Thursday, September 02, 2010

Indiana 51, Towson 17 FINAL

The Tigers were able to get within 10 points early in the second quarter, but this game was all IU. The Hoosiers put up 51 points and the defense proved me wrong by holding Towson to just 17 points. With a 37 point victory, I could obviously spend a lot of time talking about what everything the Hoosiers did right in this game. But that's just no fun, so I'll keep it short. On the positive side, the passing game is as electrifying as it was last year and the Hoosiers were able to pick 209 yards and 2 scores through the air despite playing without Tandon Doss and sitting Ben Chappell for much of the second half. Damarlo Belcher picked up a lot of the slack, catching 8 passes for 89 yards and a 41-yard touchdown in the first half.
Sophomore Darius Willis (pictured) added 102 yards rushing and scored twice, but one thing about his game that the stat line cannot show was his toughness. He had a couple of short gains that should have been losses, had it not been for his strength and ability to shed tackles. Granted, this was Towson but Willis' ability to shred the defense is certainly promising. The first team defense did a nice job shutting down the Tigers' Tremayne Dameron's running game, but we will revisit them later. It was great that the Hoosiers had the opportunity to play a lot of their young players and reserves. Real game experience is important to this team's development.

The Hoosiers won this game pretty easily, but there are some things that they NEED to work on in the coming weeks to prepare for Big Ten play. More on that after the jump:

The main problem that I saw in this game was the THIRD/FOURTH DOWN DEFENSE.
The Hoosiers had a really hard time defending scrambling quarterback Chris Hart on third down tonight. In the second quarter, the first stringers allowed Towson to convert on third down three different times, and then once on fourth down after holding on third. The defense did a good job getting Towson down but could not close them out in the first half. Hart also connected Hakeem Moore for a 64 yard touchdown on simple slant route on third down. Both on this touchdown and a long Chris Hart third down scramble, the secondary looked sluggish and lost. When Hart got past the front line he had no trouble making moves through the backs. To their credit, the DBs did step up with some huge interceptions in this game. The Moore touchdown got the Tigers within 10 and while these things did not end up hurting the Hoosiers too much in this game, it is going to be a different story if it is happening during conference play.

The Hoosiers have plenty of time to work out these issues before they start against big name competition. With a bye next week, the Hoosiers next two opponents are Western Kentucky and Akron. Conference play starts with a relatively "easy" home game against Michigan on October 2nd. Indiana's schedule is very back heavy this year and I think that they could easily be going into their 11/6 matchup against the Hawkeyes with 6 or 7 wins (Ohio State being a loss, plus possibly @Illinois). However, if the Hoosiers do not have that many wins going into the Iowa game they are going to have a very tough time becoming bowl eligible. They finish out the season like this: vs. Iowa, @ Wisconsin, vs. Penn State in Washington DC, @Purdue.

All in all, this is a great start to the Hoosiers season. They have an extra week to practice before heading out to Kentucky on the 18th, so they should be able to spend some time working on the defense. We should also see top receiver Tandon Doss back on the field for Game 2. Check back with the Windy City Hoosier Source for all the latest football and basketball news!

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