IU football has its fair share of Homecoming wins, but in recent history the Hoosiers have struggled to win on that random weekend in October.
In eight consecutive homecoming weekends since 2011, seven different Big Ten teams have entered Bloomington and defeated IU.
The Hoosiers’ most recent homecoming win came Oct. 16, 2010. IU erased a halftime deficit and defeated Arkansas State University 36-34 to bounce back from consecutive losses to Michigan and Ohio State.
IU won its last homecoming game against a Big Ten opponent Oct. 17, 2009 when it edged out Illinois 27-14. Former IU head coach Bill Lynch lead the Hoosiers to three homecoming wins in four seasons from 2007 to 2010, but since his departure they have failed to do it again.
Not only is this year’s game an opportunity for the program to give a homecoming crowd a win for the first time in almost a decade, it’s also a chance for IU to get a much-needed win following a loss.
A blowout at the hands of Ohio State and a nail-biting loss to Michigan State on the road dropped IU’s record to 0-2 in Big Ten play. The losses overshadow the progress the Hoosiers have made since last season, but they match up nicely with their third Big Ten opponent as they look to get that first conference win.
IU and Rutgers had not played before 2014 but have played every year since. The Scarlet Knights won the first two meetings, including a 55-52 win over the Hoosiers — one of IU’s recent homecoming losses. The Scarlet Knights, however, have lost three straight games to the Hoosiers.
Rutgers won its first game of the season but has lost each game since, two of which were shutouts on the road. The Hoosiers have good odds to extend their win streak over the Scarlet Knights and pick up their first homecoming win since 2010, but a change in Rutgers’ personnel could cause problems.
“You have to look at it with a different lens now, with a new interim head coach and a new person calling the plays,” IU head coach Tom Allen said. “I don't know if I've seen it where the coordinator is replaced in these situations. Usually, it's just the head coach. It definitely creates some unknowns.”