Indiana Daily Student

COLUMN: Ranking Indiana football’s six losses from most to least entertaining

<p>Freshman quarterback Donaven McCulley scrambles with the ball Nov. 6, 2021, at Michigan Stadium.</p>

Freshman quarterback Donaven McCulley scrambles with the ball Nov. 6, 2021, at Michigan Stadium.

Indiana football’s losing streak extended to six games after a miserable 45-14 loss to Penn State Saturday. As the Nittany Lions ran up the score, it became quite a snooze fest in Bloomington. 

Looking ahead to a matchup at Ohio State this coming Saturday, things aren’t looking so hot for the Hoosiers. In fact, it might get uglier than this past weekend. 

Rather than dread what seems like an inevitable blowout, I thought it better to dwell on Indiana’s six losses. The Hoosiers’ loss against Penn State – somehow – inspired me: which of their losses were entertaining, if any? 

1. 10/1 at Nebraska: 35-21 

I might be in the minority for this choice, but Indiana’s second loss of the season had everything one could ask for in a football game: A blocked punt, a strip sack in the endzone and two gunslingers at quarterback. Who says no to that? 

The downside to this contest is the Hoosiers scored all of their points in the second quarter, but I think it still prevails over the others. After all, we’re talking about losses – how enjoyable can it be? 

2. 10/15 vs. Maryland: 38-33 

The Hoosiers’ loss to the Terrapins marked four-consecutive losses, and this is their closest loss of the season thus far. Indiana had a serious chance to steal a win..  

The Hoosiers made some exciting plays in this one, like a long touchdown reception from senior running back Josh Henderson and a trick play, which allowed us to watch junior quarterback Connor Bazelak make a reception in the most unathletic way possible. 

3. 9/24 at University of Cincinnati: 45-24 

If this were a group project, the Bearcats would have done 99% of the work. Their 38-point barrage in the first half might as well have been an airshow, as senior quarterback Ben Bryant threw 314 yards and four touchdowns all in the first 30 minutes of play. 

Indiana contributed some, too. It made a late push at a comeback and broke off a couple big plays, but like everything else on this list, it wasn’t enough. 

4. 10/8 vs. Michigan: 31-10 

The Hoosiers fancied an upset for the first half of this game, going into halftime tied at 10 with the Wolverines. It wasn’t the prettiest half of football, but it created some buzz that David could take down Goliath. 

Michigan proceeded to blank Indiana in the second half with three unanswered touchdowns. It was fun while it lasted, though. 

5. 10/22 at Rutgers: 24-17 

Freshman running back Jaylin Lucas took the opening kickoff 93 yards for a score, the Hoosiers forced a stop and then seamlessly executed a 91-yard touchdown drive. You can’t ask for a better start as a coach, player or fan. 

The Hoosiers followed this by doing what they’re best at: nothing. Rutgers steadily chipped at the lead, took it and never let it go. 

6. 11/5 vs. Penn State: 45-14 

Fresh on everyone’s mind, this one was ugly all around. Depleted by injuries and facing an elite program, Indiana was doomed from the start. 

The game went even worse than expected, which is really saying something. Not only was it the Hoosiers’ worst loss in point differential, but it probably was the biggest blow to the fanbase. 

Opening as 40-point underdogs, Indiana’s contest at Ohio State has a historically bad kind of potential. But hey, there’s a reason they play the game.

Follow reporters Garrett Newman (@GarrettNewman20) and Jacob Spudich (@spudichjacob) and columnist Will Foley (@foles24) for updates throughout the Indiana football season. 
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