By GREG KEIM
THE GOSHEN NEWS
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. —
If there was any doubt as to how the Indiana Hoosiers would handle last week’s 41-35 college football loss to the United States Naval Academy it was answered Saturday.
The Hoosiers rolled up 601 yards of total offense in a 42-10 victory over the Bowling Green Falcons at Memorial Stadium.
“This was a great team win,” Indiana coach Kevin Wilson said. “I had a lot of respect for Bowling Green coming in. Coach (Dave) Clawson’s guys are good — they play really good defense and are mature on offense.
“I thought it was a team we matched up against well but I was proud of how we responded. We weren’t great in all phases but we were pretty good across the board.”
Starting at left tackle for the Hoosiers was 6-7 (297) sophomore Jason Spriggs from Concord High School.
“It was huge for us to get a win,” he said. “But we will celebrate for 24 hours and on Sunday it’s back to work. Last week after the Navy loss we had one of our best practices ever on Sunday. We thought about the loss for 24 hours and then moved on.”
Spriggs was a big contributor in an offensive line that allowed the Hoosiers to run for 266 yards and pass for 335.
“The line had one of their better weeks in practice,” Wilson said.
The Falcons amassed 409 yards of total offense but had no offensive touchdowns to show for it.
“We got beat bad; we got whipped in every aspect of the game,” Clawson said. “Offensively, we just couldn’t make the explosive plays. We didn’t get into the end zone and we missed two field goals.
“All the things we’ve been doing well the first two games we didn’t do well today. We didn’t play well.”
Among the Bowling Green players is 5-11 (221) sophomore backup middle linebacker Coy Brown. He is a NorthWood High School graduate.
“We fell apart,” he said. “Indiana out executed us. Once we go behind it was hard trying to overcome the deficit.”
Brown also plays on special teams and he was on the field when the Falcons blocked a punt and returned it for a TD at 4:36 of the first quarter.
“Indiana came out in a safe look and we have schemes for that,” he said. “We got to the ball.”
The special team’s TD tied the score at 7-7, The Falcons took their only lead of the day early in the second period when 5-11 (173) red-shirt sophomore Tyler Tate booted a 45-yard field with 11:06 left before halftime.
Indiana answered with a 43-yard TD run by 6-1 (205) sophomore Tevin Coleman and an 8-yard scoring pass from 6-5 (230) sophomore quarterback Nate Sudfeld to 6-2 (217) senior wide receiver Kofi Hughes to make it a 21-10 game at intermission.
Indiana finished the contest by scoring 35 unanswered points.
“We knew Bowling Green had a good red-zone defense,” Hughes said. “We had a couple times early in the game where we didn’t punch it in.
“Nate played a great game. He is a gamer.”
Sudfeld connected on 17 of 26 passes for 335 yards and two TDs. It was his second straight 300-yard game.
“IU’s quarterback is a stud,” Clawson said. “They have really good receivers, we couldn’t cover them, we didn’t get much pressure on the quarterback, we gave that kid time and he put the ball on the money and their receivers beat us.”
The top receiver for the Hoosiers was 6-3 (215) junior Cody Latimer with six catches for a career-high 137 yards and a score. It was his first score of the season and the ninth of his career.
Latimer’s dad, who passed away bout eight years ago, played for Bowling Green.
“It was kind of special,” he said. “I told him to be with me and stay with me and I’m going to go out and play my best. Two of his teammates were here today and I got to talk to them.
“It was a great win for us. The game was more about the team than anything.”
The Hoosiers also had two running go over the 100-yard mark. Six-foot (230) fifth-year senior Stephen Houston had 155 yards on 14 carries and Coleman 131 on 19.
“A lot of credit goes to the offensive line,” Houston said. “We watched a lot of film and saw that they wold over pursue the outside run so we had more time to but back up the field. Tevin (Coleman) and I were running hard but the credit goes to the offensive line.”