. IU gave up 440 yards to the Cardinals. They were unable to force a turnover or generate much pressure on the quarterback.
  • In a genius move, Ball State, 8th in the nation in rushing, cam out passing all over the Hoosiers. Keith Wenning dominated the Hoosiers. He completed 26-of-44 passes for 222 yards and three touchdowns. He ran scrambled for first downs. He even caught a pass for a touchdown. Wenning made the Hoosiers defense look especially bad. 
  • IU did come up with a few late stops in the game that allowed the Hoosiers to take the lead. The final drive by Ball State was especially awful. The scheme appeared to be set up to prevent the deep pass, but Ball State had two timeouts and decent field possession. The Cardinals were content to pas underneath and get yards after the catch. The final pass appeared to be made out of bounds, but the refs ruled it a catch for some reason.

IU fans have to be disappointed after this game. The road does not get any easier this season, and realistically this was the last winnable game of the season.

Coach Kevin Wilson has his work cut out for him. He has to find a way to right the ship during the bye week. IU currently ranks 56th in yards allowed. More concerning is that they are 4th in penalties. They had 12 penalties for 127 yards against Ball State. A team, especially one in the Big Ten, cannot rank this high in penalties and it is inexcusable to spot a team that many yards.

We'll have more on this team later in the week.

Don't forget to follow us on twitter @hoosiers101 and "Like" us on Facebook.

 

 

Be sure to check out other great articles at Sports Media 101.

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