Photo by Mike Schumann / The Daily Hoosier

Indiana vs Northwestern: Five Key Takeaways as Hoosiers Move to 7-2

Indiana defeated Northwestern 34-3 on Saturday night to move to 7-2 on the season.

Below are The Daily Hoosier’s five key takeaways from the game.

Indiana returns to action on Nov. 16 at Penn State.

See also:  Final stats and highlights | Tom Allen post game.

“Tom Allen Takeaways” Strike Again

For the second week in a row Indiana’s defense forced multiple turnovers in the game, three to be exact.

The first came on Northwestern’s first play from scrimmage as quarterback Aidan Smith ran a sweep to the right side of the field. What looked to be a promising 22-yard run ended in a fumble as Smith was stripped by Indiana cornerback Tiawan Mullen and defensive end Michael Ziemba recovered the ball at the Northwestern 47-yard line.

“As he was running towards me, I knew my game plan was to strip the ball out,” Mullen said. “As we were watching film we noticed he (Smith) was running with the ball loose and every time people got on him he wasn’t trying to secure it.”

The second takeaway came early in the second quarter. Northwestern started their drive with a hand-off at their own 20 to running back Drake Anderson. Immediately met by Indiana’s defense, Anderson attempted to shake off a few defenders until he had the ball stripped by linebacker Cam Jones and picked up by Mullen.

Both takeaways led to Indiana touchdowns, giving the Hoosiers an early 17-3 lead.

IU got the bookend takeaway on the very last snap of the first half. Northwestern attempted to elongate the play by lateraling the ball. Quarterback Hunter Johnson attempted a find to a teammate, but the ball was snagged out of the air by Indiana defensive end Alfred Bryant.

Bryant was brought down to end the half, but the takeaway gave the Hoosiers valuable momentum going into halftime as Bryant and his teammates jubilantly headed to the locker room.

Great Scott

To the surprise of virtually no one, Stevie Scott had himself a game. Scott rushed for 116 yards, his third 100-yard performance in four outings, and added three touchdowns, getting two on the ground and one through the air.

Scott led an Indiana offense that scored 30 points for the sixth straight game and the eighth of nine games this season. The Hoosier offense generated a total of 414 yards with eight different Hoosiers getting catches totaling 270 yards through the air.

How many times previously had IU scored 30 or more points in six consecutive Big Ten games?

Never. Until Saturday night.

“I feel like it shows (referring to scoring 30 points) how dangerous our offense is when we’re clicking on all cylinders.” Scott said. “Putting up 30 points a game is helping the defense out a lot too.”

Photo by Mike Schumann / The Daily Hoosier

Penix returns only to leave early again

Looking to pick up where he left off, redshirt-freshman quarterback Michael Penix returned to game action for the first time since leaving late in the first half of the Maryland game two weeks ago.

Penix started strong leading the Hoosiers to three touchdowns and a field goal in the first half while going 10 of 15 passing for 162 yards.  He added a rushing touchdown on a quarterback sneak.

Unfortunately, Penix had a little déjà vu as he exited the game late in the first half, bringing Peyton Ramsey in to relieve him.

Steady as ever, Ramsey picked up where he left off last week, going 7 of 10 for 108 yards and a passing touchdown, and once again leading the Hoosiers down the stretch to secure the victory.

The defense never rests

After giving up 59 points combined the past two games, the Hoosier defense proved to be more than ready for the Wildcats.

Kane Wommack’s unit was a suffocating force, holding the Northwestern offense to under 200 yards total and giving up a just three points.

Northwestern only found their way to the Indiana red zone once and was forced to punt each time they got the ball in the second half – six straight possessions – until its final drive terminated without a first down as the clock expired.

Photo by Mike Schumann / The Daily Hoosier

Tonight’s win makes seven on the season

When Tom Allen accepted the head coaching position at Indiana almost three years ago, he made it quite clear what his vision was for Indiana football.

In his first season he looked to challenge his team and his coaches by writing three numbers on the board.

  • 50, meaning it had been 50 years since Indiana won the Big Ten
  • 26, meaning it had been 26 years since Indiana won a bowl game
  • 10, meaning it had been 10 years since Indiana had a winning season

Two seasons later those numbers have obviously grown, but with this win Indiana expunged one of the ugly clouds hanging over the program.

With the victory of Northwestern, Indiana’s win total is now seven (7-2, 4-2), guaranteeing the Hoosiers a winning season for the first time since 2007.

“We just knocked off the last one tonight, which makes it a big, big deal, getting that seventh win to secure a winning season here at Indiana, first time in 12 years and got a chance to knock off the next one here later on when we go to our bowl game,” Tom Allen said after the game. “It was a team win and am very excited about getting No. 7. It means a lot to this program.”

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