Trailing 10-0 at halftime to Football Championship Subdivision opponent University of Idaho amid a downpour of rain, the Indiana football program was practically dead. After pumping hope into the fan base with a season-opening win, Indiana looked destined to follow it up with the most embarrassing loss of the weekend.
Then, the sky cleared up as the second half started. In unison with the weather, the Hoosiers started to play good football. They put up 239 yards and 23 points in the third quarter alone, cruising in the second half to a 35-22 victory.
So, what exactly happened in those first 30 minutes of game time?
Great question. Who’s to say?
Indiana looked far from a Big Ten team, let alone a Football Bowl Subdivision team. The first-half Hoosiers had just 110 yards of offense, two turnovers, a missed field goal and several wasted opportunities from good field position. They simply looked outmatched by the Vandals.
In the second half, the Hoosiers looked like a completely different team. The defense constantly forced three-and-outs, the offense clicked on all cylinders and everything was put together for a good half of football, for the most part.
Junior quarterback Connor Bazelak was one of many Hoosiers with a tale of two halves. When he started the game six for seventeen with 49 yards and an interception, it became questionable if he would start the second half.
Bazelak silenced those doubts by going 10 of 12 for 148 yards and two touchdowns after halftime.
Indiana’s run game also finally made an appearance in the second half after being absent for the first game and a half. The Hoosiers ran for 178 yards in the second half and totaled 239 yards overall. Senior running back Shaun Shivers led the way rushing with 155 yards on 20 attempts and a score.
Indiana’s defense once again had its ups-and-downs. The 330 yards allowed on the game are a bit higher than one would wish, however; the Hoosiers displayed their full potential in the third quarter by allowing just 10 yards on 14 plays.
Many of Indiana’s week one concerns reappeared in the first half, which is not reassuring. The offensive line struggled to give Bazelak time, the defense missed several tackles again and the run game took a half to make any impact.
Judging all these things, what exactly can be taken away from the game? Well, probably nothing. Indiana started poorly then beat up a team it was supposed to beat up, and that’s about it.
For both the fans and the team, this game is one to forget. The expected outcome ultimately came true and that is all that should be said about it. If anyone asks, blame it on the weather.