Indiana Daily Student

Column: There’s not much to say about this one

It must be the white helmets.

That’s the best explanation I can offer you for what I saw Saturday night.

It was one of the oddest football games I’ve ever seen, and while IU came back (as it did against Virginia) and almost won at the end, it was another embarrassing loss — this time, 24-21 to North Texas.

Senior wide receiver Damarlo Belcher didn’t travel because of an undisclosed injury. Sophomores Kofi Hughes and Duwyce Wilson played sparingly in the first half. The IU offense couldn’t move the ball against one of the worst defenses in the country.


The 24 points IU gave up didn’t surprise me all that much. We’ve kind of come to expect that from the IU defense.

However, Hoosier quarterback Edward Wright-Baker and the offense have looked good at times this season. But when lined up against the Mean Green, a team that gave up an average of more than 500 yards of total offense coming into the game, they couldn’t score a point until Dusty Kiel entered the game.

Even then, Kiel didn’t look all that impressive. He benefitted from two wide open receivers — one because a North Texas defender was tying his shoe during the play.
Yes, really.

“I don’t think they understand how to prepare,” IU Coach Kevin Wilson said. “We kind of had a really bad Tuesday practice defensively as a team. That was evident there in the first half again.”

Now, for the obvious question: Is this the worst loss in IU football history?

Personally, I don’t think so. I was there for the 83-20 shellacking at Wisconsin last year, and I don’t think losses come in an uglier package than that one.

But this game is definitely up there. The Hoosiers (1-3) played with little enthusiasm and did few things right until the fourth quarter. With this game basically scheduled as a Big Ten tune up, that’s incredibly disappointing.

The Hoosiers have now been away from Memorial Stadium twice, and both times they looked lifeless.

Where’s that swagger the players say Wilson brought with him? Does it only exist when the team is in Bloomington?

Wright-Baker took some positive steps forward in recent weeks, but he looked very bad against North Texas. He again missed often on deep balls, again failed to feel pressure from behind and again made some poor reads.

To his credit, Kiel looked like a leader when he took over in the fourth. After he hit wide receiver Cody Latimer on a touchdown pass, he was seen motivating his offensive teammates on the sideline. It was good to see.

Then came the unbelievable shoe-tying play. Yeah, Hughes was wide open, but Kiel had to hit him for a score. Kiel accounted for two more touchdowns in a matter of minutes than Wright-Baker did in three quarters.

After it finally looked like Wright-Baker was the starting quarterback, there appears to be another quarterback controversy. But Wilson said there isn’t.

“We just thought we needed a spark,” Wilson said. “We had played three quarters and hadn’t gotten in the end zone. I don’t think either one of them still work hard enough. I don’t think they study enough. We’re still a work in progress with those guys.”

If I had to guess, I’d say Kiel is the starter for the conference opener against Penn State next week. If nothing else, it keeps Gunner happy and committed for next

As for this season, it’s hard to say. If what we saw on Saturday continues, it’s going to be a long season.

Maybe IU should drop the white helmets.

That’s the only way I can explain this one.

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