As we count down to Indiana’s 2019 opening game against Ball State on August 31, The Daily Hoosier is looking back at the top ten football seasons in the program’s history.
In today’s era of fast paced offense and high scoring games, it is rare to hold an opponent without a touchdown for an entire half.
In 1910, the Indiana football team did it for an entire season.
After compiling a 5-25-1 conference record all-time prior to 1910, not many saw this season coming.
But behind three all-conference players, the Hoosiers were dominant all year long.
A survey of the season’s results shows that IU outscored their opponents in 1910 by an aggregate score of 111-6, posting shutouts in five of their seven games.
- DePauw (W, 12-0)
- at Chicago (W, 6-0)
- Milikin (W 33-0)
- vs. Wisconsin (W 12-3)
- Butler (W 33-0)
- Illinois (L 0-3)
- Purdue (W 15-0)
End Arthur “Cotton” Berndt, tackle Homer Dutter and guard Allen Messick each received all-Western conference honors for the 1910 season.
Behind head coach Jimmy Sheldon, the Hoosiers really got things going in week two with a surprising win over Chicago and their legendary coach Amos Alonzo Stagg. Sheldon had coached under Stagg before arriving in Bloomington in 1905.
The only loss on the year came against co-conference leader Illinois in a rain soaked contest in Bloomington. This time it was the Hoosiers that couldn’t find the end zone. The Illini didn’t allow a single point that year.
A ticket to the only game IU lost in 1910. Photo credit – IU Archives.
The Hoosiers overcame that disappointment and closed out the season in style.
On November 19, 1910 IU recorded its fifth shutout of the year with a 15-0 win on the road in West Lafayette. The win capped off their 6-1 season without allowing a touchdown for the entire campaign.
Dutter won all-Western Conference honors in back to back seasons.
Berndt became something of an IU and Bloomington legend. He is the only athlete ever to captain three sports at IU. He coached IU basketball from 1914 to 1915, was the acting Director of Athletics from 1913-15, and went on to be the mayor of Bloomington from 1935-38.
Sheldon compiled a career record of 35-26-1, giving him the second best winning percentage in program history for IU coaches that led more than 50 games.
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