Indiana Football came into the contest Saturday afternoon with Cincinnati as a 16.5 point underdog according to ESPN. It was a day in which very little seemed to go right for our Hoosiers in the first half. Cincinnati exposed all of Indiana’s flaws in a game that was over in the second quarter. Here are 5 things we learned about IU Football against Cincinnati.
1. Cincinnatti Is A Very Good Football Team.
Let’s not forget folks, Cincinnati was in the college football playoff last year for a reason. They are a very solid football team. QB Ben Bryant has stepped in for NFL Draftee Desmond Ritter without a missed step. Bryant is your prototypical pocket passer. His deep ball is a thing of beauty. Cincy’s Defense is no joke either. Led by brother linebackers Ivan and Deshawn Pace and a very solid line, the Bearcats made life hell for the Indiana Offense.
2. Indiana’s Secondary Was Exposed
Poor communication led to missed assignments and big plays by the Bearcats. Numerous times our Hoosiers were burned by the long ball. Indiana simply doesn’t have the athleticism and the talent, yet, to be able to overcome these kinds of mental mistakes, and Cincy is the type of team that will make you pay. Cincy QB Bryant threw for 314 yards and 4 scores in the first half alone. This leads me into my next point…
3. Slow Starts Continue To Haunt Us
Indiana held its own in the first 11 minutes. A staunch goal line stand held the Bearcats to a field goal for their first score. IU would answer with a field goal of their own. Then the wheels fell off as Cincy would toss a 75 yard touchdown pass and then reel off 3 straight scores to end the half with a commanding lead. Indiana has shown a tendency to be a second half team, but against stiffer competition our Hoosiers cannot afford to get down big early.
4. Indiana Never Quit
Indiana came out in the second half a different team. On defense our Hoosiers forced 3 straight punts and the offense added a score on its first possession. This Hoosiers team is a direct resemblance of their leader. Tom Allen is the type of guy that never gives in no matter what the circumstances are. Our Hoosiers could have folded after that disastrous second quarter, but they continued to show that grit that they have been known for this season. IU’s line-backing core led by Senior stud Cam Jones put hit after hit on Cincy QB Bryant forcing him to make errant throws. Both of Cincy’s starting cornerbacks would go out with injuries and IU smelled blood in the water. Our Hoosiers would continue to attack the sidelines with the pass. Cincy’s second string CB’s could not stay with IU’s WR’s and were forced to grab and hold them resulting in numerous pass interference penalties. Beside a few mental mistakes by our Hoosiers, they responded to adversity very well.
Indiana Will Learn From This Loss
Indiana has had it’s best ranked recruiting classes come in the last few years however it takes time to get these guys acclimated to the college game. Indiana will have a lot of film to study and if I know anything about these Hoosiers and their coaching staff they will learn from the mistakes they made and come out of it a better team. The season is not over folks. We’ve still got a long way to go. This team will bounce back. Mark my words.