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Friday, June 14
The Indiana Daily Student

sports football

COLUMN: The Hoosiers are playing 13

Offensive lineman Dan Feeney lifts wide receiver Mitchell Paige after Paige scored against Purdue on Saturday at Ross-Ade Stadium. The Hoosiers won 54-36.

IU football is going to a bowl game.

Let that thought sink in. Let it breathe. Let it warm and fill your entire chest.

It has never been easy. It has rarely been joyous. But today, Hoosiers — players, coaches and fans alike — deserve to celebrate.

For the first time since 2007, there will be postseason football in Bloomington. The Hoosiers are playing 13.

Postgame at Ross-Ade Stadium, freshmen and seniors alike embraced the Old Oaken Bucket for the third straight year — a feat not accomplished since 1947.

IU Coach Kevin Wilson and his players gathered for a photo in a patch of grass just outside the stadium, the token of the rivalry resting in the hands of senior quarterback Nate Sudfeld and junior offensive 
lineman Jason Spriggs.

But beating Purdue 54-36 is toward the bottom of a long list of reasons to celebrate for the class of 2012, the class that vowed to turn the corner on the disappointing annals on IU football.

Today, they made good on their promise, clinching their first season with three power five road wins since 1986, and the first season with back-to-back conference wins since 1993.

For Sudfeld, who surpassed Antwaan Randle El to become IU’s career passing leader with 7,490 yards, it is validation he made the right choice in leaving Modesto, California, to play for IU.

“It means a lot,” he said. “This is why we came here.”

Publicly, Wilson maintained his usual postgame demeanor. Steady cadence. Straight face. His nose and cheeks flushed red with the November cold.

But his eyes betrayed him — they were sparkling.

“To me, those guys are different,” he said. “They had chances to give in. Chances to listen. Chances to doubt. And the way they kept battling against those teams just gave me some confidence.”

Inside the visiting 
locker room, where the Hoosiers gathered and danced, Drake’s “Big Rings” blared.

“Cause I got a really big team/ And they need some really big rings/ They need some really nice things.”

“Kevin Wilson for president!” one of the players yelled.

And after the locker room doors closed behind him, senior bandit Zack Shaw said Wilson joined the fold of dancing teammates.

A 6-6 season isn’t the fix-all. And it certainly isn’t the end goal.

But after a grueling 
season in which we endured a six-game losing streak, giving us every chance to see what’s wrong with IU football, after chaos, heartbreak, frustration and disappointment, here is a moment for ecstasy — so pause and enjoy it.

We’ll talk X’s and O’s again in December.

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