In almost every imaginable way, Indiana’s season has been an unmitigated disaster.
If there was any lingering doubt about that remaining, it dissipated into the frigid, cloudy, November Bloomington air as 7-point favorite Indiana was trounced by Rutgers at Memorial Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
“Very disappointing, frustrating bad performance by our team,” coach Tom Allen said after the game. “Very upset about it.”
The Hoosiers fumbled on their first play from scrimmage, an omen for what was to come. The onslaught began as Rutgers scored a touchdown four plays later. Shuffling between quarterbacks Donavan McCulley and Jack Tuttle, Indiana produced just 45 yards on their first five drives, and they turned it over four times on their first eight possessions.
With Indiana’s offense incapable of taking care of the ball or sustaining drives, Rutgers ran out to a 17-3 halftime lead and won by a final of 38-3.
The Hoosiers generated just 262 yards of total offense and had six turnovers on the afternoon. Tuttle, who left the game with an injury after just a few first half series, was IU’s leading rusher with 16 yards. He threw two interceptions.
The story on the Indiana side isn’t about the game however, it is big picture. What is wrong with this team, and can the program be turned back around? After the game Allen conceded that some element of his team’s collapse can be attributed to players losing focus on the failed season.
“I get it, I understand, this is hard, but you also have to take a strong hard look at yourself and how you want to be known, and remembered, and identified by how you play the game,” Allen said.
The game marked the third time in the last four outings Indiana was held to 262 or fewer yards of total offense, and the fifth time this season they gained 264 or fewer. Allen was asked after the game if he would consider any in-season adjustments to the coaching staff.
“Those decisions will all be made when the season is over,” he said.
Indiana fell to 2-8 on the season and they remain winless (0-7) in the Big Ten. The Hoosiers will host Minnesota for senior day next Saturday at 3:30 p.m. Eastern
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