If it could happen in a football game it’s likely it happened tonight. We had a defensive touchdown, a special teams score, an ejection, multiple huge hits, highlight reel interceptions, oh, and penalties.
So. Many. Penalties.
This was definitely an interesting game, albeit a pretty sloppy one. Indiana actually played pretty well in the first half, but were completely defeated in the second. Here are the 5 Things We Learned About IU Football against Nebraska, both good and bad.
1. Dasan McCullough Is A Game-Changer
I may have said this before, but it needs to be said again. Dasan McCullough is the type of player that only comes around every once in a while. Let’s not forget folks this is only his 5th game as a collegiate athlete. He has been one of few bright spots that this defense has had so far this year. He came up huge in the 2nd quarter with a sack of Nebraska QB Casey Thompson. This would light a spark under our Hoosier D, as the very next series Cam Jones and Louis Moore met at the QB in the endzone forcing a fumble in which Myles Jackson jumped on for the TD. He just always seems to be in the right place at the right time
2. We Were A Much More Confident Team In The First Half
You could just tell from the onset that Indiana was a much more confident team this week. Our Hoosiers came into this game believing that they will win and it showed in their play. I’m still not sold on this fast tempo offense, but they were confident in it and able to execute and tire out Nebraska’s defense. This was extremely evident on the last two offensive drives of the 1st half, both ending with touchdowns. This confidence didn’t fade in the second half. Bryant Fitzgerald had an absolutely beautiful interception and then a few plays later forced a fumble. On the very next play James Head annihilated Nebraska QB Casey Thompson for a QB hurry and an incomplete pass. This is a totally different team than we saw last week. Until the second half…
3. We Have Depth At WR
Both of our Hoosier’s top wide-outs Cam Camper and DJ Matthews were out with injury.
Well, next man up.
While IU certainly missed the talents of Camper and Matthews, it was time for the next unit to shine. Emery Simmons and Javonn Swinton were there to answer the call. They weren’t perfect but they filled in for their injured comrades admirably. A questionable no call on a huge Nebraska hit on a defenseless Swinton forced him out of the game in the 3rd quarter. So at one point in the game we were down 3 of our top 5 Wide Receivers. Now I know I’ll probably take some heat from the Hoosier “faithful” for this but they did their job today.
4. These Mental Mistakes Are Getting Old
Indiana, more often than not this year, has made it that much harder to pick up a win by making was too many mental mistakes. Their lack of discipline in all phases of the game is appalling and needs to be addressed by Tom Allen and his coaching staff immediately or something needs to change. We cannot sit here and continue to watch this team make the same mistakes over and over again. Get it together Hoosiers.
5. Indiana Should Have Won This Game
IU was completely outplayed and out-coached in the second half by a Nebraska squad that is simply not that good. Let’s not forget that Nebraska lost to Georgia Southern earlier in the year. IU came in hot in the first half but could do absolutely nothing in the second. We’ll have to wait and see if IU can learn from this and move on to the next one, though they certainly don’t get any easier.