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Tuesday, Feb. 27
The Indiana Daily Student

sports football

Even with best output by offense, IU falls to Wildcats

When IU scored 38 points — its season-high — against South Carolina State, it walked away with a victory.

In the Homecoming game Saturday, 38 points were not enough.

IU fell to Northwestern, 59-38, Saturday at Memorial Stadium, dropping to 1-8 for the season, despite tying its highest-scoring effort of the season.

“We’ve jelled together coming from each week to week,” sophomore running back Stephen Houston said. “I think we’re doing things better as a whole, both offensively and defensively. But once again, it starts with Coach Wilson and then comes down on us and executing it and doing it to the best of our ability.”

Though they were outscored in each of the first three quarters, the Hoosiers had an early lead after a six-play, 77-yard opening drive that ended with a 12-yard scoring run by true freshman quarterback Tre Roberson, who was making his second straight start.

Just four minutes later, however, Northwestern led 10-7. The Wildcats kept the lead for the rest of the game with a pair of 10-point deficits in the second quarter, the closest the Hoosiers came to matching the Wildcats’ output.

Drake Dunsmore had four touchdown catches — a school record — and 112 receiving yards.

One of those touchdown catches was courtesy of backup quarterback Kain Colter, who also played a jack-of-all-trades role, finishing with 115 receiving yards and 38 more on the ground to go with his passing performance.

IU was led by 151 rushing yards and two touchdowns from Houston during 19 carries. Roberson also had a 100-yard rushing performance for IU, finishing with 121. He also had 169 passing yards, a touchdown and an interception.

“(Houston) got more than what was blocked,” IU Coach Kevin Wilson said. “In some ways, we blocked a little bit better, too, and not that he was playing on his own out there, but he definitely took some one and two yard plays and got six, seven, eight, nine or 10 a few times. The more he’s played, the better he’s got.”

Such efforts, which contributed to 488 total offensive yards for IU, could still not keep pace with the Northwestern offense, which finished with 616 yards and did not punt until the fourth quarter.

“We’ll keep battling and playing through it,” Wilson said. “I don’t have excuses, but we’re playing some young guys. They were going to line up basically in two main formations, and they actually put a third one out there. It was nothing unusual.”

Wilson said the IU defense was predictable as well, something that must change in the future, even with the Hoosiers employing numerous freshmen regularly on
defense.

“I would like to see us be a lot more multiple than we are because I think with our skill set — if we kind of line up and people get a beat on us — it’s a little easier to pick apart,” he said. “But with young guys, the more you do, the more mistakes you have.”

Sophomore cornerback Greg Heban has shared the secondary with freshmen at both cornerback and safety and said the trial by fire the freshmen are going through at the moment was inevitable and ultimately necessary.

“They are still learning,” Heban said. “Everyone’s still learning. You can’t be perfect. You’re going to learn every week. As freshmen, they are getting experience — they’re gaining experience, and I trust them out there just as much as I trust anyone else.”

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