On a brisk Saturday night in Virginia, the Hoosiers lacked that sensation needed to satisfy.
After dropping the last two games to tough opponents, a reasonable person would have expected an IU team ready to pounce and claw the life away from a sub-.500 non-conference team.
Instead, the team countered with an uninspired output and left with a hazy view of its future.
Throughout their 47-7 trouncing, the Hoosiers had no visible signs of desire, tenacity or focus – zero signs of life.
IU coach Bill Lynch wrapped up the game in the same way anybody who witnessed this weekend’s atrocity could.
“We got beat in every way you can get beat,” Lynch said.
And that’s a borderline understatement.
Offensively, junior quarterback Ben Chappell never had a chance to lead his team to a win, as he threw an interception, absorbed two sacks and was hit plenty more times.
Once again, the Hoosiers started the game promising, marching to the Virginia 32-yard line, but the drive was halted by a fumble from junior wide receiver Terrance Turner. The turnover led to seven Cavalier points, and the Hoosiers went three-and-out the next time out.
Virginia quickly responded with another score, and the offense, without a threatening running game, was done.
The Hoosiers went 6-of-16 on third down, were stuffed for 2.8 yards per carry and didn’t enter the red zone until the 8:24 mark in the fourth quarter.
As Chappell and Lynch both stressed, there were no surprises from the Virginia defense that sent the Hoosier offense crawling back to the sideline, but rather a complete breakdown in moving the ball.
“Just a total lack of execution,” Chappell said. “We had guys running the wrong way, not getting the signals ... Stuff we haven’t done all year.”
Once the offense left the field, however, the nightmare only worsened.
Virginia’s offensive line, easily the weakest link on the Cavalier chain heading into Saturday, kept quarterback Jameel Sewell’s jersey cleaner than an Oxiclean prop and opened running lanes large enough to drive the team bus through.
Cavalier receivers were left open like they had an infectious disease and, when IU defensive backs were spotted in the area, they forgot their tackling 101 lessons and big plays turned deadly.
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