2011 Predictions & Game Story
Week 3 - SC State at Indiana
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Sept. 17 at Indiana 38 ... South Carolina State 21
CFN Analysis: COMING
(AP) BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Now, this is what coach Kevin Wilson wants Indiana football to look like.
Minus the miscues, of course.
Indiana's Edward Wright-Baker threw for two touchdowns and the Hoosiers rushed for 271 yards and three more scores Saturday, beating up on South Carolina State 38-21 to give their new coach his first career victory.
Indiana moved the ball all day, compiling 221 yards and three touchdowns in the first quarter alone. Indiana finished with 557 yards in total offense and matched its highest point total since last season's second game.
Still, it was not a thing of beauty.
The teams combined for 30 penalties with Indiana committing 19 to break the school record (16) set in 1962 and matched in 1998. Indiana used three different quarterbacks, and the game took nearly 3 1/2 hours to complete.
Still, it gave fans a semblance of what Wilson expects from Indiana (1-2), which is to play fast, score points by the dozens and, ultimately, win.
Wright-Baker got things off to a torrid start for Indiana, throwing a 30-yard TD pass to Duwyce Wilson after a replay review overturned the call on the field that he had juggled the ball. Wright-Baker finished 21 of 27 for 273 yards with two TDs and no interceptions, although he did lose a fumble.
Stephen Houston's 2-yard scoring run on Indiana's next possession made it 14-0 fewer than 6 minutes into the game.
South Carolina State (1-2, 1-0 Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference) answered in just one play. Derrick Wiley threw a nifty flanker screen to Tyler McDonald, who cut inside the defenders and outran the Hoosiers for a 69-yard TD to make it 14-7. Wiley was 15 of 30 for 216 yards with two touchdowns and ran 14 times for 63 yards.
The Hoosiers were just getting started.
Matt Perez scored on a 1-yard TD run to make it 21-7 before the 57-minute first quarter finally ended. After Indiana recovered a South Carolina State fumble, the Hoosiers drove for a 26-yard field goal to make it 24-7 at the half.
But the constant penalties and continual miscues made it difficult again for the Hoosiers to close out the game.
Midway through the third quarter, the Bulldogs finally obtained the short field they needed and wasted no time in converting with a 5-yard TD pass from Wiley to Caleb Davis to make it 24-14.
Then it was Indiana's turn. Freshman D'Angelo Roberts capped a 58-yard drive with a 7-yard TD run, the first score of his college career. Roberts wound up with 19 carries on 102 yards, his first career 100-yard game.
The Bulldogs would not go away. When Indiana's kickoff went out of bounds, South Carolina State responded with Jalen Simmons' elusive 21-yard TD run down the left sideline to make it 31-21 with 12:10 to go.
Two and a half minutes later, Kofi Hughes caught a Wright-Baker short pass and tiptoed down the sideline for a 40-yard score to make it 38-21, sealing the victory.
South Carolina State, a Football Championship Subdivision school, was playing its first Big Ten opponent in school history and has yet to beat a Football Bowl Subdivision team.
South Carolina State (1-1) at Indiana (0-2) Sept. 17, 3:30, BTN
Here's The Deal … It's going to be a work in progress for Indiana, and after a shocking gag to start against Ball State, and after battling Virginia in a three point loss, the team needs a layup. Head coach Kevin Wilson is trying to change the culture of IU football with his no-nonsense approach, and while he doesn't have the players he might like, his team is good enough to win this week and beat a bad North Texas team next week to try to turn the season around. However, the Hoosiers aren't playing a normal FCS layup; South Carolina is looking like a major player in the FCS this year.
SCSU is good enough to win the MEAC with a tremendous defense that scared Central Michigan in a 21-6 loss in the season opener, but it stopped Bethune-Cookman in what might turn out to be the conference game of the year. It was a battle of the two best teams in the MEAC, and the Bulldogs came through. Good enough to run the table after this week, they won't be a mere speed bump for the Hoosiers.
Why South Carolina State Might Win: The defense is aggressive enough up front to stop the Indiana offense cold, at least for a few key drives. The Bulldogs have a great core led by end Pat Washington, who's one of the MEAC's best pass rushers and starting out his with two in two games. The SCSU linebacking corps is fast and active, and the secondary is always around the ball and is great at coming up with the pick when the opportunity is there. The Hoosiers haven't given the ball away too much so far, but the pass protection has been non-existent, allowing seven sacks and several other pressures.
The Bulldogs have an advantage on punt returns, with the Hoosiers having problems getting free averaging a mere 3.5 yards per try, while SCSU averages 22.75 yards per pop with Darius Drummond tearing off 89 yards on three attempts to turn last week's Bethune-Cookman game around.
Why Indiana Might Win: Central Michigan doesn't have much of a defense, but it was able to stop SCSU's attack cold. The Bulldogs only came up with 78 yards through the air, unable to move the ball down the field with no big plays whatsoever and only converting four of 19 third down chances, while the ground game was stuffed for 59 yards because it couldn't handle the CMU pass rush.
CMU doesn't have a pass rush.
South Carolina State's defense is the strength, but the offense is going to have problems getting going against an IU secondary that hasn't been too bad so far. More importantly, the Hoosiers should be able to finally get the midrange passing game going after showing a little bit of a spark last week against Virginia.
What To Watch Out For: The Hoosiers haven't had too many bright spots, but its lone returning starter in the secondary has been one of them. Sophomore Greg Heban is a former walk-on who turned into a shocking performer last year finishing with 40 tackles with a pick and five broken up passes. At 6-1 and 188, the starting free safety is a good all-around athlete, and he appeared to put it all together this offseason starring in the spring game. It transferred over to the regular season with 16 tackles, two picks, and two broken up passes in the first two games, highlighted by a terrific performance against Virginia last week.
What Will Happen: Indiana will be in for way too much of a fight. The Hoosier defense will do its part and SCSU will have problems moving the chains, but the score will be kept low without enough game-changing plays early on. IU receiver Damarlo Belcher hasn't been silent, rolling for 101 yards and a score against Ball State, but he only made four catches in each of the first two games. This week he'll be heard from more often.
CFN Prediction: Indiana 27 … South Carolina State 9
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